Accountability and transparency within our institutions and leadership.
posted by jewishwhistleblower @ 1:04 PM
Does anyone know if Tendler is still on the board of directors of Rockland Jewish Family Services?http://www.jewishfamilyservice.net/staff_board_directors.asp
Note:1) The Jewish Press obviously doesn't believe in protecting victims of sexual exploitation/abuse "rabbi`s name was disclosed in the articles, none of his accusers were identified".2) Basically, the Jewish Press has not talked with the RCA "We contacted both the rabbi and the RCA. We have already interviewed the rabbi and others hope to present his views and comments next week as well as any comments we receive from the RCA."3) "However, preliminary observations are in order which deal with fundamental notions of fairness."- How can that be done without speaking to the RCA or alleged victims?4) "Yet, based upon our interviews and the documents we have reviewed to date, the RCA seems to have neglected to follow the Halacha, fundamental notions of fairness and even its own rules."- So basically, the Jewish Press can without a beis din or even talking to the RCA (or alleged victims), convict it publicly of violating Halacha.http://jewishpress.com/news_article.asp?article=4866An Inappropriate Process Posted 4/6/2005 By Editorial Board An Inappropriate ProcessOn several occasions over the past months in this space we expressed our dismay over lengthy articles in both the Forward and The Jewish Week describing an investigation by the Rabbinical Council of America of one of its members, a prominent New York rabbi. We noted that although the rabbi`s name was disclosed in the articles, none of his accusers were identified and indeed, the articles consisted of double and triple-tiered hearsay, vague innuendo and opinion with no hard facts reported. Indeed, both publications also railed against the rabbi having been given the names of his accusers by the RCA! Recently, the RCA expelled the rabbi saying that he acted inappropriately and refused to cooperate with its investigation. Soon thereafter, concerned by the vagueness of the charges, the sensationalism of the reporting and the RCA`s confirmation of the investigation and its failure to disavow the speculative reporting, The Jewish Press sought to clarify the process by which the RCA reached its conclusion. We contacted both the rabbi and the RCA. We have already interviewed the rabbi and others hope to present his views and comments next week as well as any comments we receive from the RCA. However, preliminary observations are in order which deal with fundamental notions of fairness.The RCA investigation was ostensibly concerned with whether the rabbi should continue as a member and it evidently followed certain procedures not ordinarily followed in a determination of guilt or innocence. In this case, the following is undisputed. The rabbi`s accusers were never questioned directly by the RCA. Rather, they were questioned by a non-Jewish employee of a Texas investigative company over the telephone. Although the rabbi requested one, a fact-finding beth din where witnesses give testimony and are subjected to cross examination by the accused and others, was never convened. Instead, the RCA process in this regard involved an in camera review of the written report of the Texas investigator. The rabbi, of course, in addition to being drummed out of the organization, stands publicly convicted. Indeed, he has reportedly already lost a prestigious teaching position. Yet, based upon our interviews and the documents we have reviewed to date, the RCA seems to have neglected to follow the Halacha, fundamental notions of fairness and even its own rules.
>Yet, based upon our interviews >and the documents we have >reviewed to date, the RCA seems >to have neglected to follow the >Halacha, fundamental notions of >fairness and even its own rules. My challenge to the Jewish Press:1) Since you like names so much, disclose the names of the people you interviewed and their assertions.2) Re-produce all these "documents" you claim to have in their entirety.
TO ALL DECENT JEWS:PLEASE TURN AWAY. THIS IS A BAD AND DANGEROUS PLACE where the presumtion of innocense is dead, where Jews stab their rabbis and where pimple faced morons are spending their empty youth.TURN AROUND AND LEAVE. YOU WON'T FIND DECENT PEOPLE HERE. GO, GO, ERASE THE URL FROM YOUR BOOKMARK. SHALOM, AND MAY GOD TURN YOU TO HAPPIER, NICER WEBSITES.The anti-Semites can stay. So, nu, Yossel, how's the kugel?
B'H' for Jewish Whistleblower. If it wasn't for him/her we wouldn't know what was really happening in our communities. Please remember that we NEED to be aware so we can make our communites safer. We need to be more then just aware, we NEED to take action to end the abuses and criminal behaviors of the few who are causing such horendous damage.Jewish Whistleblower, thank you for all your hard work and dedication!
What do you expect from the "National Enquirer" of the Jewish world?The JP is a rag. The only redeeming value is (sometimes) the Torah articles. But for the most part, you can use it to wipe your tushy or for your doggy.It also makes excellent kindling for your fireplace or to burn the chametz!
In stark contrast to The Forward and The Jewish Week, or course.
>The only redeeming value is >(sometimes) the Torah articles. Unfortunately, some of these are written by a convicted carrer criminal Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum/Jewish Press columnist who was last in court just mere months ago. His record of criminal/securities fraud stretches back to the 70s and he spent several months in a federal prison (search by name at: http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/LocateInmate.jsp ).see:http://www.kscourts.org/ca10/cases/2004/08/02-3364.htmMore history/links at several posts at:http://www.protocols.blogspot.com/2004_09_05_protocols_archive.html
Klass's daughter was an Agunah for a very long time, and MT pobably did her, thatys why the rag JP is protecting him, to protect his own daughter's reputation!
To: Mr. “enough already”:You go away!Tendlers' Goons-Go away.Tendlers' PR-Go away.Tendlers Lawyers motivated by fame and winning, who keep a sex predator in position-Go away.Tendlers members who harass victims and supporters-go away.Tendlers' Jewish Press friends who lie for him-Go away. You dare to act so pious? The side of preverts, abusers, and "where Jews stab" innocense victimized women, is ass ide only hell excepts.You! "TURN AROUND AND LEAVE." You Leave alone the DECENT PEOPLE HERE. Blacklist RMT and his shul.Stop women from being victimized by RMT sexual abuse and manipulation.
this is why it's so clear that the whistleblower site becomes a collector of loshon hora. It starts with rabbi tendler then it leads to others who support him so all those people become targets of l'h. e.g. r' david finestein, rabbi furst, rabbi tenenbaum. Those that support the rabbi at the same time those that can be identified as not supporting rabbi tendler become targets as well for loshon hora. the site is a magnet for l'h. it's very hard to support the existence of such alleged media.mg
"....and where pimple faced morons are spending their empty youth."---------What is Yanovers' obsession with pimples? Was he molested by a dermatologist in his youth?" GO, GO, ERASE THE URL FROM YOUR BOOKMARK. SHALOM, AND MAY GOD TURN YOU TO HAPPIER, NICER WEBSITES."---------- Oh, such as your pals' website for scamming people into financially supporting his 'teachings', until he can personally indoctrinate them into his BDSM-Kabbalah?
Frothing at the mouth already, I see. And so young.
"An idiotic editoral" ?? I gather what you really refer to is your own "idiotic editorial" and biased comments on this matter.
And that of course goes for the supreme idiotic blogsite of them all - newhempsteadnews.
KEEP THE PRESSURE ON! It's the only way you'll see results.
"PLEASE TURN AWAY. THIS IS A BAD AND DANGEROUS PLACE where the presumtion of innocense is dead, where Jews stab their rabbis and where pimple faced morons are spending their empty youth."AMEN! i am leaving also. i find this website offensive. this is not journalims. even evil gary rosenblatt has to take some responsiblity for his stupid mistakes and big mouth whereas JWB and his idiotic anonymous friends can say whatever they want without any regard for the truth. mark my words - the rca is going down along with all those who participated in attempting to destroy an innocent rav. and as for you JWB, john paul will save you a seat right next to him!
Ahahahahaha!So amusing to read all these comments, "I'M LEAVING! GO AWAY FROM THIS BLOG!" ---- over and over and over.Fine, leave already you pompous fools.
"Just came in to check out the scene, and I'm glad to see that only the meshugener who runs this blog and maybe two other meshugeners have been conversing back and forth. That's very good."I completely agree, but you must also realize that these people (JWB and his enablers) salivate by you posting even these types of comments. Stay off completely, don't post anything. Period. JWB, newhempsteadnews, and jewishidea have only provided lies and half truths to satisfy their own needs. No proof of anything to date, no DNA, etc. etc. etc. The only thing you will find is speculation, unsubstatiated accusations, and lies.
If the Jewish Press is not available you can run toilet paper through your inkjet printer and print out this BLOG on it.Read, laugh, wipe, flush.Oy the pain!!!!!
To Anonymous who said "It starts with rabbi tendler then it leads to others who support him so all those people become targets of l'h. e.g. r' david finestein, rabbi furst, rabbi tenenbaum."Rabbi Tenenbaum who writes for the Jewish Press is a covicted felon.. which you can easily look up on the web!He is the one who wrote L"H on the RCA!
To one who sang "AMEN!", and said, "i find this website offensive." You are offensive. You use offensive words, "evil gary rosenblatt", "...and his stupid mistakes and big mouth", "JWB and his idiotic anonymous friends". It behooves me to see how you religious orthodox Jews, supporters of RMT, constantly represent yourself and believe how your so righteous and good, Torah representatives, never to use bad language, never to slander, and that's all you do is use fowl language, paste Junk with garbage jamming the Blogs, and demonstrate how offensive you really are. You are right that you are representatives of RMT.What is offensive is how you support a man who got a way with being a Rabbi and leader of a community who has taken advantage of you and the women who he led to come to him for counseling and then sexually abused.What is offensive is instead of getting him help; you back him up in his sickness which has hurt many women and their families. He has hurt them in their community as participants, members and feelings for God, and divided friends. He has hurt his followers and their children; and it’s offensive that you are rationalizing and whitewashing and participate in his sickness which means you are sick too that you support a lie that he is innocent. Your tactics, your statements, your Torah arguments, your false defense as if it holds legally; which it doesn’t since the claims are false; all are means to the wrong and evil end. You are all participants in committing a crime against innocent women destroying people’s lives that you have allowed to take place for too long. This direction to exonerate, cover-up, hide and badgering the JWB, the Forward, the JW or any supporter of victims to concede won’t happen. Why. Because what the RCA at least stood up for and the later is the truth. There is enough proof of what he did and who he is. This is what has led good Torah ethical Jews in taking action to stop this from continuing. Can you just stop thinking about how much you invested and what he means to you emotionally and financially and for once look at the sadness out there, the embarrassment, the shame you caused, and especially look closely at the victims and see what has been done to them. Can you begin to empathize and ask the Torah question? What can you do to help them?
The Jewish Press sucks dick! Fuck all those fasicst Zionists!!!!!
seems like my friends are not the ones using foul language. we are just calmly telling the truth.
Applause to the person who wrote:".... Can you just stop thinking about how much you invested and what he means to you emotionally and financially and for once look at the sadness out there, the embarrassment, the shame you caused, and especially look closely at the victims and see what has been done to them. Can you begin to empathize and ask the Torah question? What can you do to help them?"
To the person who is posting requesting us all to "ask the Torah question, what can we do to help them?Let me preface by saying that i do not intend to be offensive. Ok, from the fact that you write:""...how you religious orthodox Jews, supporters of RMT..."" you seem to imply that you are not Orthodox. Let me explain to you how Orthodox Jews conduct their lives as opposed to Conservative, Reform et.al. We follow halacha. We don't interpret halacha to be whatever "feels right" or "seems fair". There are strict rules and codes written down and followed since Moses on Sinai. You may differ in what you chose to believe, but our Tradition of Halacha is absolute. You may not subscribe to it, but that does not detract from its Integral Truth. As much as today's societal mindset is to side with the female accusers, the Torah says that we first have to establish if they are in fact telling the truth. That requires a beis din. Your question IS valid. It is just not in the proper Halachic context. As much as you would like to say otherwise, the real "Torah question" at the moment, is "are these women telling the truth?" As much as you would like to emphathize with them, and as much as chessed and empathy and kindness are Torah values, they have to be used in accordance with what the REST of the Torah says too. So now, thus far there has not been any beis din investigation to establish or determine guilt. That is unfortunate and may cause you and the accusers to feel anger and pain. But the Torah is the Law. NOT what Vicki Polin or the Awareness Center says is the "right way to do things" but what the halacha says about beis din process. So to answer your question: "Can you begin to empathize and ask the Torah question? What can you do to help them?"That question will be answered when the first "Torah question" is answered, and that is: "Are they telling the truth, and is RMT really guilty of these allegations?" If the Torah Law finds that to be in the affirmative, THEN your Torah question can be addressed. But not before then.
KNHers, supporters of RMT and his friends at the JP, all gang up announcing hypocritically defining standards for his defense that none of you keep. The violation of the women he sexually abused is not addressed!No fairness was ever applied towards the abused women. As his Kehillah never allowed for a beit din herring. They never investigated or organized an objective committee to investigate. Members just believed what ever lies Tendler said about them. Rabbonim who women went for help approached him for the last several years and he didn’t call for a beit din. The women and defenders of injustice were publicly slandered and maligned and threatened by the Tendlers, his wife, his President and shul members. The JP hypocritically states he’s been publicly wronged by name and the names of the women accusing him are not mentioned in the other publications. First not true. Some are mentioned, others protected but more importantly some of his violations are stated in which he was given fair opportunity to respond and his lawyer did. For women who have been victimized their story is yet to be heard. In fact these publications phrased his credentials and made safe statements since he threaten to sue them. The Tendlers have a known history of threatening people. Wrong for the press to protect the witness? It’s standard. RMT knows who he abused, who his accusers are and has had amble time and power for his defense which he made to the RCA. He clearly "faced" these accusations and never showed up for a herring to be really face to face with his accusers. He did abuse his Rabbinical position and should be identified. The JP kept his name out of this article; why? Did they do this not to expose him? Is it to protect him? And you represent yourself as ethical? Integrity means exposing him. Integrity means being fair to the women and letting them make a statement in which he had a chance to respond by other publications the JP slanders. The JP is maligning women by postulating that a phone call interview is a lying interview. What double standard non-sense that’s not commonly accepted. Didn’t the JP just state they called Rabbi Tendler and interview him. Accuse me! If you accept a news reporters’ interview on the phone then you have to accept testimonies and witnesses against RMT by investigators. Double standard as the JP didn’t even talk to any women victims or responded to any of their e-mails. So if anyone lied it’s the JP because they didn’t even speak to the women. Victims were interviewed personally by those who represented the accusations made against RMT; their own member the RCA was investigating. It was a disappointment for some women; to be called by the investigators to talk via phone; Tendler however was called to be personally interviewed and was given a more favorable opportunity to present his side. Actually not fair to the women and still the investigators found him guilty. Women and those who were outspoken about his Rabbinical sexual misconduct were harassed. What fairness is this? The RCA even assisted in this and RMT threatened witnesses. Only Luke Ford post one of the letters sent in the summer of 2003 which threaten a number of people the Tendlers feared would be outspoken. Women were followed, threatened and much more, and the JP claims he’s the victim? What next? It’s the Women fault? JP and his supporters have no integrity. The JP just went for a sort of legal argument that really isn't one as it wouldn't hold in court as clearly he had a fair trial. What are you going to do when Hashem lets it be revealed to you all the truth of his sexual abuse? If still then on his side with all those who participated in attempting to destroy innocent women and their families and supporters, you’ll remain next to him in a bad place. What a whitewash of the truth and its events.
"The violation of the women he sexually abused is not addressed!"It is not adressed by his supporters because there are no women that he sexually abused. It is simply not true. Not proven. No evidence. Don't you get it? We support RMT because he is innocent, so why should we address any "violation" (read: rebuttal) of any women who are falsely accusing him? The exposure of the mental instability (and past history of similar behavior and actions) of his accusers is integral to the proof of his innocence, as much as you want to call it attacking the "victims". Sorry. What is being disputed is whether they are victims in the first place. Please do not make that statement as fact.Also, as a side point, where does the JP editorial say it called RMT on the phone? i understood from the text that they really interviewed him
I hear rumors that New Hempstead News is Brad R.? Can anyone confirm?
all those who believe in the truth should cancel their subscriptions to the jEWISH MESS!
can i keep my subscription to the Forward and the Jewish Week?
"What are you going to do when Hashem lets it be revealed to you all the truth of his sexual abuse? If still then on his side with all those who participated in attempting to destroy innocent women and their families and supporters, you’ll remain next to him in a bad place."I'm not waiting for Hashem to reveal it nor for a bat kol. I'm looking for hard, cold evidence presented in an honest way that meets halachic standards and due process. So far, I have seen none of that even though those making the allegations claim it exists. If it does, why was it not brought forward to the investigator hired by the RCA? Due process requires the accused to be able to defend him/herself. Why do those making the allegations refuse to permit MT to defend himself? Because all they are concerned with is sliming him. They know they have no evidence to "get" him in court or beit din (not even with the investigator who only recommended a 3 month suspension). All they have is to throw mud and slime him and try to turn people against him in the public eye. Karl Marx said, "The masses are a--es." If you fall for this slime campaign, you'll prove him right. Demand the evidence from the accusers or demand they shut up. Very simple.
Here's a loud AMEN to that!
Visit "JewishIdea.blogspot.com" for an editorial on the Tendler fiasco.
Jewish Cult Behavior. Visit "JewishIdea.blogspot.com" for insight
Good info on Cultic Relationships and Extreme Manipulation:"About the People Who Get Involved: Aren't the people who get into cults all wackos? No...Although that would be comforting (because it would mean that you aren't personally vulnerable), it is not the case. The truth is, given the right circumstances, anyone is a potential victim. How about battered women? Aren't they just weak or masochistic? No. It isn't a matter of weakness; it is a matter of being human. Simply being human makes you vulnerable. They stay, not because they want to be beaten, but because they don't realize they have been manipulated into believing that they deserve to be beaten. Not many people are really effected, though, are they? Nothing could be further from the truth. If you put the statistics together, more than a quarter of the US population --- 1 out of 4 people --- will be directly effected by an extreme manipulator. Which is to say, since the statistics don't catch a lot of the subtler cases, the problem is actually much more prevalent than that. In addition, explosive actions can effect many more than that. Say, the events of 9-11-2001 or World War II for example. How Does It All Happen: Come on...no one could manipulate me like that. Um, sorry, but yes they could. Given the right circumstances, you will comply to even just everyday forms of manipulation. For example, when you do what you're asked just to, even though you don not want to, get out of an aversive or uncomfortable situation such as being nagged. Under the pressures and subtle maneuvering of a manipulator, you will not even realize what is going on. Isn't this brainwashing? Brainwashing is a very poor term. Other, better terms have been used, such as mind control or coercive persuasion, but the truth is that this is merely an extreme and destructive outgrowth of the same kind of manipulation we see everyday between people. I call it ultra-authority because it takes the normal aspects of authority to destructive extremes. This is also why it isn't spotted at its earliest stages...It looks so much like other, normal and benign aspects of life. What makes this possible? Cults and battering relationships and totalitarian dictators? Three main factors all working together. Your vulnerabilities, the tactics the manipulator uses, and time for the relationship to develop. These are the basis for my Integrated Model of Ultra-Authority. Why does someone manipulate others like this? Basically people begin to, and continue to, manipulate others out of two personality flaws. The first flaw is the habitual use of power over others to bolster and/or maintain a grandiose or inflated self-image. These people are often very insecure if they are forced to face a position without such power, and may act out in desperation. The second flaw is that of cruelty; there are those people who simply enjoy harming others. People who have both flaws...who are both cruel and who rely on self-image to bolster their ego (as opposed to a true, objective self-evaluation) are very much likely to manipulate others. Can a manipulator change? Certainly someone who has an honest desire to change, coupled with the fortitude to do the hard (and I do mean hard) work, can significantly change their attitudes and behavior patterns. This is especially true of those who have been victimized by manipulation themselves, and have learned to manipulate in order to maintain a sense of control and/or self-worth. Generally speaking, however, most of those people who are extreme manipulators will not be willing to do the necessary introspections and work. The reason they manipulate in the first place is often in order to create a shield so that they do not have to deal with aspects of themselves they do not wish to acknowledge. About the Book: What is People Who Play God about? It's about how regular people can be caught up in highly manipulative relationships and groups, and more. The book also talks about how someone becomes an extreme manipulator, recovery from these experiences, and prevention and protection against extreme forms of manipulation. Why did you write it? Having been there myself, I found that there was a lack of a good, complete explanation of what happened to me available. So I researched and wrote.:-) If you'd like to find out more about this, go to the "About Beth" page. http://bethepeterson.com/uafaq.html
RE: copy of a clear and right on Post,thursday 4-7-2005 At 10:36AM, Anonymous said... To anonymous who posted at 9:43 and said "No proof of anything to date, no DNA, etc. etc. etc."I ask: If your daughter or wife was asked to lift up her skirt by the MT, would you post her name on the internet???Or would discreetly go to Rabbonim?
For an analysis of Jewish cult behavior, visit JewishIdea.blogspot.com
Anonymous said... "It is not addressed by his supporters because there are no women that he sexually abused."Unfortunately, there are two many for to long."Not proven. No evidence."Many witnesses have heard victims’ testimonies. Women have painstakingly, courageously and risked being shamed came forward and told their friends, sometimes family, health professionals, supportive organizations, Rabbonim, community members,over the course of years. There are also witnesses who can back-up inappropriate things done and said by RMT; in which back-up these testimonies.The “evidence” is the testimonies of this horrible crime by a Rabbi and victimization of many many women. Unquestionably believable by those who heard directly and who can vouch for their character and experience. There are enough testimonies, all having detail, all over a course of time, different time frames, different women. Sexual abuse by an adult to an adult faces a difficult situation in the legal system and when it comes to protecting victims. It entails shame. It is not obviously child abuse where the child being manipulated is completely violated and has no power or recourse. In both more likely there are no witnesses to the act itself. Sexual abuse by an adult with an adult is not either the same kind of crime where you have evidence like stolen goods or drugs, etc. It’s not obviously a natural catastrophe where you see the damage or a war. Testimonies are mostly what you have. And that is good enough so said the RCA, so said the Torah when more then 2. So said many who heard first hand now supporting the women.Your shul members had many opportunities to speak to the women but didn’t. You protest this process of the RCA deciding RMT was guilty wasn’t done through a beit Din, which is the only acceptable process of making a truthful Judgment. That assertion could be challenged as we know in cases of Agunas’ and others there is plenty of corruption through the beit Din system. But if you want it so much and an agreeable non-corrupt one would be formed, righteous people as Judges; why aren’t you doing that. You didn’t organize a beit Din all these years to look into the women who were accusing RMT and being damaged at your shul, and you are not now.“We support RMT because he is innocent, so why should we address any "violation" (read: rebuttal) of any women who are falsely accusing him? The exposure of the mental instability (and past history of similar behavior and actions) of his accusers is integral to the proof of his innocence, as much as you want to call it attacking the "victims". Sorry.”You should be sorry. I hope you are when Yom Kippur comes. Any women making accusations against your “Rav” would seem crazy to you. It doesn’t matter who the women are or how together, how important in the world or to their beloved, because you so believe he is absolutely incredibly exonerated and good; that he is a savior, has the only mesorah. Old means used mostly by men to call women crazy and mentally instable. They are not. Damaged from a Rabbi and a shul, a community that abused them; that they are. I see all supporters as unstable to support an abuser of sexual misconduct, who is a married man, a councilor, a Rabbi who has leadership of a community. You should be sorry that you are not addressing the violations done to these women that are an obligation and Torah responsibility as you claim your Rabbi didn’t get. You should help these innocent women.“What is being disputed is whether they are victims in the first place.”It’s indisputable! Talk to the women, show your support or at least show them compassion.
"It’s indisputable! Talk to the women, show your support or at least show them compassion."Give us their names so we can contact them. To date, virtually all of this has stayed very hidden. There are rumors who some of the women are but as far as I know only Batya Siegel has permitted her name to be published.
""But if you want it so much and an agreeable non-corrupt one would be formed, righteous people as Judges; why aren’t you doing that. You didn’t organize a beit Din all these years to look into the women who were accusing RMT and being damaged at your shul, and you are not now.""What an idiotic statement. The supporters should form a beis din? Why? We don't believe the women. If the women wan't to accuse rabbi tendler, take him to beis din. If you accuse me of doing something that i deny, YOU take ME to beis din. You can't just go and say that i am guilty and that if i wan't a beis din then i should go to beis din. You are obviously completely unaware of how the Halachic Judicial Process works. Your response to:“What is being disputed is whether they are victims in the first place.”It’s indisputable! Talk to the women, show your support or at least show them compassion.""is absolutely inane. I should talk to the women, and THAT is the proof that they are victims? Again, i repeat the statement: What is being disputed is whether they are victims in the first place. So please, don't call them victims until it is PROVEN by HALACHA that they have been victimized. At MOST they are "alleged victims". If you are not Orthodox and/or don't follow halacha, and insist on calling rabbi tendler guilty and the women "victims" then maybe you should start a new blog called "reform-reconstructionist-conservative-secular whistle blower" and post your statements on there. But your statements, unfortunately, are not correct according to jewish law.
the rca will soon be destroyed by their error (mida kneged mida). have you seen the summons from the rabbanut beis din in jerusalem demanding by name that all the leaders of the rca (billet, schwartz e.t.c.) come so that a proper trial can be conducted (as opposed to a witch hunt). Note: the rabbanut beis din is real. the dataynim are experts in choshen mishpat (contrary to some other batei dinim). also, the rca could probably dismiss any other beis din in the world and not show up, but this one they cannot refuse or they will lose all credibility. stage 1 will decide whether the rca acted properly (i predict they will have to allow rav tendler back in and compensate him for any lose) and stage 2 will be when rav tendler will prove his innocence. surely, if the anonymous women refuse to confront the beis din, the entire case will be dismissed. but in truth, i hope that they do come so that rav tendlers innocence will be clear to all - even to jwb.
This Bais Din thing is a red herring. It has been used to fool the Tendler supporters. Just tell them that since there was no Bais Din, there is nothing to worry about and you don't need to believe any part of the ten women that claim to have sexually abused. What a crock! There is no such standard that requires a Bais Din whenever someone has a claim against another. The existence or non existence of a Bais Din is not the sole factor in deciding whether to believe something or not. If I have ten women who all come forward and say that one person has sexually abused them, I've got something to think about!
are you a torah observing jew? (please do not answer, i know the answer - you observe when and what you want to)
To Anonymous who posted at 12:22, not only are you very naive your are a big "AM Haarartz"!The RCA doesn't have to tell anybody how they came to their couragous Act of expelling this dangerous animal from their midst!Tendler when he joined the RCA had already agreed that he will abide by all the RCA rules!All you Baalei Tesuvah stop wrecking Klall Yisroel, take your Pervert Rabbi and get out of our community!!In any other Frum Shul, A Rabbi that has a rumor about him lasts about 3 hours!
I don't think it is fair to blame this on Baalei Tshuva. It is not Baalie Tshuva who are the problem. Yes, some new BT's are naive and can be fooled. But Klal Yisroel has lots of good BT's who have common sense and many who have spent many years learning and are now Talmedie Chochomim. Anyone can be prey to a manipulator, not just BT's though I agree a new BT might be easier to fool. But MT has some followers who are not BT...so don't blame the BT's for this.
For a good analysis of this situation, go to "JewishIdea.blogspot.com".
“If the women wan't to accuse rabbi tendler, take him to beis din”The women who wanted justice, who didn’t want to see other women get abused any longer and were also able to come forward to set the record straight to what Rabbi Tendler did that was sexually inappropriate did go to the RCA and “take him”. The authority of 1000 members of Rabbis whom allowed for their claims to be heard and investigated it fairly, determined he is quilty. The women had gone to other Rabbonium for many years in which they did not do anything. They did not set up a beit din. They certainly didn’t investigate beyond asking RMT if it’s true; he responded, the women are evil and crazy and they believed him. RMT caused a witch hunt against the women. Women reported him to the RCA who at least made a minimal statement and expelled a sex predator from their organization. RMT is the Head of the Beit Din in Monsey and connected through Family and comrades in all the other Beit Dins. He is also friends of the rabbanut beis din in Jerusalem; claims made here are demanding by name that all the leaders of the rca … to be summons that a proper trial can be conducted….The victims wouldn’t have a chance, it’s corrupted. Neither truth nor does justice halachaly does the Torah proclaim is determined by a beit din. Certainly not corrupt bias pro-Tendler beit dins. The Torah and Hamelechic King David does claim however that you have to stand up for and seek truth and justice. It is you who fall for this whitewashing of his misconduct into theoretical procedures and brainwashing ideas from RMT of what the Torah teaches. Women don’t have to “take him to a beit din because they are accusing him”; it is you who are demanding that he wasn’t allowed one, not the women. The women “took him” to where justice had a possibility in the Jewish system. No need for a beit din as there isn’t an honest one anyway.“don't call them victims until it is PROVEN by HALACHA that they have been victimized. At MOST they are "alleged victims".I am not a newspaper reporter, law or medical professional, nor an outsider; so I don’t have to use the word “alleged”. I swear to Hashem, for a fact under the duty of Rabbi, Mordecai Tendler abused his position and committed sexual perversions with women members and those who came to him for assistance.
Ok, here we go. I figured this would happen. First everyone says that no beis din is needed for the RCA to find him guilty. Then people say that the women should take him to a beis din. Then people say that RMT and KNH should have formed a beis din years ago (bizarre). Then people say RMT will NEVER take the RCA to a beis din. And now, when a letter of Hazmana has been sent to the RCA by the Rabbanut Harashi of Jerusalem Beis Din (i believe that is the Chief Rabbinate of Israel's Beis Din) which is probably one of the few battei dinim in the world with enough public image/authority to call the RCA to a din torah, the bloggers are now going to defame and negate the Rabbanut Yerushalayim's beis din. Kind of like what JWB has been doing, every time a rabbi comes out FOR rabbi tendler. He finds some way to ignore and belittle the rabbi, no matter who he is. Thus far, Rav Dovid Feinstein, Rav Reuven Feinstein, Rav Feurst, Rav Eisenstein. How many rabbis individually have come out AGAINST rabbi tendler? can anyone tell me?"have you seen the summons from the rabbanut beis din in jerusalem demanding by name that all the leaders of the rca (billet, schwartz e.t.c.) come so that a proper trial can be conducted (as opposed to a witch hunt). Note: the rabbanut beis din is real. the dataynim are experts in choshen mishpat (contrary to some other batei dinim). also, the rca could probably dismiss any other beis din in the world and not show up, but this one they cannot refuse or they will lose all credibility."
actually, the psak from the Beis Din of the Rabbanut of Yerushalayim is different from a hazmana, as it explicitly orders the handful of RCA rabbis involved in issuing the public statement about rabbi tendler to appear with rabbi tendler in front of a beis din to resolve this issue. That way, the truth can be decided according to halacha. Let's see what happens. I sincerely hope that no one on these blogs think that they have any influence or input into this matter, but since people have been posting some pretty dramatic statements, some people might be under the delusion that their posts make a difference.
What issue is the Jerusalem Beis Din supposed to resolve? Does anyone know?
RCA to start selling town status to community By Lise Hausrath Simmons 04/06/2005The Reston Citizens Association (RCA) is forging ahead with its project to make a compelling case for Reston becoming an incorporated town. At its board of directors meeting March 28, RCA leaders exchanged information they have pulled together in groups to try to convince different “stakeholders” in Reston that they would benefit from changing Reston's governance. They also talked about how they would go about spreading their findings and recommendations to the community.One method they will use is RCA's new Web site. The site was created by Sue Merk, who just signed on as an at-large director, filling one of the vacancies on the RCA board.Merk is a paralegal for MCI and has put together a number of Web sites for community organizations, including the Alliance of Reston Clusters and Homeowners.The RCA board has targeted several groups in Reston that it hopes to educate about why Reston might benefit from becoming a town. They include renters, homeowners, businesses and people in different age groups. Not surprisingly, many of the arguments aimed at individual groups cut across all these lines.For example, RCA directors said everyone in Reston would benefit from a “one-stop shop” form of governance, with a mayor and town council at the helm. This would be a place where people could easily go with questions and complaints or problems that need to be solved, they pointed out.Reston is an unincorporated community overseen by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (D) and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.A large homeowners' association, the Reston Association, meanwhile, offers parks and recreational services to residents and maintains Reston's open spaces. The Reston Community Center, another entity, offers arts programs to the community, as well as aquatics programs at its indoor pool at Hunters Woods.Reston Town Center residents and businesses do not belong to the RA, yet they use many of Reston's amenities, which is an issue of concern to the RA.Mark Terry, an at-large RCA director, called the existing governance structure in Reston “somewhere between confusing and byzantine” because of all the different alphabet-soup organizations involved.He also noted that some Reston apartment complexes do not belong to the RA, so their renters often do not feel tapped into that part of the community.Arguments for becoming a townJan Bradshaw, who represents Hunters Woods on the RCA board, made a number of compelling arguments about how homeowners would benefit from Reston becoming a town.Assessments paid to the RA would become tax-deductible, she said, and Reston would have some power to improve road maintenance in the area.A town of Reston might also offer better trash-, leaf- and snow-removal services to residents, she said, and there would be “one elected official” to speak on Reston's behalf.This would be important when it comes to issues such as transportation, traffic and the planned expansion of Metrorail to Dulles International Airport, Bradshaw and other directors said.Reston would have more “political clout” as a town, she said, and its elected officials “would be answerable to the town population.”A town of Reston could also apply for grants, and new services could be provided to the community, she said.Debra Steppel, an at-large director, agreed, noting that the economies of scale that a town of Reston would bring, by cutting overlaps between the RA and the RCC, would enable Reston to offer more programs and services to the community.She also said Reston could join the international sister-city program if it were a town. Teens, in particular, could benefit from that, said RCA President Mike Corrigan, because they could correspond with or visit teenagers from other parts of the country or world.Bob Haley, who represents the South Lakes area, talked about how businesses could benefit if Reston became a town.“Transportation improvements” would no doubt help them, he said. In addition, there would be better coordination on issues that affect businesses, he said.Planning and zoning decisions would fall within Reston's purview, he said. Currently, RA's P&Z Committee serves only in an advisory capacity, with the county having a final say on planned development projects.It would also be easier for Reston to control the revitalization of its village centers if needed, Haley said, which would benefit the businesses there.And it would be easier for businesses to know how to go about using common areas or common property for events, since they would have to go to only one place for information, he said.In addition, Haley said, a town of Reston could have more control over providing affordable housing, the dearth of which has reached a crisis point in the county.These are just some of the issues Haley raised. Both he and Corrigan conceded that taxes would probably go up for area businesses if Reston became a town. This is an issue the RCA would need to talk to the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce about, Corrigan said.He also projected that, for residents, their taxes would go down if Reston were to become a town.Marion Stillson, an at-large director and RCA's vice president, summed up the point of the group's project when she said everyone in Reston would benefit if Reston became a town.It “would make [Reston founder] Bob Simon's goals official at last,” Stillson remarked. Simon's goals would also be applied to everyone in Reston, she said, including people and businesses in Reston's urban core.RCA officials hope to distribute their arguments widely, by putting out informational fliers and brochures at places such as the RA, the two community centers in Reston, individual clusters, schools, retail establishments and businesses. ©Times Community Newspapers 2005
RECOVERED MEMORY THERAPY (RMT)LINKS TO RMT WEBSITESStarting in the 1980's, a series of horrendous criminal cases were pursued against adults in daycare centers, Sunday schools, etc There were also thousands of cases in which adults initiated lawsuits against their own parents for extreme sexual abuse during the plaintiff's childhood. Much of the evidence in these cases was based on suggestive interview and therapy techniques of children and adults, often called Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT). Most therapists now believe that many, if not most, of the abuse events never happened. False memories were created by adults during recovered memory therapy. Non-existent stories of sexual abuse were implanted in the minds of young children. The legacy of these events are broken families of origin, impoverished older couples, and children with profoundly destructive memories of events that never happened. Listed below are links to web sites dealing with RMT.List of RMT web sites: RMT skeptical web sites: "16 reasons why I do not believe in recovered memory" is a anti-RMT web site written from a Christian perspective at: http://www.angelfire.com/tx/recoveredmemories/ John Hochman, "Recovered Memory Therapy and False Memory Syndrome," Skeptic magazine, at: http://www.skeptic.com/02.3.hochman-fms.html "Memory and Reality," False Memory Syndrome Foundation, at: http://www.fmsfonline.org/ Robyn M. Dawes, "Why Believe That for Which There Is No Good Evidence?," at: http://www.fmsfonline.org/dawes.html RMT believers web sites: The Ottawa [ON] Recovered Memory Page promotes the accuracy of repressed/recovered memory therapy. See: http://www.carleton.ca/~whovdest/ormp.html S.M.A.R.T. Ritual Abuse Newsletter, at: http://members.aol.com/smartnews/index2.html The Recovered Memory Project lists 80 corroborated cases of recovered memory at: http://www.brown.edu/ Survivors of Spiritual Abuse, at: http://www.sosa.org/ Websites by RMT retractors: Laura Pasley is a recovered memory retractor. See: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/3171/ or www.geocities.com/retractor Deb David www.geocities.com/therapyletters Information sites: The "Memory Debate Archives," at: http://www.tmdArchives.org The Recovered Memory Bookstore is at: http://www.angelfire.com/de/jehudi/amazon.html "Ritual Abuse Resources," The Awareness Center, at: http://www.TheAwarenessCenter.org Advocacy groups: The Men's Defense Association is a non-profit group which acts as an advocate for men and fathers in divorce and custody disputes. See: http://www.mensdefense.org/ The "Abuse-Excuse" home page at: http://www.abuse-excuse has a referrals and resources list for the falsely accused. "The Paid Pipers of Humbug," Parents Against Cruel Therapy (PACT) at: http://www.angryparents.net "Stop Bad Therapy" is a impressive and forceful expose of the RMT movement and its spin-offs: Satanic Ritual Abuse, family and personal destruction, the hazards of reading "the Courage to Heal," etc. See: http://www.stopbadtherapy.com/ This web site contains phone numbers of professional regulatory boards in all 50 states. Discussion groups: The Witchhnt mailing list is devoted to the discussion of the reliability of recovered memories and related topics. See: http://www.paganlibrary.com/ The "Recovered Memory a Pandoras Box?" discussion group is at: http://www.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?user=jehu False Memory Syndrome groups: "Fausse Mémorie et faux Souvenirs," a French language website at: www.francefms.com Illinois-Wisconsin FMS Society at: www.IllinoisFMS.org Ohio Association of Responsible Mental Health Practices, at: www.ltech.net/OHIOarmhp Australian False Memory Association Inc. at: www.afma.asn.au The British False Memory Society at: www.bfms.org.uk New Zealand FMS Group, at: www.geocities.com/newcosanz/ Werkgroep Fictieve Herinneringen is a Netherlands FMS website written in Dutch. See: www.werkgroepwfh.nl Legal websites: Find Law, at: www.findlaw.com Legal Engine.com, at: www.legalengine.com "Accused" at: www.accused.com
If the evidence was so convincing why is it that no one person has provided the silver bullet as of yet.There is so much talk but no action.Where is due process in the scheme of things.Does not due process require that the defendant must confront the accuser in person.Why are the so called accusers afraid to come out of the wood work and confront MT in a bais din.Why do MT's accursers hide from confronting him. Everyone in Monsey knows who they are.Everyone in Monsey knows that nothing has been transgressed against these accusers.These comments, and these people especially NHN have a vendeta against MT.Since they have not been able to knock him down, now they go after his community.Tell me, if anyone is objective out there. Read the hate read the slander. Does any of this make any sense?The New Hempstead community knows who these people are....and they will get there's too, in kind measure.To those that accuse, slander and insight lies and hatred. Prove it if you got it.Stop insulting people because of your impotent agruments.Or this light shall shine on you and all that is yours. The same light you shine on others.Remember, an Abrams tank can take on a Bradley fighting vehicle any day
The manipulation of the Beis Din in Yerushalayim is just another example of the ability of MT and his supporters to create the illusion of rabbinical support for him. A toen (lawyer for the rabbinical courts) went to the rabbinical cout in Yerushalayim with the claim that the RCA is threatening MT's position as rabbi in New Heampstead. He brought as proof that MT has been maligned, a letter sent by MT'S lawyer to the RCA attacking the credibility of the women and their accusations. The Beis Din made no attempt to contact either the RCA or any of the accusers because they are not judging the accuracy of the complaints against MT. Under the impression that the RCA leadership has contacted the shule and has told them that MT has to fired a rabbi, which is not true, they made a preliminary ruling that to threaten someone's ability to keep a job requires a din torah.Consistently rabbinical support for Mordechai Tendler turns out to consist of reactions to complaints by MT or his supporters that he was judged by improper procedures and not any statement of innocence nor any attempt to investigate any of the allegations against him.
It appears then that Tendler has manipulated the Bais Din into believing that the RCA tried to get MT kicked out of his shtella. Of course, they issued an ikul to prevent such a thing. It looks like a cynical manipulation of the bais din. Now, let's suppose that Tendler wins on this phony issue. He will then claim that he has "won" in a beis din and unfortunately his naive BT followers may go for it. Then again, some of them would jump off the GW Bridge if he told them to.
Why is Mordechai Tendler still on the board of directors of Rockland Jewish Family Services? Why is he still allowed to be anyone's halachic advisory?http://www.jewishfamilyservice.net/staff_board_directors.asp
"At 6:55 PM, Anonymous said... The manipulation of the Beis Din in Yerushalayim is just another example of the ability of MT and his supporters to create the illusion of rabbinical support for him. A toen (lawyer for the rabbinical courts) went to the rabbinical cout in Yerushalayim with the claim that the RCA is threatening MT's position as rabbi in New Heampstead. He brought as proof that MT has been maligned, a letter sent by MT'S lawyer to the RCA attacking the credibility of the women and their accusations. The Beis Din made no attempt to contact either the RCA or any of the accusers because they are not judging the accuracy of the complaints against MT. Under the impression that the RCA leadership has contacted the shule and has told them that MT has to fired a rabbi, which is not true, they made a preliminary ruling that to threaten someone's ability to keep a job requires a din torah.Consistently rabbinical support for Mordechai Tendler turns out to consist of reactions to complaints by MT or his supporters that he was judged by improper procedures and not any statement of innocence nor any attempt to investigate any of the allegations against him.At 7:27 PM, Anonymous said... It appears then that Tendler has manipulated the Bais Din into believing that the RCA tried to get MT kicked out of his shtella. Of course, they issued an ikul to prevent such a thing. It looks like a cynical manipulation of the bais din. Now, let's suppose that Tendler wins on this phony issue. He will then claim that he has "won" in a beis din and unfortunately his naive BT followers may go for it. Then again, some of them would jump off the GW Bridge if he told them to."This is so lame and pathetic and repetitive, it is just palin old annoying already. Instead of assuming or, worse, making things up, read what the bais din said. The only claim made was that MT lost a teaching job, no comment at all about a pulpit. The bais din repeated what Rav Dovid, Rav Reuven, Rav Eisenstein, etc. has said, i.e. you need a bais din and halachic process to determine guilt and innocence, exactly what was missing with the RCA approach. Why would anybody oppose this? Find a respectable, accepted bais din and put this issue to rest, one way or the other. Unfortunately, the RCA dropped the ball here.
Again false. The RCA has a procedure to deal with complaints about a member. The Vaad Hakovod has existed for decades and never was a formal Beis Din. Mordechai Tendler was told about that there were allegations against him and he agreed to an investigation. He was interviewed by a non-Jewish investigator. Clearly this was not done by a Beis Din. After he was expelled he demanded a Beis Din. There is no way a Beis Din can investigate accusations of sexual abuse which are not done in front of witnesses.Mordechai Tendler resigned from his part time teaching position. The statement from the Beis Din in Yerushalayim does not mention a "a teaching position". The only employment that he presently has is the position of rabbi in New Heampstead. The RCA is enjoined with interfering with his position without agreeing to the decision of a Beis Din. Let anyone one who wants to interpret what misrah the Beis din are refering to.Again not a single rabbinical supporter has made any investigation nor has said anything about the allegations. The dispute is whether a rabbinical organization has the right to set up its own procedures for investigating complaints about a member to determine whether he can remain a member in good standing.
and the beis din of yeushalaim decided that for an organization that considers itself halachik and has at least the authority to destroy someones reputation, only a beis din can decide the appropriate course of action. actually the rca has no choice now. if they refuse the pesak of the beis din in yerushalaim, their organization will collapse. now they will be forced to go to a beis din outside of the holy rabbonim of the rca bec. any member of the rca cannot be impartial when deciding on the rca.r' billet,r' schwartz and r' willig would have been viable options for dayanim originally, but not anymore (unless they use the zablah process). one way or the other, the truth will soon be known and the rca will soon be apologizing publicly (and hopefuly be forced to financially compensate rav mordechai for defaming him).
The person who posted at 9:35 PM makes the most sense, by far. In fact, he is the only one who makes any sense. Thanks for explaining it clearly, 9:35!
Now you attempt to defame the Rabbanut in Jerusalem from your suburban homes in Galut (golus)? The Bet Din in Israel, for better or for worse, is part of the Ministry of Justice and follows clear guidelines of Rule of Law and Procedure --in sharp contrast to the American Bet Din experience of every 3 rabbis forming their own Bet Din, and every large interest group (such as the RCA) maintaining its own Bet Din home court, effectively denying all right of due process.This does not mean that the Bet Din Rabbani cannot be manipulated into making very specific rulings on very confined legal questions that are then misinterprested overseas -- indeed, the RCA in particular has made a career of pressuring fathers engaged in rightful civil divorce proceedings (involving other Batei Din) by acquiring the indentical ruling "that the partty must come before Bet Din" and then intimating in the USA that the only Bet Din acceptable is the RCA. The Bet Din in Israel has even issued orders at the instigation of RCA Rabbis (and the Tendlers) as benignly worded as ordering a father "to give a Get in a Bet Din", whihc was then used to intimate that he wasn't pursuing that path already elsewhere than the RCA Bet Din. The Tendlers, as well, regularly used this tactic and misrepresenting fact before an ignorant American orthodox population ignorant of the process and rulings that come out of the Rabbanut. That either party should now find itself before the Jerusalem Bet Din is the sweetest of irony.The silver lining in all this is the recognition that the Galut (golus if you are American) community cannot maintain an effective Bet Din process. Do not, however, attempt to besmirch the name of the Rabbanut by intimating that they want either the RCA,the Tendlers, or the Monsey community on their hands.Fair turn is certainly fair play.
I have no idea what 11:17 is trying to say. Can anyone explain it?
yeah, he is trying to say that YOU will never understand.
To the 11:17 poster:Aw, c'mon now! Why didn't you sign your name G? Are you afraid to? Are you having an identity crisis? At least write "Anonymous from B.S.", which would indicate exactly where you are writing from, both geographically and figuratively.
TO ALL THOSE WHO THINK TENDLER IS INNOCENT...ENCOURAGE HIM TO SUE THE RCA, THE VICTIMS AND THEIR ADVOCATES...THEN ALL THE EVIDENCE, AND PROOF THAT WOULD CONFIRM HIS GUILT 100% WOULD COME OUT IN COURT. AT LEAST ASK HIM TO RELEASE THE GAG ORDER RESULTING IN A LARGE SETTLEMENT TO BE PAID TO ONE OF THE VICTIMS. IT IS TERRIBLY UNFORTUNATE THAT IT HAS TO COME TO THIS.
" TO ALL THOSE WHO THINK TENDLER IS INNOCENT...ENCOURAGE HIM TO SUE THE RCA"it looks like he already is suing the RCA, in beis din, where it belongs.
JWB, do you know if anything new is happening with the investigation of his brother in LA.
The Israel Fathers Family Rights Advocates Council, an Israel civil rights group campaigning to establish equal parenting status for both parents in child custody proceedings, is organizing a protest demonstration at the Kfar Sava Family Courthouse for Sunday at noon.The Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy Council (IFRAC) is an evolutionary, dynamic international movement with specific objectives and targets needed to achieve for the critical needs of children and their families. The child's best interest principle addresses that the child's best interest was most served by children maintaining a loving, meaningful relationship with both parents."It is child abuse on a national level not to allow a child to see his father for no rational reason other than gender bias"- Gary Pickholz, Israel Fathers Children Rights Advocacy Council"It is child abuse on a national level not to allow a child to see his father for no rational reason other than gender bias," said Gary Pickholz, member of the executive committee of the Israel Fathers Children Family Advocacy Council." Hundreds of Israel children a day are torn away from loving caring dads, let alone the social implications, unwanted teenage pregnancies, teenage crime, drug abuse, the list is endless, is it no wonder we have so many problems within Israel schools? All this and more are major contributing negative factors to the great many problems we have in Israel society. The governments, local welfare departments and family courts incompetence and lack of interest to put this right is devastating to our children."Ra'anana and Kfar Sava are suburban cities north of Tel Aviv which suffer the highest divorce rate in Israel. The Mayor of Ra'anana, Israel was contacted for comment regarding what role he has personally taken regarding his welfare's department (revacha) abiding by the Tender Years Doctrine. Mayor Zeev Bielski has refused all comment.Pickholtz added: "Is it in the child's best interests to deny them the love of their parents? Is it in the child's best interests that their parents are forced onto benefits or effectively asset stripped fighting protracted legal battles when they have no hope of seeing their children because Judges in Israel refuse to enforce their own orders? Often the very people who proclaim to be acting in the child's best interest are those who profit the most. Money (often savings, salaries, equity in property) for your children quickly becomes an income stream for advocates, judges, and a grotesque gravy train of other 'experts'. Outcomes for children have never been worse."Present Israel law, which has been influenced by Jewish law, states that unless the mother is violent, a drug abuser or extremely negligent, custody is automatically awarded to the mother up to the age of six."This is what was referred to as the "Tender Years Doctrine," says Pickholtz. "This doctrine was outlawed in most Western countries due to its blatant civil rights discrimination based on the gender of the parent and not the best interest of the parent. Today, the world's largest and most respected body of child psychologists working within the American Psychological Association have stated that children from divorced families who either live with both parents at different times or spend certain amounts of time with each parent are better adjusted in most cases than children who live and interact with just one parent. This is based on new research on custody arrangements and children's adjustment," says Pickholtz.Children in joint custody arrangements had less behavior and emotional problems, had higher self-esteem, better family relations and school performance than children in sole custody arrangements.And these children were as well-adjusted as intact family children on the same measures, states the American Psychological Association, "probably because joint custody provides the child with an opportunity to have ongoing contact with both parents."These findings indicate to every Knesset member, every mayor in Israel, every social worker, child psychologist and family court judge in Israel that children do not actually need to be in a joint physical custody to show better adjustment but just need to spend substantial time with both parents, especially with their fathers, said the APA. Also, joint custody couples reported less conflict, possibly because both parents could participate in their children's lives equally and not spend the time arguing over childcare decisions. Unfortunately a perception exists that joint custody is more harmful because it exposes children to ongoing parental conflict. In fact, the studies in this review found that sole-custody parents reported higher levels of conflict, the APA states."We are watching our children suffer from the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) which is a medical and legal term describing what many children suffer from resulting from a court's reinforcement of the systematic denigration by one parent by the other with the intent of alienating the child against the other parent", said Pickholtz.Pickholtz states that the purpose of the alienation is usually to gain or retain custody without the involvement of the father. The alienation usually extends to the father's family and friends as well. Dr. Richard Gardner in his book 'The Parental Alienation Syndrome' states "Many of these children proudly state that their decision to reject their fathers is their own. They deny any contribution from their mothers. And the mothers often support this vehemently. In fact, the mothers will often state that they want the child to visit with the father and recognize the importance of such involvement, yet such a mother's every act indicates otherwise.Such children appreciate that, by stating the decision is their own, they assuage mothers guilt and protect her from criticism. Such professions of independent thinking are supported by the mother who will often praise these children for being the kind of people who have minds of their own and are forthright and brave enough to express overtly their opinions. Frequently, such mothers will exhort their children to tell them the truth regarding whether or not they really want to see their fathers. The child will usually appreciate that "the truth" is the profession that they hate the father and do not want to see him ever again. They thereby provide that answer - couched as "the truth" - which will protect them from their mother's anger if they were to state what they really wanted to do, which is to see their fathers.It is important for the reader to appreciate that after a period of programming the child may not know what is the truth any more and come to actually believe that the father deserves the vilification being directed against him. The end point of the brainwashing process has then been achieved.Recently, The Israel Ministry of Health and the Israel Ministry of Justice have been taking a hard, serious look at the benefits of joint custody in the Jewish state. Joint custody might very well be the best option for children of separation and divorce, an American family psychology study found.Trekking from Mom's home during the week to Dad's on the weekend may seem like a hassle for some children of divorced parents, but it just might be best for them in the long run, concludes a meta-analysis, published in the March Journal of Family Psychology (Vol. 16, No. 1). The study finds that children from divorced families are better adjusted when they live with both parents at different homes or spend significant time with both parents compared with children who interact with only one parent.Robert Bauserman, PhD, of the Baltimore Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, reviewed 33 studies that examined 1,846 sole-custody and 814 joint-custody children. Both groups of children were compared with a sample of 251 kids in intact families. Bauserman found that children in joint-custody arrangements had fewer behavioral and emotional problems, higher self-esteem and better family relationships and school performance compared with those in sole-custody situations. And he found no significant difference in adjustment among children in shared custody and those living in intact family situations.Joint-custody children probably fare better, according to Bauserman, because they have ongoing contact with both parents. The contact with both parents, he argues, is the key ingredient in kids' adjustment, he said. The findings indicate that children don't necessarily need to be in joint physical custody to show better adjustment, they just need to spend substantial time with both parents. Also, according to the research, couples with joint-custody agreements tend to experience less conflict -- which speaks to the concern that joint custody is harmful to kids because it exposes them to ongoing parental strife. In fact, Bauserman notes, "it was the sole-custody parents who reported higher levels of current conflict."He found that some research shows that joint custody may actually reduce parental conflict over time. Obviously, joint custody isn't always preferable to sole custody. When one parent is abusive or neglectful sole custody could be the best option for the children, Bauserman says.The Israel Association for Father's Rights supports the above study as well as other human rights groups based in Israel. The Israel Association for Father's Rights (IAFR) represents over 80,000 members, a large and professional staff of social workers and family attorneys. The IAFR, which is based in Tel Aviv, works closely with the Israel Ministry of Health, the Israel Ministry of Justice and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. Highly visible protests by both the Israel Fathers Rights Association and Fathers 4 Justice (F4J) are now being planned at family court houses in Israel as of the beginning of March, a spokesman stated.The Israel Association for Father's Rights has been at the legal and ethical forefront fighting against parental abuse by mothers, the legal and callous use of children as pawns in divorce cases, abusive child support (mezonote) decisions, false claims of sexual harassment and the basic human right of full and joint custody for fathers.Another Israel civil rights groups supporting the fathers rights demonstration this Sunday, Horut Shava, (Hebrew for Equal Parenting) states: "We at Horut Shava believes that only through the caring and cooperation of both parents can children survive the difficulties that arise in divorce situations, and live their lives in the best possible way after the divorce.""We support parents in Israel who have the best interests of their children in mind, and who understand the importance of participation by both parents in the children's lives," said Pickholz. "Unfortunately, many custodial parents see no value in the presence of the other parent (often fathers) in their children's lives, and some actively work to sabotage any involvement. This psychological warfare is a form of child abuse that frequently causes serious and permanent harm to children. We actively oppose those who engage in this kind of child-harming behavior."
At 5:15 PM, Gary for President said... "It is child abuse on a national level not to allow a child to see his father for no rational reason other than gender bias"- Gary Pickholz, Israel Fathers Children Rights Advocacy Council
Thank you for those very kind remarks, but we have a superb President. In fact, Katzav's family are members of IFRAC -- His Excellency has two nieces that have had virtually no contact with the paternal family since his brother's divorce -- it even effects the President in Bet HaNasi.JWB, of course, denies such Paternal Alienation occurs; H.E. The President is probably a sexual pervert that brought all of this on, in her worldview.Why don;t IFRAC voters focus on a back bench seat in the Knesset in the next elections, a much more realistic political objective :-)Israel Fathers Rights Advocacy CouncilHaNegev, 4Tel AvivIsraelFRAC@gmail.com
It seems the strategy opf the Tendler camp is to ratchet up the stakes. the rca tried to just say "behavior inappropriate for a rabbi". So they don't have to commit the dna evidence, and they try to avoid the actual accusations. The Tendler strategy is to force the rca into identifying the actual charges so they can pick them apart. they asked for the dna evidence so their labs can analyze it. their labs will no doubt find no match. also, they are trying to force the rca to go to a beis din, which doesn't recognize testimony from women and may not recognize dna. so they end up with a psak din that he is innocent. the rca may try to get out of this hazmanah, but may result in a siruv againt them. at worst, the anti-tendler camp may be forced to publicly release the dna evidence, identifying his accusers and breaking up marriages- a scorched-earth, nuclear option- he'll take them down with him. Or the accusers may retract their accusations rather than go through with their lives publicly ruined- he wins. I wonder what the RCA's countermove is. The one flaw in this approach is that the Tendler camp was forced to admit there is DNA evidence, which in the public opinion court is a smoking gun.
"The one flaw in this approach is that the Tendler camp was forced to admit there is DNA evidence, which in the public opinion court is a smoking gun."I presume that the writer is referring to The Jewish Week article. Assuming the article is accurate (which based on the Week's report on the membership meeting is questionable), that is not what was said. The article reads, "The letter also says that Rabbi Herring and “otherprominent ‘insiders’ have suggested that the RCApossesses DNA evidence that would prove Rabbi Tendlerhad sexual relations with at least one of the womenwho has accused him of pursuing her. The congregation, through Schwartz’s letter, demandsthat the RCA identify and describe the evidence, statewhere it is located and who has reviewed it, how itwas obtained and who analyzed it. It also asks for“the actual samples so my client can have a laboratoryof its own choosing analyze it.” And the congregationasks for an explanation why the purported evidence wasnot included in the report conducted for the RCA by aprivate investigation firm, Praesidium."This is a far cry from "the Tendler camp was forced to admit there is DNA evidence."The entire article follows:Tendler Attorney Wants Proof From RCA Debra Nussbaum CohenA lawyer for the synagogue where Rabbi MordecaiTendler works has written to the Rabbinical Council ofAmerica demanding proof of the wrongdoing for whichthe rabbinic group expelled the spiritual leader. Lastmonth the RCA expelled Rabbi Tendler, a member of arespected rabbinic family, for unspecified “conductinappropriate for a rabbi” and not cooperating withits 15-month investigation into charges that heengaged in sexually inappropriate behavior withseveral congregants who had come to him forcounseling. Attorney Daniel Schwartz in an e-mail letter to RabbiBasil Herring, the RCA’s executive vice president,requested more information about how Rabbi Tendler wasuncooperative and said the charge of inappropriateconduct “is vague.” Schwartz is a member of RabbiTendler’s Rockland County synagogue, Kehillat NewHempstead, and practices matrimonial law in Manhattan.“Simply put, what conduct on Rabbi Tendler’s part didthe RCA find to be inappropriate for an Orthodoxrabbi?” Schwartz asks in the letter. The letter also says that Rabbi Herring and “otherprominent ‘insiders’ have suggested that the RCApossesses DNA evidence that would prove Rabbi Tendlerhad sexual relations with at least one of the womenwho has accused him of pursuing her. The congregation, through Schwartz’s letter, demandsthat the RCA identify and describe the evidence, statewhere it is located and who has reviewed it, how itwas obtained and who analyzed it. It also asks for“the actual samples so my client can have a laboratoryof its own choosing analyze it.” And the congregationasks for an explanation why the purported evidence wasnot included in the report conducted for the RCA by aprivate investigation firm, Praesidium. “Though the synagogue now stands with the rabbi, thatdoesn’t mean the synagogue wouldn’t like a vetting ofall the material,” Schwartz said in an interview. “Theboard just doesn’t understand what took place.” Schwartz said he has not received a response to hisletter from the RCA. Rabbi Herring said he had no comment on the letter.
"It seems the strategy opf the Tendler camp is to ratchet up the stakes. the rca tried to just say "behavior inappropriate for a rabbi"."Anyone who read the RCA statement understands that what the RCA said and publicized DIRECTLY intimated that rabbi tendler was guilty of the accusations made of him. They will now have to prove those allegations and how they determined that they were true and he was guilty. The "DNA evidence" is one big lie that the anti-Tendler camp just keeps repeating and when anyone asks them to prove it, they respond: "it can't be released". If the "DNA evidence" exists, why did the Presidum report, which the RCA relied on heavily, make no mention of it, and in fact reccomend a 3 month suspension from the RCA rather than an expulsion? Wouldn't DNA evidence be a real "smoking gun"? Wouldn't it be real proof? The answer is that the whole rumor of any "DNA evidence" is phony, a lie and a fraud. It is one big lie that will eventually be exposed in either a beis din, or court. The sooner the better. The RCA is going to have a lot of explaining to do."The one flaw in this approach is that the Tendler camp was forced to admit there is DNA evidence, which in the public opinion court is a smoking gun."huh? who made this up? DNA evidence was alleged, and people just want some proof of it. asking for proof is called "being forced to admit" to anything? People keep asking for proof and no one seems to be able to produce it. Interesting, no? The claims of the anti-Tendler camp are going to keep getting wilder and more hysterical and shrill as they realize that a beis din is going to blow the lid off the RCA investigation and force the RCA to back themselves up, or issue a retraction.
the retraction of the RCA will read something like this:"we, the rca, messed up big time. we falsely accused a prominent rabbinic figure of allegations that are now clearly false. we sincerely apologize to rabbi tendler and his family. we hope that our apologies are accepted so that we don't burn in hell for eternity. next time we make a major decision we will try to look at what the halachah has to say and pretend that we are a real beis din, rather than acting on our emotions". looking forward!
a new idiocy was introduced to this discussion at 1:17pm -- contrary to the remark, of course women's testimony is admitted in bet din, particularly in Israeli Bet Din Rabbanut. Have you all gone mad? Will you simply say anything to justify your premeditated positions?
Very Interesting Indeed! Danny Boy Schwartz is demanding the DNA Evidence! In shul he keeps telling any fool that would listen that there is no DNA!Which is it Danny Boy? Running Scared?? Because your game is up?
"Danny Boy Schwartz is demanding the DNA Evidence! In shul he keeps telling any fool that would listen that there is no DNA! Which is it Danny Boy?"Why is it illogical to deny the existence of any "DNA evidence" and also demmand proof of the alleged "DNA evidence" from someone from the RCA who claims to a newspaper that it exists? (Despite the fact that the Presidium report makes no mention of this so called "DNA evidence") This is really grasping at straws here, to try and find something to slam the tendler suporters with. If you claim the DNA evidence exists, prove it. But don't say that any demmands for you to prove the existence of your purported "DNA evidence" are in any way legitimizing your claims to actually have such "DNA evidence". That is really twisted logic.
Well, now I am TOTALLY confused by this list. DNA evidence of what, exactly? Every time I fly to LA, I get off the plane with the DNA of very person in business class on my jacket. Every time I go to minyan, and hang up my coat next to other coats, I have the DNA of every octagenarian on my winter coat.DNA of what, exactly, would we be looking for? That these women were in the same building as RMT while receiving counseling? Are we suggesting DNA exists on undergarments? Do these women have designated lingerie for Rabbinic trysts, never washed or worn with their husbands, never placed in their lingerie drawers but kept separately for years a time?Forgive me, I am a simple married man, but what unique DNA exactly is anyone intimating exists, where is it being suggested to exist today, and how in the world has it been preserved all this time....I can't determine how you would locate my DNA on my own wife's clothing as a suggestion of anything other than we reside in the same house (you are certain to find my teenage son's DNA on every clean T Shirt that he steals from my drawer, as an example) and, of course, WHY would anyone preserve it for so long a period of time? Don;t these women ever do a wash? Have they maintained RMT Shrines in private, sort of like "this is the bra I threw at Elvis in Las vegas back in 1973?"Cutting through the usual hysteria in place of all logic that defines this site, I cannot comrehend the logistics of the implicit accusation involved in whether there is/is not DNA.
to the anonymus of 10.07PMVery well said.This site seems to exsist of only people who want to nail everyone and each of us.Me too, I have strong doubts about this whole DNA evidence. I think it simply doesn't exsist. What I do know that I saw in New Hempstead a number of very unstable woman. Are they maybe part of the ones who clame to have had a relation with Rav Tendler?I personally think that there are many woman having a crush on him, and evryone knows that when woman start having a crush on a man, strange thoughts and hopes appaer in their minds, especially when their feelings aren't answered by the other side.
what took so long for someone to state the obvious and destroy the last shreds of redibility of the anonynous JWB/New Hemsptead News loshon hora machine?No one --absolutely no one -- is suggesting there exist semen specimens of any kind. They are intimating DNA samples as if they represent some smoking gun. I just came back from a herring kiddush minyan this morning, and I have the DNA of at least 20 guys all over me now. I have not slept with ANY of them, with or without consent, promise. What would DNA prove exactly? That they were in the same room once?And why would these women keep unwashed clothing for such long periods of time, as one good Clorox wash ends all DNA samples? What is THAT all about? We are discussing garments from YEARS AGO if one is to believe the hysterics posted by JWB and NewHempsteadNews. How would that occur logistically, exactly?
sorry, I am a married man as well, and I agree entirely with the last few posts. I cannot for the life of me understand what DNA we are talking about, what it could possibly mean in terms of the accusations made against Rabbi Tendler -- and above all, I agree that the simple logisitics implied in keeping this "DNA evidence" seem absolutely impossible.JWB, ignoring your very dubious insistence upon anonymity and the anonymity of these women, owe all of us a detailed explanation of what in the world you believe you are intimating, and the logistics of how this would possibly have occured to produce live DNA samples in April 2005. The entire accusation, when exposed to basic logic, really comes apart immediately.
The Bet Din Rabbanut in Jerusalem sounds like a better idea with every posting...they will get to the bottom of this nonsense immediately, without concern for anyone's interests or politics in America....and they certainly know their way around DNA samples --this is a real court of law that handles criminal and civil cases for the Justice Department of the State of Israel, not a bunch of YU pretenders accountable to no one but popular opinion
Hmmm. The last few posters named "anonymous" sound suspiciously alike. Could they be......the same person??? OK, my curious friends, here's how the DNA works: A woman takes a semen sample from her vagina. It is matched with DNA taken from another sample from a person. They match. What is so hard to undertand? Of course, to really prove things correctly, the person in question should voluntarily provide a DNA sample to match against the semen DNA. Will that happen? Not in a million years. Here is the $64 dollar questions that no one has answered:1. How is it that nearly a dozen women have come forward to complain that they were sexually used/abused by one person in particular?2. Why have these rumors circulated for years?3. If there is no truth to these allegations, why would so many people concoct the same lie?
Who says the Bet Din in Israel will take this case serious? Besides the whole thing happened in New Hempstead not in Yerusalem
Does anyone really think that the Isreali Bet Din is really going to take this case? It would require (1) the litigants to want to use this Beit Din and (2) the ligitants to appear before the Beit Din in Israel I doubt either of this will occur.
Taking the case to a Yerushalayim bais din could be part of the stragegy to have it thrown out. who knows. Check out 'JewishIdea.blogspot.com' for additional discussion of this case. they have some good posts there.
Taking the case to a Yerushalayim bais din could be part of the stragegy to have it thrown out. who knows. No logic in that argument. Since Rabbi Tendler (or his delegate, probably his father) is the one who approach the Beit Din, why would they want it thrown out? That leaves things at a status quo. RCA wins. PQD
what was described on list a few postings ago is NOT a DNA sample, it is a semen sample. No one is suggesting that a semen sample exists, from any of the accusing women. No such semen sample would exist if (a) the woman had sex with another man (most are married) or (b)more than a few days went by. It's life as a sample, in fact, is much shorter than a straight DNA sample, which could sit on your suit jacket/coat for weeks until the next dry cleaning. It certainly would be removed the minute the woman bathed/ Are there actually some 10 married women in Monsey who had sex with RMT in the past few weeks, have not bathed since, and have not slept with anyone else. Yuch!Everyone is discussing a simple DNA sample. Can we try, once again, explaining to us what in the world the lynch mob is talking about, because whoever posted that explanation of a semen sample is the best proof yet that none of you have a clue what you are talking about, save for a maddening desire to lynch somebody, anybody.JWB, what is the deal with you on this matter? You are not disclosing your identity, you are not disclosing the accusing women's indetity. Simply explain what type of samples you are discussing exist, what possible relevance they would have, and how they could logistically exist -- not in one case, mind you, but from MULTIPLE coincidences involving different women. Statistically, you are wayyyyyy out there in terms of probability in never-never land.Sorry to spoil the lynch party, folks, but you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about and are clearly incapable of offering even a simple explanation of a potential scenario.
"At 9:48 AM, KNHmember said... Taking the case to a Yerushalayim bais din could be part of the stragegy to have it thrown out. who knows. No logic in that argument. Since Rabbi Tendler (or his delegate, probably his father) is the one who approach the Beit Din, why would they want it thrown out? That leaves things at a status quo. RCA wins. PQD"Did anybody actually read what the Beit Din said? It said it needed to be taken up by a Beit Din anywhere in the world or by "zablah". Moreover, the hebrew original gives the RCA 14 days to commence the "zablah" presumably starting from April 5th meaning that if they do not, they will be in willful violation of the Beit Din's ruling. I wonder how many rabbanim (and most RCA rabbis have pulpits, I think) tell their congregants that they must abide by Beit Din rulings. How can the member Rabbis belong to an organization that rejects the Jerusalem Beit Din themselves? As weak as the Batei Din have been to date, there is the potential for the entire structure to collapse if the RCA does not comply (or, I would assume, they could appeal).
wait a minute....are you saying that 7 married women in KNH, without coordination or knwoledge of one another at the outset, took vaginal smears and saved them on some sort of home chemistry sets for future evaluation by investigators???!!!!and that's only the ones who took it relating to RMT...exactly what are the women in KNH doing after sex, in this theory??? Do their husbands know?? Are you thinking what I'm thinkging about the accusations once confronted by some basic questions about logistics and credibility?
wait a minute....are you saying that 7 married women in KNH, without coordination or knwoledge of one another at the outset, took vaginal smears and saved them on some sort of home chemistry sets for future evaluation by investigators???!!!!and that's only the ones who took it relating to RMT...exactly what are the women in KNH doing after sex, in this theory??? Do their husbands know?? Are you thinking what I'm thinking about the accusations once confronted by some basic questions about logistics and credibility?
To Anonymous who posted @ 1:07, "7 married women in KNH, without coordination or knwoledge of one another at the outset, took vaginal smears and saved them on some sort of home chemistry sets for future evaluation by investigators???!!!!"No one said there were seven!How it was done is irrelevent!What is important to know is the following: Why dont some of you Kool Aid guyes tear off a hair from your "spiritual leader" in front of two impartial witnesses and we will match his hair sample, with sperm that came from a woman!
actually, New Hempstead News, which is cited here with the authority of the NY Times, did in fact report that as many as 7 women have come forward with "DNA evidence" that is in the hands of an "anonymous Rabbi" who is keeping it quiet to "save their marriages". Ignoring the halachic absurdity of a serious Rav protecting the marriage of a woman who was not raped by any claim, contrary to all halacha, NHN specifically said 7 women have DNA samples.And I agree, this whole DNA business is getting quite dubious with every question. If we grab a hair from the Rav's head, as suggested, what are we matching it against? No one has said if the samples come from an wintercoat or vaginal excretion, nor offer the slightest proof of their origin -- and absolutely NO ONE, even anonymously, wants to defend how in the world these samples have been maintained live and -- I can;t resist, sorry -- virgin scientific samples for proper correlation. I have an adorable little girl still asleep in her bedroom wearing one of my undershirts to bed, sweating and soiling as she does every night at this age. By 3am, as every night, she will come snuggle into bed with me and her mother, and usually lay across my stomach a bit. My DNA will definitively be on her panties tomorrow morning, if some crazed New York State child welfare agent came barging through the door at 6am and "took DNA samples" to acuse me of child molestation. This entire DNA business is complete nonsense and particularly shameful.This is clearly a case of hysterical womens' mouths moving way faster than their brains, but their egos incapable of saying "woops, sorry" after the fact. You publicly lynched the guy on this one, and got caught. No one is asking for identities, there is no excuse not to offer a proper response. What kind of DNA samples is ANYONE suggesting exist, where did they come from and how in all the miracles of science have they been maintained as live, virgin samples to this date? And yes, explain how NHN claims that 7 separate women's samples exist,and why JWBV would repeat such nonsense without question here in at least 3 different postings?
Is Tendler telling you how old the evidence is? Then he’ admitting to it.
Fantasies all you have time for is sick fantasies.
The string of accusations by grown women against various rabbis, that said rabbis have used their position to manipulate them into having sex with them, marks a sad trend in the politics of sexuality, as well as the politics of Jewish egalitarianism. There should be legitimate cases in which women may turn to the law against abusive men of authority. Employers are not permitted to demand sexual favors, or even to use sexual language, under penalty of law. And minors are not even permitted the right to concede to sexual advances. Statutory rape is rape is rape. But when a grown woman depicts a rabbi's religious position as an argument to absolve her of responsibility for having adulterous sex, it infantilizes her, and sets back the cause of women's egalitarian role in religious society. If women are so helpless that an authoritative gaze from a clergyman, or even concerted pressure, even nasty, abusive pressure, can cause them to succumb and have sex with him, we must conclude that it's too soon to permit women to have regular intercourse (no pun intended) in an open and unrestrictive fashion. We must shoo all our women into the house and bind them in chastity belts, because they're childlike and unable to withstand temptation. A society of victims, unable to accept responsibility for their messes, is an infantilized society, one incapable of fending for itself spiritually and otherwise. We mustn't give in to the temptation of blaming our troubles on others. It is something only children do. Indeed, children and feeble minded people are entitled to be treated as potential victims. Grownups must account for their failures, even in the bedroom. Jane (who had a relationship with rabbi Worch) replies (and I've edited down her letter for various temporary reasons):Yanover's letter sounds all well and good. However, there is still no accounting for those who are in rabbinical positions primarily for the ego-gratification of power-over-others, using their mentoring and supposed 'spiritual' authority as tools of seduction. Has he no concern about those who pervert and abuse Judaism in this manner? Yanover wants to talk about the so-called 'infantalizing' of women, that's a crock. The minute all the women who've been abused by these cretins...speak up is the minute they stop being infantalized. For more on being infantalized, in fact, he should ask...about... 'Age-Play'. Of course Yanovers' going to have a "different perspective" on "these issues", when one of his main goals is to get you to remove your Profile page on his friend! Here's a suggestion for digging a bit deeper as a journalist. When those supporters tell you things like "he's the only rabbi who really understood them", or "the relationship was healing" or "therapeutic" ---dig deeper. Ask exactly what they mean, why, etc. If you dig deep enough, you'll eventually end up getting similar stories that we who came forward to complain have told--except with a different spin, of course, if they are still currently involved. Those of us who've come out on the other side, when we hear things like that, the alarm bells go off. It's what we, too, once thought and felt. But manipulation can be a fine art, and in the hands of certain narcissistic craftsmen, even the best of people can be duped for long periods of time. But do try to get more of his supporters to speak up. And be sure to question/ask them all about the BDSM Kabbala (yes it exists, two women I know have it although I've never seen it), ask them how their experiences of "timed orgasms" from his "voice-control" fits in with his teachings on Judaism, 'k? Yori Yanover responds:Luke, It's disturbing to argue with an anonymous person, "Jane," while I'm presenting a full name, and my address and phone number are in the White Pages. Why would she fear exposure by having her identity revealed to me? What is the implication about who I am, that this Jane fears criticizing my letter using her full name? What is the implication regarding the veracity and acceptability of her own views when she's not there for an open discussion, but prefers to hide behind a pseudonym? What is the implication when this blog gives equal credence to both views, when one comes from a real man and the other from what could very well be a fictional woman? "Jane" suggests that it's a bad thing that rabbis "pervert and abuse Judaism" by "using their mentoring and supposed 'spiritual' authority as tools of seduction." I couldn't agree more. But why does that absolve all who sleep with them of personal responsibility? Or, as generations of mothers used to say, "If he told you to jump off the Empire State Building you'd also do it?" Give me a break, barring physical or other violent enforcement, people, men and women, tend to sleep with those they want to sleep with. You slept with your louse of a rabbi it's your fault, unless you are a child or a moron (legally). "The minute all the women who've been abused by these cretins...speak up is the minute they stop being infantilized," says "Jane." Actually, no, that's when they realize how badly they've messed up and are looking for a way to salvage the life they've ruined by pinning the blame on the guy they just did it with. It's the post-coital cry of Rape, and it don't wash. And what am I to make of the assertion that "Of course Yanover's going to have a 'different perspective' on 'these issues,' when one of his main goals is to get you to remove your Profile page on his friend!"? Is this a grownup kind of discourse? Is this a rebuttal to anything I wrote, or an attempt to smear me by talking about my supposed intentions rather than my expressed opinion? This "Jane" could just as easily have written, "Of course Yanover has this perspective, because he's overweight, owes money at the grocery store and moonlights as a bouncer at Studio 54," with identical relevance to the discussion at hand. The only credible proposal "Jane" puts forth is that charismatic manipulation is tantamount to an assault, which would absolve the victim of responsibility for adultery. But what she fails to provide is a single book of laws, Jewish, secular, Muslim, anything, which backs this assertion. She's plain wrong, and her exclamation that those manipulative, charismatic rabbis are perverting Judaism, pales before the kind of damage she and the victim movement is doing to the Jewish idea of responsibility, which is essential to the very Jewish idea of T'shuva. This is why on Yom Kippur we clap on our own chests and not on the chest of the charismatic rabbi standing next to us. There's no free lunch, "Jane," no matter how many times you scream that it's the rabbi who made you eat. Luke Ford, at www.lukeford.net
not one of these women is a victim of anything.quite possibly, they have perpetrated one of the worst libels in modern Jewish history.alternatively, if they are to be believed, they are quite willing adultresses.leaving the issue of RMT aside, let us turn our attention to these women and the bizarre manner in which certain groups "protect" their identities as some sort of "victim". By their claims, they were all willing adultresses, both by civil definition and certainly halacha. How did so many ostensibly orthodox women become co-opted into supporting such basic violations of marital fidelity --given your acceptance of their claims without question. You cannot have it both ways, and the article posted at Luke Ford cuts to the core of the issue.Shame on all of the women who defend wanton lust and adultery over halacha and marital fidelity, then wrap themselves in self-righteous frumkeit.
A Word from Behind the Mechitza at KNH:As awkward as it may be to break from the "sisterhood", your continued harping on Rabbi Tendler as a "deviant" of some sorts is simply false...he was a willing participant in adultry with grown woman/women. That violates halacha, and will cost him his position as a Rabbi, but the women are equally culpable if not outright seductresses.You seem no longer capable of distinguishing between any improper relationship and being a sexual predator --by your words, the minute an improper sexual relationship comes to light, the man is a predator and deviant, yet the woman is a victim. There lies your lack of credibility -- you cannot distinguish anymore between amourous trysts between consenting adults in violation of their marriage vows and molesting a 9 year old girl. No matter what, the equation for you seems to be All Men Bad, All Women Victims.The Tendler case is going to harm the orthodox feminist movement for years to come precisely because of this failure in credibility. He needs to go because, as the RCA rightly pointed out, he engaged in conduct improper for an orthodox rabbi -- he had an extramarital affair with very willing partner/s, and possibly seductress/es. You have destroyed, however, all of the rightful momentum that developed from the NCSY case by mislabeling this case as predator/victim because of an inability to acknowledge that the women were equally culpable, if not more so.Those of us behind the mechitza know the real facts, and this case has been badly misrepresented for feminist political motivation. I grieve for the lost opportunity, and for the misrepresentation of our community.We women are much more caught up in the vise between American culture and yiddishleit than the men. Halacha asks almost nothing of us, save for dressing like the clique and preparing lavish social affairs for company every shabbat. We claim that watching Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives does not effect us, and that we can compartmentalize the values of America from our own homes and families. Wrong. Time to accept that bitter truth and accept its consequences.These women need go immediately, as quickly as the Rabbi, not as heroes but as harlots.No one, and I mean absolutely no one, on this side of the mechitza has anything emotion other than utter revulsion for these women. They are, indeed, adultresses, and we all look forward to the men performing the distasteful tasks necessary halachically and civicly in weeding their imoral influences from our shul and community.All the purported sympathy posted on your blog comes from out-of-town feminists employing our local crisis for their own benefit and cause. There are so many important cases of abuse that demand not only publicity but credibility. The less said about the unfortunate events in our shul, from the perspective of the orthodox feminist cause, the better.A KNH Mother and Wife, for the Silent Majority of Eshet Chayil in the KNH Community
http://www.advocateweb.org/hope/notanaffair.aspWhy It's Not an AffairRev. Patricia L. LibertyRev. Liberty is the Executive Director of Associates in Education and Prevention in Pastoral Practice, PO Box 63, 44 Main Street, North Kingstown, RI 02852 AEPPP@aol.com 401-295-0698The issue of sexual contact between clergy and congregants is complex. Whenever a minister is exposed for such behavior the aftermath is traumatic for everyone involved. Churches feel betrayed, victims/survivors are marginalized and misunderstood and the families of all involved suffer greatly. This article is intended as an informational and educational forum to increase understanding about sexual contact between clergy and congregants.Oftentimes sexual contact between clergy and congregants is dismissed as an "affair" between "consenting adults". This is a misnomer for several reasons. First, the relationship between a clergy person and his/her congregants is professional in nature. That means that clergy have a responsibility to use the special knowledge, skills and gifts of their call for the benefit of those they serve namely their congregants. It also means that clergy have a responsibility to establish healthy professional relationships. Because clergy carry moral and spiritual authority, as well as professional power it is ALWAYS their responsibility to maintain an appropriate professional boundary.In practical terms this translates into clergy not pursuing or initiating sexual relationships with congregants (regardless of marital status of either party) and not responding to the sexual advances of congregants who may be interested in a relationship with their pastor. It also means that clergy will not engage in sexualized behavior with congregants. Sexualized behavior includes jokes, inappropriate touching, pornography, flirting, inappropriate gift giving, etc.Since the ministerial relationship is professional in nature, it is inappropriate to call a sexual encounter an affair. Affair is a term used to describe a sexual liaison between peers, or equals. In addition, the term affair focuses attention on the sexual nature of the behavior rather than the professional violation. It also places equal responsibility for the behavior on the congregant. Since clergy have a responsibility to set and maintain appropriate boundaries, those who are violated by clergy's inappropriate sexual behavior are not to be blamed even if they initiated the contact.This is a difficult concept for many people to grasp. We want to blame the congregant (usually but not always a woman) for the sexually inappropriate behavior of the minister (usually but not always a man). As tempting as this may be, it is wrong because it is always the responsibility of the minister to maintain the integrity of the ministerial relationship. The temptation to blame the congregant is also a reflection of the difficulty people have believing that a person who carries moral and spiritual authority, who is respected and trusted, can also be guilty of misusing the power and authority of the office. That denial and confusion causes tremendous damage to victims who need understanding and support as well as to churches that need clear, ethical, theological and faith based intervention to understand their betrayal. Blaming the congregant also means a failure to call the abusing pastor to genuine accountability. The focus needs to remain on the violation of the ministerial relationship.The term "consenting adults" also reflects a misunderstanding of sexual behavior between clergy and congregants. It is assumed that because two people are adults that there is consent. In reality, consent is far more complex. In order for two people to give authentic consent to sexual activity there must be equal power. Clergy have more power because of the moral and spiritual authority of the office of pastor. In addition, education, community respect and public image add to the imbalance of power between a clergy person and a congregant. Finally clergy may have the additional power of psychological resources, especially when a congregant seeks pastoral care in the midst of personal or spiritual crisis, life change, illness or death of a loved one. This precludes the possibility of meaningful consent between a congregant and their pastor.In our work with survivors of clergy abuse we often ask the question, "Would this have happened if he/she was your neighbor and not your pastor." Overwhelmingly the answer is "no". The witness of survivors underscores the truth that the clergy role carries with it a power and authority that make meaningful consent impossible.When speaking of sexual contact between clergy and congregants, the term professional misconduct or sexual exploitation is more accurate. It keeps the emphasis on the professional relationship and the exploitative nature of sexual behavior rather than placing blame on the victim/survivor. "An affair between consenting adults" is never an appropriate term to use when describing sexual contact between a minister and congregant. Accurate naming of the behavior is an important step to reshaping our thinking about this troubling reality in the church, how we name it reveals our belief about it. Holding clergy accountable with compassion and purpose and providing healing resources to churches and survivors is dependent on an accurate starting point. Only when we name the behavior accurately can we hope to have a healing outcome for all involved.
Thousands of patients (mostly women) in the United States have undergone or are undergoing attempted treatment by psychotherapists for a non- existent memory disorder. As a result, these same therapists have unwittingly promoted the development of a real memory disorder: False Memory Syndrome. To make sense of this unfortunate situation, I need to offer a few definitions. Some psychotherapists believe that childhood sexual abuse is the specific cause of numerous physical and mental ills later in life. Some term this Incest Survivor Syndrome (ISS). There is no firm evidence that this is the case, since even where there has been documented sexual abuse during childhood, there are numerous other factors that can explain physical or emotional complaints that appear years later in an adult.These therapists believe that the children immediately repress all memory of sexual abuse shortly after it occurs, causing it to vanish from recollection without a trace. The price for having repressed memories is said to be the eventual development of ISS.Therapists attempt to "cure" ISS by engaging patients in recovered memory therapy (RMT), a hodge-podge of techniques varying with each therapist. The purpose of RMT is to enable the patient to recover into consciousness not only wholly accurate recollections of ancient sexual traumas, but also repressed body memories (such as physical pains) that occurred at the time of the traumas.In actuality, RMT produces disturbing fantasies which are misperceived by the patient and misinterpreted by the therapist as memories. Mislabeled by the therapist and patient as recovered memories, they are actually false memories.The vast majority of false memory cases developing from RMT are in women, which is why this article assumes patients to be female.Initiation of Patients into RMTA woman consults a psychotherapist for relief of various emotional complaints. The therapist informs her that she may have been molested as a child and does not know it, and this could explain her symptoms. Some patients think this idea is absurd and go to another therapist; others accept the therapist's suggestions and stay on. More than a few women have heard about repressed memories from talk shows or tabloids even prior to coming to the therapists office, and may even make the appointment believing they too could be "victims." Though the patient has no memories of abuse, she becomes motivated for "memory recovery" since she is told this will cure her symptoms. The therapist will offer encouragement that "memories" will return. Suggestive dreams or new pains are interpreted by the therapist as proof that repressed memories are lurking.The therapist may refer the patient to a "survivor recovery group." There she will meet women who further encourage her to keep trying to remember. Attendance at these support groups, as well as assigned reading in self-help books, surrounds the patient with validation for the therapist's theories.The vast majority of women with FMS are white, middle class, and above average in education. This corresponds to the profile of a typical woman who enters long term psychotherapy, and who perceives such activity as an important way to solve life's problems.Generating False MemoriesUnlike courts of law which obtain objective evidence where allegations of evil-doing are made, RMT solely directs the patient to attend toward her inner world for "proof" she was sexually abused. Such RMT techniques may include: Meditation on fantasy production, such as pictures drawn in "art therapy," dreams, or stream of consciousness journal writing. Hearing or reading about the "recovered memories" of other women which can serve as inspirations. Amytal interviews ("truth serum") and/or hypnosis (including "age regression" where the patient is told she is temporarily being transformed into the way she was when she was five years old). Telling the patient to review family albums; if she looks sad in some of her childhood photos, she is told this is further confirmation that abuse occurred. The Dark Side of "Recovery"Patients start out RMT with the hope that things will be better once they recover their repressed memories. But usually life becomes far more complicated. The FMS patient will often become estranged from the "perpetrator" (most often her father). If the patient has small children, they will be off limits to "perpetrators" as well. Relationships with other family members becomes contingent on their not challenging the patient's beliefs.Therapists may urge parents to come for a "family conference" in order to allow the patient to surprise the "perpetrator" with a rehearsed confrontation. Family members are usually too shocked and disorganized to coherently respond to accusations. The rationale for this scenario is that since "survivors" feel powerless, they need "empowerment."FMS patients may file belated crime reports with local law enforcement agencies and may go on to sue "perpetrators." Such lawsuits demand compensation for bills from psychotherapists and possibly other doctors who treated adult medical problems that therapists somehow link to childhood traumas. Of course, there may be demands for "punitive damages." Spouses of "perpetrators" (usually the patient's mother) may be sued as well for being negligent, thus making householder's insurance into a courtroom piggy bank. Since FMS patients sincerely believe they have been victimized, more than a few juries have given verdicts sympathetic to them.Preoccupied with the continuing chores of "memory recovery," the FMS patient may come to ignore more pressing problems with her marriage, family, schooling, or career. Often the time demands and expense of the therapy itself become a major life disruption.Some patients during the course of RMT develop "multiple personality disorder" (MPD). RMT therapists have claimed that they need to not only recover repressed memories, but also to uncover repressed personality fragments; some women come to believe they are repositories of dozens of hidden personalities ("alters"). "Alters" have their own names and characteristics, and may identify themselves as men or even animals. An increasing number of psychiatrists and psychologists are coming to view MPD as a product of environmental suggestion and reinforcement, since the diagnosis was hardly made prior to ten years ago. One area where there is no controversy: once MPD is diagnosed, therapy bills become astronomical.Some FMS patients become convinced that their abuse was actually "satanic ritual abuse" (SRA), due to participation by relatives in a secret satanic cult. Some therapists believe SRA is the work of a vast underground cult network in these United States. No evidence beyond "recovered memories" has ever been offered as proof that satanic cults exist at this claimed level of frequency. Therapists who lecture on the topic have explained away the lack of evidence that such cults exist by claiming that no defectors speak out due to iron-clad secrecy via brainwashing and terror.The Care and Maintenance of False MemoriesFMS involves a combination of mistaken perceptions and false beliefs. The fledgling FMS patient is encouraged to "connect" with an environment that will reinforce the FMS state, and is encouraged to "disconnect" from people or information that might lead her to question the results of RMT. The FMS subculture is victim-oriented. Even though they have not undergone anticancer chemotherapy or walked away from airplane crashes, FMS patients are told they too are "survivors." This becomes a kind of new identity, giving FMS patients the feeling of a strong bond with other "survivors" of abuse. Patients will often start attending "survivor" support groups, subscribe to "survivor" newsletters, or even attend "survivor" conventions (sometimes with their therapists).They will read books found in "recovery" sections of bookstores. The best known book, The Courage to Heal, is weighty, literate, and thus appears authoritative. Authors Laura Davis and Ellen Bass have no formal training in psychology, psychiatry, or memory. This paperback, modestly priced at $20, has sold over 700,000 copies.Patients are told to shy away from dialogue with skeptical friends or relatives, since this will hinder their "recovery." "Perpetrators" who proclaim their innocence cannot be taken seriously since they are "in denial" and incapable of telling the truth.Aside from these social influences, people by nature often resist seeing themselves as being in error. It can be terribly painful to acknowledge having made a big mistake, particularly when harmful consequences have resulted.RMT exploits the tendency within each of us to blame others for our problems, and to latch onto simple answers for life's complicated problems. RMT therapists suggest that aside from entirely ruining childhoods, childhood sexual abuse can explain anything and everything that goes wrong during adulthood. RMT becomes the ultimate crybaby therapy.How Memory Really WorksIn Freud's theory of "repression" the mind automatically banishes traumatic events from memory to prevent overwhelming anxiety. Freud further theorized that repressed memories cause "neurosis," which could be cured if the memories were made conscious. While all this is taught in introductory psychology courses and has been taken by novelists and screenwriters to be a truism, Freud's repression theory has never been verified by rigorous scientific proof. Freud, were he alive today, would be traumatized to see how RMT has redefined his pet concept. While Freud talked of the repression of single traumatic episodes, today's therapists maintain that dozens of similar traumatic episodes occurring over years are repressed with 100% efficiency.The well known syndrome of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder shows us that verifiable traumatic events, rather than disappearing from memory, leave trauma victims haunted by intrusive memories in which the victim relives the trauma. For those who were in Nazi concentration camps or underwent torture as POWs in Vietnam, this can become a serious lifelong problem.People forget most of what occurs to them, including some events that were pleasant or significant to them at the time. If an event is lost from memory, there is no scientific way to prove whether it was "repressed" or simply forgotten. And there is no reason that memories of sexual abuse should be handled any differently than childhood memories of physical abuse or of emergency surgery.Events that have slipped away from memory cannot be recalled with the accuracy of a videotape. Individuals forget not only insignificant events in their entirety, but also significant events. Some events (traumatic or not) are recalled, but with significant details altered.A study of children whose school was attacked by a sniper showed that some who were not on the school grounds later insisted they had personal recollections of being in school during the attack. These false memories apparently were inspired by exposure to the stories of those who truly experienced the trauma.Memories can be deliberately distorted in adults by presenting a display of visual information, and later exposing subjects to verbal disinformation about what they saw. This disinformation often becomes incorporated into memory, contaminating the ultimate memories that are recalled.To be sure, some who enter therapy were abused as children, but they have always remembered this abuse. They do not need special help in "memory recovery" to tell the therapist what happened to them.Why Recovered Memory Therapy is Bad TherapyRMT purportedly is undertaken to help patients recover from the effects of sexual abuse from childhood; however, at the onset of RMT there is no evidence that such abuse ever occurred. Thus, instead of a therapist having some evidence for a diagnosis and then adopting a proper treatment plan, RMT therapists use the "treatment" to produce their diagnosis. Some RMT therapists over-attribute common psychological complaints as signs of forgotten childhood sexual abuse. In their zeal to find memories, these therapists overlook any and all alternative explanations for the patient's complaints.RMT therapists ignore basic psychological principles that all individuals are suggestible, and that patients in distress seeking psychotherapy are particularly likely to adopt beliefs and biases of their therapist.Many RMT therapists have studied neither basic sciences related to memory, nor the diagnosis of actual diseases of memory. Their knowledge is often based on a single weekend seminar, as opposed to years of formal training in any graduate program they attended to get their licenses.Hypnosis and sodium amytal administration ("truth serum") are unacceptable procedures for memory recovery. Courts reject hypnosis as a memory aid. Subjects receiving hypnosis or amytal as general memory aids (even in instances where there is no question of sexual abuse) will often generate false memories. Upon returning to their normal state of consciousness, subjects assume all their refreshed "memories" are equally true.RMT therapists generally make no attempt to verify "recovered memories" by interviewing third parties, or obtaining pediatric or school records. Some have explained that they do not verify the serious allegations that arise from RMT because their job is simply to help the patient feel "safe" and "recover."Many patients who have known all their lives that they were mistreated or neglected by their parents, decide as adults to be friends with the offending parents. By contrast, RMT therapists encourage their patients, on the basis of "recovered memories," to break off relationships with the alleged "perpetrators" as well as other relatives who disagree with the patient's views. This is completely at odds with the traditional goals of therapists: to allow competent patients to make their own important decisions, and to improve their patient's relationships with others.Patients undergoing RMT often undergo an increase of symptoms as their treatment progresses, with corresponding disruption in their personal lives. Few therapists will seek consultation in order to clarify the problem, assuming instead that it is due to sexual abuse having been worse than anyone might have imagined.Other Kinds of FMSSome individuals come to believe that they lived "past lives" as a result of having undergone "past life therapy." This phenomenon generally develops in participants who are grounded in the New Age zeitgeist and already open to "discovering" their past lives. They enroll in seminars which can run up to an entire weekend and will involve some measure of group hypnotic induction and guided meditations. This sort of FMS also involves continuing group reinforcement. In contrast to horrific images of sexual abuse, recollections of "past lives" are generally pleasant and interesting. Few participants will recall spending prior lives in lunatic asylums or dungeons. The whole experience is assumed to be therapeutic by helping participants better understand the situation of their present lives. A small number of individuals develop "recovered memories" of being abducted by aliens from outer space. Almost always these individuals had some curiosity about this area and were hardly skeptics before they fell into an alien abduction FMS.In contrast to women who are plagued with concerns that they were sexually abused, these varieties of FMS are of a much more benign nature and do not disrupt personal functioning or family life. While some of these individuals suffer the ignominy of being perceived as "kooks," they may receive compensating group support from those who share their beliefs.A Word About the FutureIncreasing numbers of women who claimed to have recovered memories of sexual abuse have retracted their claims and now see themselves as having had FMS. This may spontaneously occur when women relocate to another locale and lose contact with their prior therapists and support group. Without the "positive reinforcement" from others to encourage false memory development and maintenance, some women begin to doubt the veracity of what they had believed was true. While some remain suspended in a twilight of doubt, others have fully recanted. These retractors may have a profound influence on getting women with an active FMS to re-evaluate their situation. While FMS patients learn from the FMS culture to dismiss critics as either "perpetrators" or their apologists, the voice of a woman who says she is recovering from FMS is more easily heard.Although most influential among family counselors and social workers, RMT affected the practices of some licensed psychologists and psychiatrists, some of whom were practicing in special "dissociative disorders units" in psychiatric hospitals. These activities have gone on with little challenge, until recently.The number of women with FMS who have become retractors is increasing. Some have sued their former therapists for malpractice (see Laura Pasley's story in this issue of Skeptic), and others are weighing the possibilities of doing so. One malpractice insurance carrier for clinical psychologists in California recently tripled its rates without explanation; this has led to speculation that the carrier is anticipating increasing numbers of lawsuits alleging that psychologists caused FMS.The False Memory Syndrome Foundation, formed in 1991, has been contacted by over 7,000 families in the U.S. and Canada who believe their grown children have FMS, and these families let their views be known to state licensing boards and professional organizations. Managed care administrators are starting to question megabills submitted by RMT therapists, some of whom see their patients through lengthy psychiatric hospitalizations. Understandably, all of this has gained the attention of the American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association, who are setting up task forces to try to examine the whole phenomenon.Meanwhile, there is a large FMS subculture consisting of women convinced that their "recovered memories" are accurate, therapists keeping busy doing RMT, and of authors on the "recovery" lecture and talk show circuits. In addition, there are some vocal fringes of the feminist movement that cherish RMT since it is "proof" that men are dangerous and rotten, unless proven otherwise. Skeptical challenges to RMT are met by emotional rejoinders that critics are front groups for perpetrators, and make the ridiculous analogy that "some people even say the Holocaust did not happen."RMT will eventually disappear, but not next month.
In Jan Tritten's editorial, "Out of the Pot, Into the Fire," (Midwifery Today, Issue 63) she wonders whether the reason that there is an unassisted birth movement is that midwives have failed women. Well, it is true that midwives sometimes fail women, though it is not only through their own faults or negligence or naiveté; it is partly because in order to survive they feel it necessary to practice in ways they might not otherwise. If one needs medical assistance, a homebirth midwife is certainly better in many cases than a doctor, so concessions to the medical establishment are justified so that women may continue to have that choice. Still, in some places it is illegal to attend women at home as a midwife, and in others the restrictions are vast. One must either, like Gloria Lemay, become a law-breaker and risk imprisonment and loss of livelihood, or one must bow to the powers that be and risk hurting women. Midwives are in a hard place, and the remedy will not be easy to come by. The other way midwives fail is in my mind even less easy to remedy and is not even technically their failure, nor even something necessarily that needs to be fixed (depending on one's perspective,) but simply a consequence of living in a society where we are all so isolated from our communities and neighbors and even our families. It is enormously difficult for women in our culture to create the age-old scenario portrayed so movingly in Anita Diamant's The Red Tent. I recently had a conversation with a woman training to become a midwife -- she was touched by the magic and strength she was finding in her sisterhood of midwives, but noticed with confusion and concern that these qualities were only partially conferred (if at all) to the laboring woman. Her state of pregnancy is the reason for the existence of this sisterhood in the first place, yet the birthing woman has only a tenuous link to the sisterhood, for nine or ten months and probably only through one or two members. This is not enough time or occasion to build the deep bonds that conscientious, spiritual birth demands. While all midwives are acutely aware of their weak political position, they seem, for the most part, oblivious to the fact that they seem to offer something to women that they do not have to give, and that pain sometimes results from this. They perhaps do not spend enough time among those they serve, asking and listening. Reading birth stories is not enough: they are often glossed over (due to the sentiment that a record of such a sacred event should not be filled with complaints,) or made up simply of measurable facts ("at two a.m. I was four cm. dilated.") To know these women's true stories it is necessary to get into the nitty-gritty of their conversations. (And with the internet it is easy enough to eavesdrop on as many of these as one cares to.) Feedback from clients is not enough either. After the birth that I now consider to have been traumatic, I wrote the midwife a note thanking her for "all she does for women." A year later, pregnant with my second child and trying to come to terms with my growing feelings of anger over the way I was treated and managed, I was encouraged by my new midwife to talk to the first midwife. It was agonizingly difficult to even make the call to arrange for a meeting. How do you tell someone who has devoted her professional life to helping women that she has hurt you? How do you convey the hurt when it is subjective and personal? I fumbled with my words, trying not to hurt her in my attempt to explain. She didn't get it, not really. She saw the events of the birth differently; she did what she had to do. She wouldn't be held responsible for my pain. I now know that I am far from alone in this experience, judging from my conversations with other women; I have heard similar stories countless times. Finally, midwives talking amongst themselves, the sisterhood, is certainly not enough, because it is far too easy to create a mythology of midwifery tailored to one's own fantasy when one does not consistently and constantly consult the source of one's calling -- the birthing women themselves. They would tell you that the mythology is beautiful, even in some respects an ideal to reach for, but that it fails to acknowledge the ramifications of certain basic truths about the nature of birth. Such as: -Birth is a sexual event. Even if a woman cannot acknowledge this emotionally, she cannot intellectually deny the biology which puts birth neatly on her body's sexual continuum, along with making love and breastfeeding. The same hormones, we now know, are involved in all. And birth is closest to sex itself because it involved the genitals. The going in is sexual; the going out therefore is also. (Unless, of course, one feels that sexuality is at base phallic. And is it any surprise that in our culture this is just the case?) So birth is sexual, like it or not, and in our society we do not have a healthy model for revealing our sexuality in a group of people, especially people we do not know all that well. So for some women, to acknowledge the sexual nature of birth is to necessarily reject the presence and involvement of anyone they are not normally intimate with. -The birthing woman is deeply open and vulnerable to the energy around her. Midwives are quick to point out that it is for just this reason that the typical hospital environment is not conducive to normal birth, but somehow assume that the midwifery model of birth is the solution, case closed, as if midwives themselves do not have wildly varying philosophies, personalities, and approaches to birth management. Something as innocuous as the midwives gabbing among themselves at a birth, or as well-meaning as showing the woman's mate how to be affectionate with her, or as "necessary" as taking on a tough tone to get a "hysterical" woman under control, can have a devastating effect on the mother's psyche, undermining her confidence and hindering the labor. Considering that the midwife can never really know what is going on inside a woman and what constitutes normal birth for her -- the midwife is limited by inherent physical and psychic boundaries, after all -- and given that she brings her own preconceptions about birth along with her (none of which may have anything to do with her client,) the midwife's guesses as to how her actions will affect her client are a groping in the dark at best. Some women intuit or know from past experience that with attended birth there is a very real possibility of inadvertently inviting well-meaning but nonetheless harmful influences into one's deepest self, with serious implications for the process of birth and the postpartum period; for some women this risk outweighs any desire or need for support. -Birth is transcendent. Women often argue that to have someone else worrying about the practical aspects of birth frees them to experience the miracle and spirituality of it. But it can also be argued that most of us are incapable of being free from self-consciousness while being observed. Whose prayer or work of art or love-making is as true and deeply affecting when watched or directed as it would be if happening spontaneously and in complete privacy? -Birth and bonding go hand-in-hand, and the alchemy of birth is such that strong attachments are created. Imagine -- the midwife has listened to your fears and conceits more attentively than anyone else, and you are feeling very fond of her, and already grateful. Now she is sitting between your legs and touching your genitals while murmuring soothing words to you. She tells you that you need to maintain contact with her by looking deep into her eyes. She is supporting you through the most intensely felt event of your life, witness to your most primal self, your screams, your shit, your loss of control. Now she is the first to touch your baby, and the one ultimately responsible for your baby's life. As the baby emerges the bonding hormones are flooding through your body; of course they're supposed to for the baby, but there also is the midwife smiling at you, praising you, hugging you. And then you are expected to let go, just like that. Oh, it was only a business relationship! She was hired help! Those feelings of abandonment, the sense of loss -- it is all irrational, you know that. But still, unbidden, the grief rises in your throat. And you don't tell anybody, because, well, you know, you don't want to appear needy -- it's embarrassing. From the midwife's perspective, it is wonderful, no doubt, to be such a beloved part of the community, to be regarded as a wise woman, to be privileged to take part in women's lives and bask in the energy of their births. Through all her connections with women and their bodies and being the recipient of their admiration and love, the midwife also has the rare opportunity to approximate a "Red Tent" type of community for herself -- a group of women that have become most special to her, that fulfill her own emotional and spiritual needs. But there is always going to be the woman for whom the midwife is an unwilling recipient of attachment fueled by bonding hormones and a business relationship dressed in gestures of love. The midwife cannot remain a part of her life either because of time restraints or because the midwife simply has no basis for reciprocating her client's feelings. Can we honestly blame the woman who declines to participate in something that for her ultimately means loss of her spiritual and bodily integrity, or of a relationship meaningful to her? In the end, midwifery is never going to be able to supply what some women need, and does by its very nature interfere with the fulfillment of that need. Even the best midwife in the world is not going to be able to overcome that. I can tell you this from experience: the midwife who attended my second birth is as good a midwife as anyone could hope for. For me she was wise, knowledgeable, kind, and reassuring. Best of all, she agreed that I should define her role in the birth, a condition most midwives would refuse outright, or at least be very uncomfortable with. It was, consequently, a very good, empowering birth; I was truly grateful, and my gratitude endures to this day. She did not fail me, in the sense of being negligent. Regardless, I chose not to invite her or any other midwife to my next birth. This is very simply not an issue of how midwives can improve themselves in order to "save" women from birthing alone. For anyone who cares about birth and women, and not just about her own desires and ego, it is important to understand and acknowledge that unassisted birth is a valid and whole choice in its own right -- because while a woman may not need a birth professional to catch her baby, she may benefit from other things that person may be able to offer, not least of which are understanding and acceptance. All of us outside of the mainstream birth machine have something in common: the danger of becoming victims in a political climate that is hostile to our choices. Let us be a support to one another, not just in philosophy but in action also, for the sake of freedom for all women to choose exactly how and by whom, if by anyone, our bodies will be handled.
Cesarean rates hit all-time high - Midwives sound alarm American College of Nurse-Midwives The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) released a response to recent data released by the National Center for Healthcare Statistics (NCHS) showing a national cesarean section rate of 24.4% -- an all-time high. In its statement, ACNM calls upon all obstetric providers to provide thorough information on the impact of all birth options to the mother during prenatal consultations. The current trend suggests that some obstetric providers are abandoning the most cautious approach under the guise of questionable science, convenience, and fear of lawsuits. "As we move forward into the 21st century, the national cesarean section rate is rising fast enough to get the attention of the American health care system and ignite a furor over the move toward an assembly line model of childbirth," remarked ACNM Executive Director Deanne Williams, CNM, MS. "Despite the NCHS figures showing that one of every four women will have major abdominal surgery to deliver her child—some people are alarmed and, inexplicably, some are not." Stories of cesarean sections performed for motivations other than maternal or fetal well-being have been making headlines in recent years. They reflect a rise in elective cesareans for reasons such as avoidance of labor pain, patient or provider convenience, legal concerns of the provider or questionable assumptions about the origin of incontinence in women. There is no question that lives can be saved by the judicious use of cesarean section; but, in a nation with seemingly endless resources, easy access to information and multiple sites for clinical training as can be found in the United States, a national cesarean rate of 24% is not a sign of progress, but rather misplaced priorities. "The list of reasons women must not think that surgical birth is safer than vaginal birth is long and ranges from the increased incidence of drug resistant infections, to the potential for life threatening complications from blood transfusions," according to ACNM President Mary Ann Shah, CNM, MS, FACNM. "Women risk permanent damage to abdominal and urinary tract organs, longer recovery times, little-to-no chance for a subsequent vaginal birth and a premature end to their ability to safely bear children. Technology is an alluring panacea for ills, but blind devotion without critical evaluation, places women at great risk."
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