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Manny Waks Converses with Rabbi Manis Friedman

February 6, 2013 – 3:58 pm130 Comments

MANIS-FRIEDMAN_cBy Manny Waks
Earlier today I welcomed the opportunity to discuss with Rabbi Friedman his deeply offensive remarks. I commenced the phone conversation by sharing with Rabbi Friedman my personal story—that I was sexually abused over a period of several years by two paedophiles within the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, more specifically the Yeshivah community, in Melbourne. I also informed him of the ongoing cover-ups within Yeshivah, and the intimidation and harassment that me, my family and some of our supporters have been subjected to.

I explained to Rabbi Friedman the deep hurt many have felt by his remarks and the damage that it has caused. I also noted that we have turned this negative incident into a positive one, especially in the area of community awareness on the issue of child sexual abuse. In particular, one of the most positive developments has been that a number of new victims have come forward over the past week as a direct result of the publicity. One of these victims has already made a police statement.

I made it clear to Rabbi Friedman that I represent many other victims, their families and many within the community, and that my views should be seen in that context.

In response, Rabbi Friedman acknowledged the great work that is currently being undertaken in this area within the ultra-Orthodox community globally. He also congratulated us on some of our achievements (e.g. the fact that there are now three major court-cases within the Jewish community in Melbourne).

Rabbi Friedman also referred to his apology and reiterated some of its content. He was also committed to continue to address the issue of child sexual abuse. Due to the individual needs of the victims, Rabbi Friedman is reluctant to deal with this issue in a public forum but rather to address it privately with victims themselves. He rightly noted that there could not be a “one size fits all” approach to this and he therefore prefers to deal with this complex and sensitive issue privately.

Rabbi Friedman has agreed for me to provide his personal email address to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse within the Jewish community. He will happily respond to their emails.

As a result of today’s development, Tzedek would like to advise that it is withdrawing its application for legal action through the Battei Din of Sydney and Crown Heights.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their ongoing support—especially those who publicly supported Tzedek on this issue. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the three leading Orthodox rabbis within Australia, Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant and Rabbi Yoram Ulman for issuing their strong public statement. It is essential that each and every one of us stands up in the face of injustice and ignorance. I am delighted with the positive response by so many within our community.

We look forward to continue to advocate for victims of child sexual abuse within the Jewish community.

Manny Waks is Founder & President of Tzedek, an Australian-based advocacy group for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse within the Jewish community.

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130 Comments »

  • Yochanan says:

    What am i missing? Why would you want victims to contact him if he is the monster that you described him as being? And if in your conversation with him he clarified his position and you no longer feel that he is that monster then why not share with your readers what the clarification was? What was the rabbi thinking?

  • Reality Check says:

    Unless Rabbi Friedman thinks molestation means a slap on the behind, I can’t take his apology seriously after all the things he said.

  • A few comments:

    1. The headline says it all: this is news, and good news. After much internet furore, Rabbi Friedman apologized for his comments. The next step of engagement between Manny and Rabbi Friedman is very important, and is the only way to make progress regarding the perceptions and dealings of sex abuse within Orthodox communities. The adversarial damning of anyone in a black hat that has the faintest connection to a sex abuse case will do little to make the world a better place – it just increases divisions within the community. On the other hand, this step taken by the two parties is a very positive one. Both of them are to be commended for moving forward in this way.

    2. In addition to demanding an apology from Rabbi Friedman, some people suggested that he should have been either sacked or “brought into line” by “Chabad leadership”. Making such a demand presupposes the existence of structure and hierarchical management within Chabad worldwide (such as might exist within the Catholic Church, lehavdil). This is actually not the case. As I’ve written on these pages, Chabad is very unstructured and people in various positions operate independently, with little or no accountability to superiors, managers, or “head office”.

    3. The notion of taking Rabbi Friedman to beis din for his comments is somewhat absurd. Manny Waks has no halachic nexus to Rabbi Friedman’s comments – what halachic damages have been caused to Manny by Rabbi Friedman’s comments? (what common law damages, for that matter?) The comments were not made about Manny, nor directed towards him. Further, the local beis din would have no authority to call Rabbi Friedman to a din Torah, and I’m not sure that the Chabad Beis Din of New York would either. While the complaints against Rabbi Friedman’s comments are very valid, the beis din business looks more like a media stunt than anything meaningful.

  • david segal says:

    why isn’t manny waks taking rabbi friedman to an international court for preaching genocide?

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/chabad-rabbi-jews-should-kill-arab-men-women-and-children-during-war-1.277616

  • Reality Check says:

    I feel utterly ashamed that a fellow Jew, and extremely orthodox to to boot, is making acuses for Rabbi Friedman and Chabad.

    To sexually abuse a child is one of the most heinous and abhorrent crimes anyone can commit. It distroys the soul of the child and leaves them damaged for life. And to think these G’d fearing people are arguing about it makes me sick. And all this bloke can think about is how Manny Waks is hurting Chabad. The hurt Chabad caused Manny is a thousand fold worse.

  • kush says:

    David,

    It doesn’t just look like a media stunt. It IS a media stunt.

    Anyone with any knowledge of Halacha knows that his whole “beis Din claim” was totally absurd and ludicrous. He never had any chance in Beis Din and he himself knew that!

    Everything he has done is all about publicity. Not a week can go by without a “media release”.

    Who does he take us for? Fools?

  • Reality Check says:

    Manny, these maniacs from Chabad live in a different world to yours and mine. They are beyond being able to think for themselves and are slaves to an ideology which belongs to the dark-ages.

  • Steven says:

    Aftre Mel Gibson’s apology, did he think differently about Jews, compared to before the apology? Was the apology worth anything?

  • RC – I’ve not seen anyone make excuses Rabbi Friedman. His comments were wrong, he should have apologized, and he did. You clearly don’t understand how Chabad works as a global movement to suggest anyone is making excuses “for Chabad”, or talking about “hurt Chabad has caused Manny”. If you’d like to argue a point instead of making attacks against people or a nebulous movement, please do so.

    Manny took the decision to accept Rabbi Friedman’s apology and further, to engaging with him, and help change his attitudes. Why do people think they have to out-Manny Manny??!! Is there a global competition to see who can take the hardest line on incorrect attitudes to sex abuse?

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    David and Kush you are both right and well informed.
    There is, however, a missing point “4” in David’s list, i.e.

    – Manny Waks is assuming a farcical grand standing position by sitting in judgement and mercy to an objectionable act POST FACTUM , well AFTER the Rabbi in question has apologised ALREADY.
    He ” took the decision to accept Rabbi Friedman’s apology.”. Wow, isn’t our Manny Providentially merciful !!!
    The headlines Manny Waks is still grasping for his own gratification reveal nothing news-worthy, yet Manny Waks seems to leave the impression that his “actions” have determined a “certain” shift/improvement in Rabbi Friedman’s attitude. He elaborates in redundant detail on what Rabbi Freidman has already alluded to or specifically cleared. Manny Waks extends, then his magnanimity by acknowledging MORE Rabbis’ interventions , as THE President of Tzedek ( he MUST be the President of some thing or another !!!).
    Now Manny is well in charge and atop the situation, anxiously awating the well desereved accolades which almost invariably are accompanied with the seasoned attacks against ultra Orthodoxy in general and Chabad in particular.
    Another job well done !!!

  • Reality Check says:

    David Werdiger, So Rabbi Friedman apologized. At least he didn’t claim that he was taken out of context. And did Rabbi Friedman also apologize for the rematks about the Holocaust being part of the Almighty’s plan; meaning, that G’d planned for most of the Jews of Europe to be exterminated? And did he also apologize for incitement of genocide? You see, Rabbi Friedman is just another product, as you are, of the “global movement” that is Chabad. I am just wondering that if you have children, Mr. Werdiger, who would you put first?

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    What did I JUST say !!!!

    Pernicious absurdities do not need a…. reason to surface.

  • TheSadducee says:

    “I am just wondering that if you have children, Mr. Werdiger, who would you put first?”

    – nasty and personal and innappropriate.

  • TheSadducee says:

    “Aftre Mel Gibson’s apology”

    – I’m so pleased to find someone else that judges the sincerity of an apology by comparing them to Mel Gibson’s apologies…

  • TheSadducee says:

    “why isn’t manny waks taking rabbi friedman to an international court for preaching genocide?”

    – maybe because he is involved with an organisation that is concerned with child abuse and is responding to the rabbi’s comments on that topic rather than his alleged genocide preaching?

    Incidentally, why aren’t you taking r. friedman to the ICC for it?

  • TheSadducee says:

    Otto

    there is nothing wrong with Manny being an active member of the broader community by undertaking roles/leadership included, in a number of organisations. Why do you imply that this is self-serving rather than a genuine committment? Seems very uncharitable.

  • Reality Check says:

    Hey Sudducee, how come you don’t quote Otto like you do me and others? I understand, it would take you all day.

    PS And how would you describe child abusers and those who belittle the victims? Tzadiks. And you say you lean to the Greens, yeah right.

  • Reality Check says:

    Now Eds. don’t wipe me out when I talk about Goebbelian propaganda because you think I am trivializing the Holocaust. Goebbellian propaganda is; if you repeat a lie enough times people will believe it and the bigger the lie, the easier it is to be believed. Take Otto for example; he keeps telling us that he is logical and anyone who disagrees with him is absurd.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Reality Check

    I’ve never described child abusers and those who belittle victims as tzadiks.

    Can you point out where I have said/written that? Or where I have written/said anything that would lead a reasonable person to make that conclusion?

    P-off you intellectual pygmy.

  • Reallity Check says:

    Mr/Miss/Mrs, Sadducee, as can be, I was referring to your comments on me being nasty etc., about asking Mr Werdiger if has children. Those things were not meant for you, you poor old sad thing. Considering child abuse as the most evil and grotesque crime, I am very careful who I acuse of what. And you call me an intellectual Pygmy, when you can’t understand something as simple as that.

  • TheSadducee says:

    No reallity check – you asked Werdiger if he has children and whether he would put Chabad first or them? (@Feb 8 7.59am comment)

    The implication being that he would put Chabad first over his children is nasty.

    The fact that you are using his children as a point in your anti-Chabad prejudiced ramblings is personal and innapropriate.

    If you are going to chide people for their comments concerning your own at least quote yourself accurately or don’t try to mislead where people can scroll up approx. 5 comments and see what exactly you said.

    At first I thought you were stupid, now I can see you are also dishonest and disingenuous.

  • letters in the age says:

    The Nazi Propaganda technique is also used by our own political parties here.

    Mr Waks is a beacon of intelligence and great leadership in dealing with this very sensitive issue.

    Outstanding work within the media thus far Manny.

    A true Mensch.

  • Reality Check says:

    The Sadducee, your stupidity is beginning to annoy me.

  • Reality Check says:

    This topic is far too serious to be exchanging these silly, petty insults. So goodbye and good Shabbos, especially to you Manny.

  • Reality Check says:

    Just one more thing: Manny, you have no idea as to how many people in our community are supporting what you are doing.

  • david segal says:

    Manny

    you wrote about the conversation you had with rabbi Friedman, and how you told him your story and how “In response, Rabbi Friedman acknowledged the great work that is currently being undertaken in this area within the ultra-Orthodox community globally. He also congratulated you on some of your achievements (e.g. the fact that there are now three major court-cases within the Jewish community in Melbourne)”.

    Do you really think that anyone cares what he said what he said in the first place or what he said to you or what he wrote in his apology.

    What he said was plain stupidity; he was slow with his apology once he realized that he said “something” wrong, and what he said to you has no value at all. Did you think that he will repeat to you what he said in the first?

    you got all exited because what rabbi Friedman said, were you afraid that it effect your campaign and instead of reporting cases of pedophilia to the police, they will take anti diarrhea tablets, or do you think that once he apologized, Jews in Australia or in any other place in the world, will take pedophilia very serious, and will start reporting pedophiles to the police?

    Not his stupid statement or his apology will have any effect on the attitude of towards pedophilia, or a long term effect on Chabbad activities.

    You wrote: “Tzedek would like to advise that it is withdrawing its application for legal action through the Battei Din of Sydney and Crown Heights”.

    Are you telling us that the the Batei Din of Sydney and Crown Heights accepted your application for legal action against rabbi Friedman, Or that you planed to apply to them?
    Why didn’t you apply also to the Beth Din Shel Ma’ala?
    If you want the address of the Beth Din Shel Maala, just ask this rabbi,

    http://www.chabad.org/centers/default_cdo/aid/117687/jewish/Chabad-of-Great-Neck.htm

    htmaccording to a story published on this site

    http://chabadinfo.com/index.php?url=article_en&id=29997

    he was there not long ago

    What action did you ask the Batei Din or want them to take?
    To order rabbi Friedman not to repeat his claim that the effects of pedophilia are like effects of diarrhea?

    Are you able to tell us where does the Beth Din of Sydney fit in the picture?

    If the Beth Din of Sydney isn’t authorized to force even a person that lives in Sydney to appear in front of them, how will they force a person that lives overseas to appear in front of them- that is even when there is a just claim, especially when there is no case to answer.
    __________

    David

    You wrote: “The next step of engagement between Manny and Rabbi Friedman is very important, and is the only way to make progress regarding the perceptions and dealings of sex abuse within Orthodox communities”.

    One police case against a molester, will have a greater effect on the Orthodox communities, then a thousand rabbis talking about pedophilia in a thousand sermons or statements.
    __________

    TheSadducee

    You asked: “Incidentally, why aren’t you taking r. friedman to the ICC for It”.

    My answer is very simple: I don’t think that they are suing every lunatic that is preaching genocide.

  • Yaron says:

    A quote I heard about Lance Armstrong is appropriate here:

    He knows he should be sorry, but he is not quite sure what he should be sorry for. He knows that he has to take responsibility, but he is not quite sure what he is taking responsibility for.

    David,
    You seem to be insistent that Chabad is not one organisation and that no part has any control over the other. This is just not true.

    It may seem that way because the structure is far more fluid than we are used to in the modern world, but to suggest that it is a purely anarchic system is simply false.

  • RC – you continue to take giant leaps: from what Rabbi Friedman said about this, to what he said about something else; from the beliefs of individuals about a specific issue to broad generalisations about their associated groups. Similar Steven takes a giant leap from one apology to another. Again, feel free to present a logical argument whenever you can or will …

    Your question about my children is probably offensive, but I will respond in any case. Any parent should ask themselves “what would I do it this were my child?” The harder question is then “how do I deal with a conflict between doing the best for my child, and doing what is best for my community/group?” That gives rise to deeper questions like “should such conflicts ever exist?” and with that, I will stop philosophising.

    Dovid Segal – quite right. An actual conviction will go a long way to changing attitudes. Having Rabbis preaching suppression and “we can handle this ourselves” doesn’t help though.

    Yaron – Chabad is hundreds of organisations, thousands of shluchim, and tens of thousands of chassidim worldwide. It’s not anarchy (although sometimes it seems that way), it’s very fluid. We can argue for a long time about what Chabad is or isn’t, structurally. I’m happy to have that argument (perhaps on that other thread), but it has little bearing on the practicalities of this case:

    Are you suggesting that Rabbi Friedman in Minnesota must account for himself before a few Chabad-affiliated Rabbis that head ORA and RCV in Australia? before the Sydney Beth Din? How about before one or more of the senior Rabbis of Vaad Rabbonei Lubavitch in New York? The answer in all cases is NO.

  • Reality Check says:

    David Werdiger, If you thought that Rabbi Friedman’s apology sufficed, then that should have been the end of it. But instead, you took it upon yourself, to defend Chabad when no defence was required. Manny didn’t make any disperaging remarks about Chabad, he merely stated the facts, whereas you, in your defence of Chabad, made some pretty demeaning remarks about Manny.

    This really has nothing to do with you, other than tarnishing your Chabad and the Yeshivah community, which it well deserved for their cover-ups and intimidations. If anything lend your support to what Manny is doing and let the courts and Royal Commission do the rest.

    Furthermore, Mr. Werdigar, I see no logical arguments coming from you. In fact, you rely on your put-downs, which you do in a very subtle way, to argue your point. Sorry, but it doesn’t wash.

  • Reality Check says:

    David Werdiger, If you thought that Rabbi Friedman’s apology sufficed, then that should have been the end of it. But instead, you took it upon yourself, to defend Chabad when no defence was required. Manny didn’t make any disperaging remarks about Chabad, he merely stated the facts, whereas you, in your defence of Chabad, made some pretty demeaning remarks about Manny.

    This really has nothing to do with you, other than tarnishing your Chabad and the Yeshivah community, which it well deserved for their cover-ups and intimidations. If anything lend your support to what Manny is doing and let the courts and Royal Commission do the rest.

    Furthermore, Mr. Werdigar, I see no logical arguments coming from you. In fact, you rely on your put-downs, which you do in a very polite and subtle way, to argue your point. Sorry, but it doesn’t wash.

  • Reality Check says:

    Sorry for the duplicate, Im a notice when it comes to IT.

  • Daniel Levy says:

    David Werdiger is a real champion of Chabad, defending them from heinous attacks by rape survivors and abuse victims.

    He rightly comes to Friedman’s aid to dismiss the idea of taking him to the beit din as “ludicrous and absurd” and a “media stunt”. Of course, Manis Friedman’s apology was sincere and from the heart.

    David Werdiger has his priorities straight. When child abuse victims get angry about a powerful leader making harmful and insensitive remakrs, the first thing you should worry about is Chabad’s reputation.

    I’m only sorry there isn’t a hell for you to go to.

  • Yaron says:

    David,
    1. I was using the word anarchy in the sense of an organisation without leaders, not in the sense of chaos.

    2. My point still stands, that even though each Chabad house is independent, there is still some control that is maintained centrally, and eventually all roads lead to Crown Heights, even if they have limited controls over their branches around the world.

    3. This is a very relevant discussion, since we have to ask how culpable Crown Heights are with some nasty stuff going on in their branches.

  • kush says:

    Reality check,

    Interesting that you weren’t going to post any more. Not only do you seem a “notice when it comes to IT”, it seems that you are also a “notice/novice” when it comes to intelligence.

    The truth when laid bare is not always so gloomy and heinous with out the help and spin of Manny and other anti-religionists who look to blame entire communities at every turn.

    Daniel Levy,

    Davis didn’t state whether or not the apology was sincere. He mentioned the facts. What is also a fact is that Manny had zero chance at a Beis Din and all he wanted was a media stunt and publicity.

    As I mentioned earlier, anyone with any knowledge of Jewish law knows that.

    But yes, the truth hurts.

    And everyone is scared of the “great and fearful Manny”, because as soon as anyone dares to open their mouths against him, then suddenly Manny will find some way to discredit that person to his media and facebook fans in his usual manner.

  • kush says:

    Yaron,

    You obviously have no idea at all how the leadership of Chabad works, for if you did, you would not post the comment you did.

    Boy, if only you were right!

  • RC – when you say I “defended Chabad”, what do you mean? I rushed to the defence of the entire global organization? What I did was explain why it doesn’t make sense logistically for there to be any formal response from “Chabad leadership” to Rabbi Friedman’s statements.

    Yaron – What “(limited) control” do you think there is in CH? What do you they should have done in response to the comments? And exactly who? The beis din of CH? Vaad Rabbonei Lubavitch? The head of Merkos? Someone else or some other body? Are there no leaders or too many?

    If we can flesh out some of that, then maybe your question 3 can be discussed.

  • Daniel Levy says:

    “What I did was explain why it doesn’t make sense logistically for there to be any formal response from “Chabad leadership” to Rabbi Friedman’s statements.”

    The logical inference of which is that Chabad can bear no blame for the idiotic ramblings of its leaders.

    You can play dumb or coy (you choose), but it’s a weak copout that is exceedingly transparent.

    Kush, Manny is a brave person. He puts himself out there in the public spotlight. It’s funny how you claim he’s the one mercilessly beating up on the “poor chabadniks (ROFL)”.

    Have you seen how his father is being treated? Have you read the disgusting attacks being left for him by the orthodox community? Of course, all of them using pseudonyms like the cockroaches that they are. These cowards, like you, who have no dignity, who have no human decency, who would attack an abuse victim who’s finally speaking out against the oppression he and many like him have suffered.

    And you have the gall to call him the bully. You’re so lucky your little book is a fairytale, because you’d be spending eternity in the fiery pits of hell.

  • letters in the age says:

    I think an Australian Story episode should be made about Manny and his extraordinary story.

    This all has to be documented in a visual medium either as a documentary or otherwise.

    The story needs to be told……….

    When and if Manny is ready.

    Regards Manny and stay strong.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Saducee

    Although this story is now witnessing the expectd derailments, digressions and spite emerging from the traditoinal “sources”, I though “normal” to expand on the notion of ” genuine committment”, something you attribute to the author of the article who, starngely enough has, so far, refrained from gracing us with his retorts.
    MW’s “genuine comittment” pertains to the very idiosyncratic take one would be EXPECTED and evn allowed to have on the impeccable manifestation of “genuine” exploits. I will, however, put a limit to my generosity. For sme time now, ever since MW acquiered the position of ACT President of the local Jewish community, his rise to visibility has caused quite a few fellow genuines cause for concern. Once his tenure finished, the concerned were amplified by the very personal trajectory MW undertook in promoting Jewish ideals in a very personal and personalised way. Just check his public efforts as Pres. of Capital Jewish Forum and now Tzedek.
    One may observe modicums of Jewish specificity in what happens in those orgs. and one will also observe that in almost all cases/events/public statements a few common threads occur with annoying consistency, that is an obsessive penchant for attacking the rest of the Jewish leadership and, in some well targeted cases, public “disclosures” about the inequities within the ultra Orthodox sections. MW acknowledged that there has been a rift between his father and himself with the ultra Orthodox community. That explains to the objective observer the persistency in attacking the same. It must be said that the rift did not appear to be caused by the issue of MW having been abused as a child within the said community. That is a matter which emerged and is predicated on an entirely distinct basis, but has been built as an effective platform to expand to the mentioned carvings into the Jewish community at large. Now he had gone “internatinal” and jumped to the chance of placing himslef on the greater PR map, yes, why not the World !!! Hence the grandstanding with the appaling case of Rabbi Manis Friedman. If he were a sheila I would have called him Sue Waks…..

    Enough for now, to be continued ( if I really feel like it bcs. this bloke and his agendas deserve only so much time and effort…..)

  • letters in the age says:

    Otto,

    If thats the case, a documentary should be conducted with viewpoints from all sides by a well respected and credibe news source

    The B.B.C et al.

    The crimes committed are abhorrent.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Letters

    I could not agree with you more. The crimes are indeed abhorent and, as a father myself I am disgusted at the cases known publicly about child abuses. My comments address only the manner in which these situations are dealt with within our , Jewish, community.
    I shall not repeat comments made in defence of Jewish ethics and how those well known ethics are safeguarded by the community itself.
    One should stand by standards that define a certain group, religious/ethnic and if transgressions are identified , all responsible members of the said community should be as one in condemning them. Proportion to the extent of transgression is fundamental, though.
    I am proud and existentially satisfied that I have been brought up as the member of a “tribe” which has reached through INTENT the highest ethical standards.
    As transgressions do occur everywhere, we call it in certain cases, as this one, “human failures”, they do not alter the essence of our beliefs and practices . Part of our , Jewish, established practices has been the elliciting and elimination of any transgression, sins, averot and the system has been working well within the “guidelines” of the same ethics.
    When the entire edifice is attacked because of very few solitary cases, a transgression of its own kind occurs. That, itslef must be rooted out as it is also a sin, a avera. I believe that this is precisely what we are dealing in this MW case with.
    Manny Waks does not exagerate the importance of principles, only the extent of the transgression phenomenon within our community !!!

  • letters in the age says:

    Nice response there Otto,

    Regards,

    ;)

  • letters in the age says:

    Its going to take a very long time for the jewish brand to recover after this….

    sad but true

  • kush says:

    Daniel Levy,

    It’s a nice ploy to use the “abuse victim” stance to do whatever one wants with no accountability to anyone at all.

    No one is arguing to the abuse Manny suffered and he will get his day in court to prove it. But no one gives him the right to condemn entire communities and spread his anti religious views in an attempt to gain world publicity and recognition.

    No one is arguing the merits of ensuring protection of children and the obligation of eradicating such behaviour. You won’t find a single reputable Rabbi who will tell you otherwise. In fact they have issued clear instructions of going to police in such instances.

    End of day one fact remains clear and has yet to be disputed; This saga of “Manny vs. Manis Friedman” was simply a media publicity stunt!

    Please prove otherwise without changing direction of this discussion.

  • letters in the age says:

    The jewish brand uncludes the whole spectrum of the community including Maccabi clubs

    Secular to orthodox et al

    Just to clarify my previous point

  • Shirlee says:

    Whilst my sympathies are with anyone who has been sexually and/or physically abused, I agree with

    kush who says:
    And everyone is scared of the “great and fearful Manny”, because as soon as anyone dares to open their mouths against him, then suddenly Manny will find some way to discredit that person to his media and facebook fans in his usual manner.

    And

    Otto Waldmann who says:
    Manny Waks is assuming a farcical grand standing position by sitting in judgement and mercy to an objectionable act POST FACTUM , well AFTER the Rabbi in question has apologised ALREADY.
    He ” took the decision to accept Rabbi Friedman’s apology.”. Wow, isn’t our Manny Providentially merciful !!!

    Manny Waks is all about what is commonly called either ‘self-promotion’ or ‘community grandstanding’

  • letters in the age says:

    Chrissie Swan comes to mind here…

    A bit off tangent I know but using ones suffering for personal gain isnt on at all if thats the point being made by some here.

    Whatever ones demons are its up to the person to make it their own ,move on and be better role models for their children.

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Shirlee, kush and Otto are utterly mad.

    They’d rather impugn Manny’s motives as publicity-seeking and selfish rather than open their eyes to the fact that the only way these stories come out is when you shine a bright light on the offenders.

    Kush, it’s funny you mention “accountability”. Look at what it took to get Yeshiva Centre to hold itself accountable for what transpired there. It took Manny Waks making the song and dance required to get the cockroaches out of the woodwork.

    You’re not really afraid that Manny has “anti-regliious views” (he doesn’t, he’s a very tolerant and accepting person), you’re afraid that the results of his advocacy are going to be so damning that you can’t face up to the consequences.

    Every new abuse story Tzedek uncovers you take as a personal attack, because you cannot divorce your self-interest in the reputation of the Jewish community from your human compassion for abused children.

    You say that the victims who have come forward should get their day in court. What about the victims who have been so broken by what happened to them that they cannot come forward? You’d rather let them suffer in silence than shine that investigative light on the rest of your community. If even one victim has justice delivered to them from the actions of Tzedek, then it will have been worth it. It’s already been worth it, as this has already occurred.

    Those in opposition are simply parochial fools who have an Othellian need to protect their precious, precious “reputations” over the need to protect their children. Utterly disgusting.

  • Reallity Check says:

    One other thing David Werdiger et al. Your defense, which is not a defense, has got me thinking that other, and they’re easy to spot, share your views, views which I detest, and so next Friday when I make my pilgrimage to Glicks, I will be viewing them with suspicion. Your defense of Chabad is causing derision and not unity.

  • letters in the age says:

    Valid points Daniel….

    The jewish “brand”has been tarnished to the wider community and that upsets many people

    Its not organic and thats the problem where its not fluid like society is,thats normal

    Food for thought…

  • letters in the age says:

    Middle class Australia has become very selfish and the investment of children that are “precious” commodities has lead to strange values and rigid mindsets

    Cultural and generational change along with ethnocentric ideals with bigotry is all dynamically interelated

  • Shirlee says:

    Thank you (not) Daniel Levy for your offensive comments.

    How dare you? Because a person doesn’t agree with you, there is no need for rudeness and it certainly doesn’t make you right.

    My opinion of Manny Waks I’ve held for a long while. Those views were further enhanced when I had need to make contact with him a few months back. He is what is known in the Community as a ‘self promoter’ or a ‘community grandstander’

    I also take issue with the fact that the child sexual abuse issue being pushed as a Jewish issue, instead of an issue for the general population and thus giving the antisemites out there ammunition to work with.

    OK this Rabbi was very wrong, we know that. By all means bring it to the attention of the Chabad, it certainly isn’t needed all over the Internet. I spend a good deal of my time online fighting antisemitism and this is a godsend for them

  • letters in the age says:

    The dominant Anglo culture and media isnt forgiving of scandal and will pursue it with a vengeance.

    You have to learn to play the game well in order to survive amongst it

    Some do it better than others with respect,dignity and integrity

    Others dont…

    There needs to be more balance dealing with any issue

  • Daniel Levy says:

    “How dare you? Because a person doesn’t agree with you, there is no need for rudeness and it certainly doesn’t make you right.”

    I always love it when cowards get offended by the rebuke they so desperately deserved. Look at you, waxing lyrical behind your fake online persona about how Manny is using child abuse victims for his own personal gain.

    And then you have the gall to be offended when somebody rebukes you for the bilge you have exuded from your fingers.

    “I’m so offended!”

    “By all means bring it to the attention of the Chabad, it certainly isn’t needed all over the Internet. I spend a good deal of my time online fighting antisemitism and this is a godsend for them”

    Yes, keep it hushed up. You know what keeping it hushed up is a godsend for? The abusers. All the abusers who have gotten away with it who threatened the kids they abused to shut up or they’d do terrible things to them. For too long they’ve been allowed to get way with it, while the community has sat with its thumbs under its arse in deafening silence.

    ENOUGH.

    It must be hard for you, shirlee, it must be hard for you to reconcile the infallibility of the rabbinate with your rose-tinted view of the Jewish world. Especially when you appear to be physically incapable of seeing beyond your own nose.

    Your argument for keeping everything hushed up amounts to “If we talk about it publically, anti-semites on the internet will say mean things”.

    Forgive me if I’m more concerned about children being abused than basement-dwelling neckbeards demonstrating their stupidity to each other.

  • Caro says:

    “You won’t find a single reputable Rabbi who will tell you otherwise.

    Except, apparently for Rabbi Manis Friedman who thinks child abuse is only as bad as diarrhoea. I guess he’s not reputable then?

    In fact they have issued clear instructions of going to police in such instances.”

    Those rabbis in charge of Melbourne Yeshiva did not go to police, they kept it quiet, and did not have the perpetrators arrested or prevented from ever harming children again.

    I have no patience for people who attack Chabadniks over this issue just for being Chabadniks, and/or jump on the anti-religious bandwagon. On the other hand, those people with the knee-jerk reaction of defending Chabad/Yeshiva/all rabbis no matter what, while having a go at Manny Waks, are much worse. By all means, go ahead and argue (correctly)that most religious Jews do not condone child molestation, and that the perpetrators and those who protected them are just a few bad apples in a good bunch, but the only thing damaging the Chabad/Yeshiva/ultra-orthodox reputation at the moment is the fact that so many of them are defending those who covered up the abuse, and accusing Manny of ‘self-promotion’ and of pushing some dodgy agenda. He has been a victim of a heinous crime and he is speaking out for other similar victims. What would you prefer him to do? Shut up and let them get away with it? Let history repeat itself for the next generation of defenseless Jewish kids?

    And he has every right to get upset when a rabbi (!) compares child sexual abuse to diarrhoea like it’s no big deal. In fact, it loooks like he solved the issue rather amicably with the rabbi – in Manny’s position I personally would not have been so civil with this poor excuse for a rabbi.

    BBC, CNN and New York Times published the Rabbi’s comments (see above). That’s the sort of thing that feeds anti-semitism, not brave victims who speak out against child molesters and cover-ups. People with half a brain would realise this awful stuff happens in every community. If they can see the whole Jewish Community speaking out against it and supporting the victims, then it can only make Jews look good. Anyone who hates Jews will hate them anyway. It’s more important to protect the kids.

    How can anyone not understand how heinous sexual abuse is (especially towards children)? Mindboggling.

  • letters in the age says:

    The secular Jews need to have a bit of respect for the Orthodox Community

    They are hurting as well…

    Wheres the empathy and understanding??

    I cant believe the disunity of the community at a time like this

    Some people need to get off their high horse..

    Leave brattish comments aside and show some maturity and depth and stop being snots!!

    Grow up…

  • letters in the age says:

    Furthermore….

    People remain anon for various reasons

    Stops the gossips and idiots with their toxicity

  • Daniel Levy says:

    Caro, you’ve put it very eloquently.

    Letters, I was remarking about how Shirlee was using her anonymity to do the very thing she’s obviously so afraid of. The hypocrisy was most hilarious.

  • letters in the age says:

    Fair call Daniel

    ;)

  • Shirlee says:

    Daniel you’ve been pulled up before now for your smart/foul mouth. Get off your high horse.

    My goodness what a ‘paddy’ because others have a different opinion to yours. Grow up, you sound like a spoilt brat

    Anonymity? Far from it. That is more likely to be you considering the name.

  • letters in the age says:

    Lol!!!

    Hes funny…and well meaning…i think???

    Others dont have the wit and intelligence

    Says alot about the Heebs of Melbourne

  • letters in the age says:

    I can only imagine the jokes behind closed doors and on facebook….

    Ouch!!

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Give the likes of “Reality” and , more so the well versed/ seasoned bad-mounth offender Daniel Levy a chance to attack almost ANY “faction” within the Jewsih community and they will salivate all over the internet.
    Hey, yourse two, the issues of child molestation revealed lately, including the highly irresponsible statement by Rabbi Manis Friedman, have been addressed critically by ALL relevant speakers/representatioves of all ultra Orthodox Jewry. Melbourne Yeshiva as well the Sydney Yeshiva, ECAJ etc. have issued LONG AGO clear , unambiguous statements comprehensively satisfactory from the strict ethical stands on the issues. Rabbi Friedman has made his teshuva. Cooperation by all parties called to forensic account has been, so far, impeccable.Yet, the attacks against the same institutions remains relentless……..!!!
    Detractors of Chabad must find – they will NOT !!! – aspects of the Chabad theology and practices symbolical of their observance consistent with the wholesale mean, false, idiotic charges emerging from the twsited minds of those anxious to define defense of Judaism by dragging it in the mud of oligophrenic passions.

  • letters in the age says:

    Daniel,

    Would you chastise people like Waleed Aly for their beliefs I wonder??

    Hes a moderate Muslim and seems like he is a rational guy…

    I dont understand how he got his wife to convert but respect them for it even if I dont agree with all of his views about Islam.

    Put yourself in someone elses shoes…

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    N.B.

    It must be said that “Reality Check ” has some knowledge of the sections he attacks. Information of about anything is easily accessible on the internet. Tendentious interpreations are also avilable, particularly when it comes to denigrating all things Jewish. Our issue here is what one ellects/enjoys in extrapolating/promoting. Misinterpretations for the sake of making waves, irritating people one does not even know etc. abound here. It does provide rich “journalism” to web sites, it makes it look busy. Yet, in the relevant wash, decency shall surface and, yes, I am decent and all those against me are………………

  • letters in the age says:

    Some people would even find Jill Meaghers rape funny in a perverse way …..

    What planet do some of us live on Daniel???

    Reality is in the eye of the beholder….

  • letters in the age says:

    I see from these comments and thread the disparities of the Jewish community…

    Its quite sad as an outsider…

    July 30th 2010

    http://ajnwatch.blogspot.com/2010/07/ajns-idiotic-headline-of-week.html?showComment=1280426569899&m=1#c1399393033744079834

    Daniel if this is you,you should have learnt better after that Bialik student

    A lot of baggage here and comments are nasty but it reveals a lot about ones character

    Bialik is a school where zealots learn a lesson in humility….

    Mmmmmmm

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    I have my run ins with Daniel Levy but on this issue he is being very clear.

    Anyone suggesting there is any tension or decsisin to be made between the well being of a child versus the well being of the community is actually contributing to the problem.

    The child/victim comes first, at whatever cost to the perpetrator or those around them. To think otherwise is to support crazy notions like honour killings etc.

    This is exactly the mindset that has be changed.

    Victims do not protect communities.

    Communities must protect victims… And the community will be better viewed and confirmed for having dealt with it in the long run.

    End of story.

    Anyone who still sees a tension between child protection and community well being is perpetuating the problem.

  • letters in the age says:

    Maya Angelou is an American institution and a revered poet and intellectual

    May I kindly suggest that her story be read by people as her circumstance and life experience is similar to that of Manny Waks

    Her wisdom is inspiring and life lasting and she has written extensively about race,sexual abuse and other things that have been applauded by educators,politicians and many other notable people

    A truly amazing woman.

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    Kush:
    You keep calling mannys publicity a bad thing.

    That publicity is critical in the fight against the abusive mindset;and more impratntly against the silence of victims. Where else will victims get the courage to speak up?

    They need to hear and see the community outrage! They need to feel we all care! They need to hear the reassurances that they are not alone and that this is not their fault.

    Communities protect victims. Victims do not protect communities!

    And they need to hear, see and feel it again and again and again so they can believe it in a world that has harmed them so personally and directly!

    The Friedman video had to be a spark for massive publicity.

    The Rabbi wasn’t alone in the room.

    It was a room full of people laughing at his vile thoughts and jokes. The diaorrea comment was in response to a question about a REAL case. His answer was criminal and no one stopped him!! No one got how bad it was… Forget him.., what were the other 20-30 people doing?????

    The Rabbi also wasn’t alone in posting the videos on you tube.

    It was a team of HIS publicists… Him seeking publicity!!!

    He was promoting silence and the protection of abusers. And everyone around him either didnt get that or accepted it as correct.

    That is such a core example of The actual systemic problem, it had to go viral. that video was an entire community failing not just some errant comment by an individual…Did you watch the clips? It is a shiur with a big crowd!

    Otto this is a community failing… I include myself in the community. It isn’t individual frailty. Again to suggest that misses the entire point and perpetuates the problem.

    Bad and sick people are everywhere… We get that. S&@t happens.

    But for those who know of the crime to stay quiet while the evil is perpetrated while believing that in doing so thry are protecting the community reputation … Thst is the bigger crime.

    The first crime is bad.

    The crime of silence, cover up, but third parties repressing and silencing victims is ten times worse.

    And the entire community from the highest office to the youngest child must get that.

    That is what Manny Is doing.

    He is educating a global community.

    And yes Shirlee, arguing or confusing that clear message will see you tarred with the criminal brush because the crime of silent cover up, and the theory to explain cover ups by good people, is indefensible.

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    Finally, Shirlee Daniel was making the valid point that YOU wrote horrible things about Manny without pausing…

    Then when the attention turns to you and your disgusting observations getting criticised you get “offended”…

    Do you get how ironic and bizarre that was?
    You started it lady…

    You and others attacked manny with vile accusations of selfish motivation…But you are “offended” when others defend manny against such rubbish and hold you to account for your attack… you think you have the right to be offended? Really?

    I think not.

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    And letters … Time for the Jewish brand to recover? What are you talking about?

    Our reputation is improved by Manny and others taking a strong stand on these issues publicly.

    And David, yes all of the chabad people you listed should have come out against the Friedman video. All of them. Not because they have authority, but because they should have clarity about their responsibility as community leaders.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    If this were a fair world to the Jews, just for one single day, all Jews would be fair to it for an eternity.

  • DAVID SEGAL says:

    Shirlee

    You wrote:

    “By all means bring it to the attention of the Chabad, it certainly isn’t needed all over the Internet. I spend a good deal of my time online fighting anti Semitism and this is a godsend for them”.

    Instead of worrying that the anti Semites will use rabbi Friedman’s statement to attack the Jews, you should worry that there are Jews who think that rabbi Friedman is An important rabbi, or that Chabad has a complains department.

  • Shirlee says:

    I get your point David and thank you for making it without being rude, which appears to be a common issue around here.

    My issue wasn’t/isn’t with the rabbi per se, it as the fact that this issue is being made so public. Just this morning on a dreadful pro-Palestinian site, the comments in relationship to this have made me sick to the pit of my stomach.

  • letters in the age says:

    Johnny,

    I have a busy week and will respond to you in more detail…at a later time!!!

    Cheers

    ,;)

  • letters in the age says:

    Shirlee,

    Dont read it and give them publicity.

    Ciao

  • Yaron says:

    David,
    I agree with you that there is a significant amount of decentralisation in the Chabad community, and it is organised unlike any other major organisation.

    But how was the move of David Kramer from Australia to USA organised? Perhaps a private swap?

    There must be something happening in NY

  • david segal says:

    But how was the move of David Kramer from Australia to USA organised?

    he was shipped to israel, and after a few years he moved to the us

  • Reality Check says:

    Shirlee, you trooper, protecting us from anti-Semitism; go girl. But you ain’t doing much for Chabad, let me tell you.

  • A few more points:

    In amongst the anti-religious vitriol that spews forth from Daniel Levy’s keyboard, he actually made a valid point: “The logical inference of which is that Chabad can bear no blame for the idiotic ramblings of its leaders.”

    Firstly, Rabbi Friedman is not a “Chabad leader”. He runs a seminary in Minnesota for women who want to return to Judaism. His institution sits side-by-side with other Chabad institutions in MN, and they probably get together from time to time to talk about issues that affect them all. Beyond MN, few people would take notice of what he says (unless he’s on a speaking tour).

    Can someone explain why it’s reasonable to blame “Chabad” (the global movement) for Rabbi Friedman’s statement? It’s not something that came from Chabad ideology (he certainly didn’t attribute it as such) – it was his own, misinformed view. To be sure, when his statement went viral, it was an embarrassment to Chabad people worldwide. Does that mean the movement is to blame? Does it mean that thousands of Chabad Rabbis in every city in the world should band together to distance themselves from his views and confirm that what he said is definitely NOT Chabad ideology and NOT the correct position?

    When Bernie Madoff was exposed as a crook, it was embarrassing for many Jews around the world – a Chilul Hashem. Does that mean we should condemn all Jews for being cut of the same cloth? or condemn Judaism as the root cause for his action?

    Nevertheless, as some have pointed out, the “brands” are damaged when this happens, and people who care about the brand must (a) deal with the issue itself, and (b) do what they can to restore the brand. But we can’t sacrifice (a) on the altar of (b).

    Someone who is critical of aspects of Manny’s campaign IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY minimizing the crimes committed against him, or the cause at large. It’s NOT a case of George W Bush’s “you are either with us or against us”. The vast majority of people want to see sex abuse exposed and expunged from our society. A subset of those people are annoyed by generic anti-religious statements and media stunts.

    Finally, Yaron, “a private swap”?? WTF!! Kramer was doing time in Missouri. There were complaints filed against him locally. So the Australian and US governments worked together on an extradition. What involvement would there be for Chabad in this?

  • letters in the age says:

    Identity crisis anyone???

  • Yaron says:

    David,
    You missunderstand me. I was challenging your earlier point that there was no centralisation in the Chabad organisation. This is when he was shipped out, not shipped back in.

  • Yaron – sorry I misunderstood. It would’ve been more likely that he was just told to get out of the country, and he left, went to Israel and found a job there. There would *not* have been co-ordination between anyone in Chabad in both countries to arrange a “transfer” and certainly there’s no such thing as “swaps”. People move around all the time.

    The question is: what happened if a potential employer sought to reference check him? About that I have no idea.

  • Reality Check says:

    Misinformed view, David Werdiger? How about abhorent or vile. I read him on the radio and it was appalling, and all those around him also had a bloody good laugh when he talked about some kid who was sexually abused and who after telling his girlfriend, she left him; the rabbi’s sagely advice was that he shouldn’t have told her. “Would he tell her that he once had diarrhea?” Those there thought it was hilarious. Misinformed, Mr Werdiger? that is why you are causing such animosity towards Chabad, because people like you are playing down such a serious matter.

    And Shirlee, just read on The Age webpage, that an Israeli soccer teamm, Beitar Jerusalem, after signing up 2 Muslim players, had their fans boo them when ever they kicked, or whatever, the ball, and flew banners saying “Pure Bietar”. Looks like you’ll have your work cut-out chasing down all the pro-Palestinian sites posting that news.

  • Reality Check says:

    I “heard”, not “read” him on the radio, sorry; stupid spell check. I am sure Kush will get a real kick out of me making the mistake.

  • RC – I agree that his comments were abhorrent and vile. I’m causing animosity toward Chabad because I *only* called them misinformed?

  • Reality Check says:

    David, no point in continuing here if you think that calling them misinformed is the only time you understated Rabbi Friedman’s behaviour. No, you are not causing anomosity towards Chabad because you called them misinformed, you are causing anomosity towards Chabad because you and your mates are all downplaying what the Rabbi said and how all those there responded. Further more, the bit about how Mr Kramer made his own way to the US without any help from the Chabad establishment because they knew what he was accused of and were so appalled, they didn’t want to have anything to do with him. Spare us.

  • kush says:

    Reality Check says:
    February 8, 2013 at 10:36 am
    This topic is far too serious to be exchanging these silly, petty insults. So goodbye and good Shabbos, especially to you Manny.

    Did you change your mind?

    You just can’t resist. Seems very very personal to you.

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    Shirlee your very first comment was “Manny Waks is all about what is commonly called either ‘self-promotion’ or ‘community grandstanding’”

    You attack manny and degrade his outstanding works. And you have the guts to call others rude and offensive and foul.

    Grab a mirror… Take a good hard look.

    David I can’t see it. Could there be any valid reason a community leader should hold back on being hard on child sex allegations and in doing so sacrifice the victim for the “good” of the community? I can’t think of a single situation where that could be valid? Key commandment… Don’t steal (kidnap). Duty of care owed, breached amd damaged caused…It’s one of the absolute basics no? I ask genuinely. Is there a single philosophical or halachic argument that works to say… it is right to keep this quiet? I’d be astonished.

    Shirlees reasoning is just crazy. We shouldn’t publicly work for victims in case other nut jobs think less of Jews LOL…

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    David I’m referring to your comment…
    “Someone who is critical of aspects of Manny’s campaign IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY minimizing the crimes committed against him, or the cause at large. It’s NOT a case of George W Bush’s “you are either with us or against us”. The vast majority of people want to see sex abuse exposed and expunged from our society. A subset of those people are annoyed by generic anti-religious statements and media stunts”…

  • letters in the age says:

    Johnny,

    When the “brand” is tarnished people will do and say the utmost to protect it….

    Food for thought on some of the comments on this thread

    Keep it in mind….

    Smirk

    ;)

    Later……

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    After some 91 comments offered by more or less five stapple contributors, the foul regurgitated retorts from almost all sources have gained the virtue of spinning around one particular ( who shall remain un-named, called Reality Check )intransigent ,blocked cerebral access, dialectic-manic who cannot wait to jump on ANY word “worth” attacking.
    Several postings – including mine – have stated incredibly clear that Chabad have condemned Rabbi Friedman – nop, not good enough !! –
    Others – including me – have asked those ( one, the same un-named ,,) bent on deligitimising a perfectly legit and brave Jewish goup ( yes, Chabad )to demonstrate with evidence, not “smart” alusions cum offensive diatribe, how Chabad is compromising the Jewish fold – no bloody way, evidence : gurnischt. Yet, oxygen is pouring in abundance, refueling the same un-named with what he knows best – the same gurnischt !!!

    It is, in the final wash, undignifying to entertain those who have only one function – to offend, insult intelligence, trap good intent into the spewing refuse of serious derailment, for, a final wash is quite needed here !!!

  • Reality Check says:

    Kush what the hell do you mean by your comment about me taking it very very personally? And why didn’t the vigilant Eds, remove that offensive comment. What Kush, are you suggesting that either I am a victim or am a perpetrator of child sexual abuse, or maybe Im one of those people protecting those protecting pedophiles. That’s why I am hiding my identity; because some dimwit like Kush, in his zealous mood, will slander and defame me, like in this instance, and without Mr Eds doing anything about it.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    No Reality, Eds is doing this time the right thing. This Reality show must go on and as correctly put in its classification – cynical comedy. That you are fundamentally absurd is evident in the back to front “logic” in yr last neurotic episode : listen, if anyone slanders (sic) – slander is strictly in “spoken form ” when in writing it called “libel”, capisci !!?? -you have that precious oportunity to SUE, but only if the “slanderer” addresses your real name, but now, as Reality Check you cannot have your day in court – and night in purgatory -, canya !!?? Anyways “slander” and “defame” are the same stuff and Eds should kick you out at least on acount of committing double redundancies not to mention also because one cannot enjoy ad infinitum infinite redundant clowns.

  • Frankie Le' Sausage says:

    Eds: Comment removed.

  • kush says:

    Otto,

    Couldn’t have said it better!

    Reality,

    No one on this forum suggested anything in any way or form about you except yourself. In most posts (besides yours) there is actually logic to be seen. In yours all there is is sad comedy.

    When you can’t dispute facts, you lower yourself to name calling. How very mature!

    After verbally abusing several commenter’s on Friday, you wrote that you were out of this conversation. (your own quote) But suddenly you resurface???

    Please tell me – Who is the normal one around here? Your comments get more incoherent as they go on.

    It is pointless arguing with you. We are just going around in circles. So I will do what you did. I am stating clear that I will not be responding to any more of your comments.

  • letters in the age says:

    Galus et al

    If you allow comments that are derogatory in nature to surface on this thread it speaks volumes about the credibility of the Jewish community to some degree..

    How sad…..

    Mr Waks deserves more respect than this so I choose to leave for now……

    Shalom

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    I reckon the reason “Frankie’s” comment was allowed was bcs he is not childish, unlike some. He is a fully matured moron…………

  • TheSadducee says:

    @ David W

    I think it is very hard for people to understand how Chabad works and to grasp that essentially there is little overall direct leadership/direction nowadays.

    The fact is that it is an organisation with several major and many minor factions which are all pushing their own discrete agendas while working under an umbrella identity and trying to avoid open conflict with each other (where possible). Outsiders just find this hard to believe and don’t understand how it works – which it seems to.

    I always go back to elect a new rebbe and move on – the group will benefit immensely in the longer term but I understand that most find this position unpalatable – I suspect because it would lead to open division.

    As to R.Friedman – his views were atrocious and have been condemned as such. He has done immense damage to his own credibility, but, as is the case with Judaism, and is overlooked by many, his rabbinic authority only applies to those who accept it – no one has to listen to him or even engage with him to be honest.

    Chabad followers should consider if they want to get advice or utilise services from this guy – personally I wouldn’t if I was involved with Chabad.

  • Reality Check says:

    The only reason why my comments are incoherent to you Kush, is that you’re a dimwit.

  • mendel says:

    Very disappointed with the standard of this post, where are the editors? All the usual Yeshivah Centre trolls and sock-puppets are here, some posting under their own names as well as anon, with the sole purpose of discrediting Manny Waks. Yeshivah Centre should be more busy dealing with its known perpetrators of incest, pedophilia, adultery and perjury.

  • david segal says:

    Shirlee

    How much longer do you want criminal and offender, to be protected by the code of silence? How much longer do you want to live in fear that if a case will be publicized it will be used by the anti-Semites, even if keeping it in silence will destroy lives and families?

    You can’t fight anti-Semites, and they don’t need the internet, to find a reason to hate the Jews, they found the reasons before the internet or even the print. If you don’t want the anti-Semites to read about Jews that committed crimes, let the Jews not commit them.

    David

    “Does it mean that thousands of Chabbad Rabbis in every city in the world should band together to distance themselves from his views…”.

    No. it means if the “Chabbad movement” has a leadership of some sort, is enough if one of its leaders will do it in the name of the movement.

  • TheSadducee says:

    david segal

    but that is not how a Chassidic sect works – no particular rabbi can make a public action on behalf of the organisation which can be binding on anyone else in it. It requires a rebbe to do so – which is why Chabad need a new one.

    I’m personally sympathetic though to individuals certainly dissassociating with someone who has expressed repugnant views though.

  • TheSadducee says:

    “Yeshivah Centre should be more busy dealing with its known perpetrators of incest, pedophilia, adultery and perjury.”

    – I hope you could substantiate such a strong statement Mendel. Otherwise it might be prudent for the eds to remove that sort of offensive assertion.

  • letters in the age says:

    Thanks for cleaning it up…

    A lot more discretion is required

  • mendel says:

    Sadducee, it’s true, but I have to be very careful as in http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2013/02/judge-orders-blogger-who-reported-on-haredi-rabbis-clergy-sexual-abuse-outed-678.html
    The incest and adultery are well known inside Yeshivah Centre, the other two are in court records but not facing court at present.

    Also, Manny has been accused of all sorts of untrue “agendas” on this post, so that would be a little selective, wouldn’t it, removing my true info!

  • greeny says:

    Dayenu! Enough is Enough!

    Lets all just live our lives at peace with ourselves and the world around us. That includes you too manny and David W. You have beautiful families and lives. You are both successful business people and community leaders. I can see no benefit from this article and the 100 plus comments. In addition; the facebook posts, the newspapers, the sniping, the blacklisting, the haranguing. Why?

    Is it making you a better person? Is it making the world a better place?

    The pedophiles will have their time in court. The organizations which acted inappropriately will have their time as well. Yes Manny the community will change its thinking too. You have had an influence in that for sure. But at some stage even you are entitled to live a life beyond all this.

    For the rest of us and the rest of the time lets just live our lives the best that we can.

    A humble suggestion to all those commenting and writing here and elsewhere. Take your lives back! walk away! Discover the joy in not having to attack another from behind a keyboard and defend yourself from attack from another behind a keyboard!

    Life is too short! Nothing will be gained from all this. Enough is Enough. Dayenu.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Greeny
    since we are now into the Jewish idiom let me add a hearty ALEVAI and smile sarcastically. “Trouble” is that, should – as it did, actually – a new topic, say ” How much salt should we drop into the humentash ” attacks against Chabad, Yeshivot of all locations, Orthodox and noch ultra Orthodox followers shall surface with the same vigour and/or stupendous accents and selly flavours of bile, misinformation, tendentious, farcical, absurd and, why not , idiotic takes by the usual suspects. Certain others – including yours truly – shall continue with more or less the same laundry list of logical arguments und zu weiter……..
    So, yes Greeny , take a break and re-post your comments above in, say, ten days time. The effect shall be the same and I shall save the present for that “special” occasion……..sic transit !!

  • letters in the age says:

    Greeny,

    Spot on!!!

    Why the hate…….?

    Peace and goodwill

  • letters in the age says:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-12/australia-suspected-of-mossad-links-dies-in-israeli-jail/4514806

    Why some people choose to remain Anon….

    Mossad spies are all around

  • david segal says:

    TheSadducee

    “but that is not how a Chassidic sect works – no particular rabbi can make a public action on behalf of the organization which can be binding on anyone else in it. It requires a rebbe to do so. which is why Chabad need a new one”.

    That isn’t why Chabad needs a new rebbe. a binding statement for a sect or any other religious organization can be made by a person respected by the sect or the religious organization. that is how the Breslv sect survived hundreds of years.

    Which brings me to the question, what is “Chabbad” without a rebbe, does it have a body that directs it or controls its activities or it is free for all?

    A few month ago we all saw reports about a “kinus ha’Shluchim” (an assembly of emissaries) of some organization within the Chabbad movment, is rabbi Friedman an emissary of this organization? If the answer is yes, why didn’t this organization issue a statement about its emissary?

    I think that I know the answers, do you know them?

  • jack b says:

    David: So what is “Chabad”? Learning Chassidus? The Dayan pretending he doesn’t yell “Yechi” inside? Emissaries? of who, Kotlarski, Krinsky? You say you know the answers, please enlighten us simple folk.

  • Reallity Check says:

    This was not meant to be a Chabad bashing session, but addressing the problem of a religious, just like any other religious organization, protecting the perpetrators and downplaying the harm and damage to the victims of child sex abuse. As david segal points out, there is structure to Chabad, and whatever excuses their advocates put up don’t cut it. Chabad must take responsibility for the crimes of their adherents, and not just provide excuses.

  • Reallity Check says:

    Sorry, not “take responsibility”, rather admit that some in their movement are vile criminals, as are those who protect them.

  • david segal says:

    http://www.bhol.co.il/Article.aspx?id=50873

    שופט: “דרך ההשתקה במגזר החרדי – סופה להיכשל”

    צבי גורפינקל, שופט מחוזי בתל אביב, תקף בחריפות את ה’שיפוט העצמי’ בקהילה החרדית בסוגיות כואבות • “יש לקוות כי הטיפול בעבירות הללו בחברה החרדית ישתנה

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Considering the easy way in which one can obtain reliable information about all religious entities, incuding Chabad, it is simply amazing that misinformed postings find their way publicly. Could it be that some have the ability to write, but not to read !!!!

    The sheer size, expansion of Chabad makes it problematic for one to expect a spiritual entreprise such as this to arrive at a level of consistency within its structure to fit some precise mathematical conclusion/result.
    Simply and brieflty, all religious movements, even with far more seemingly “rigid” infrastructures ( take the Catholic Church ) contain polarised manifestations. We had Catholic nazi prelates in high positions in the Vatican and Catholic communist priests in South America etc.
    Within Chabad I know personally Rabbis who are most ardent Zionits living and working within 300 metres from Chabadniks who are ardent ANTI Zionists. And these are not secrets, but well known facts WITHIN Chabad.
    Anyway, as THE Rebbe said , his role was not to lead but to teach, inisting that ” each individual must exert themselves “. This does not mean that , of all Rebbonim, The Rebbe was not considered to be a leader, far from it, but, as ellitism has always been shunned within Chabad, searching for a leader, one that would impinge upon the expected freedom of each Chabad “local” leader to function, is not part of the “formal” manifestation of Chabad. Want a contradiction, here is one. In actual – not preffered practice – conflicts for the top job within Chabad are so frequesnt and, at times, virulent, that all kinds of courts in all kinds of jurisdictions have been incredibly busy and financially crippling within the same Brooklyn barrows for quite some time……So there you have it. In the very spirit of Chabad philosophy, everything is moving, is fluid, why not , progressing !!!
    This kind or real life , real handle on reality makes Chabad the very symbol of Jewish vibrancy, existential relevance.

  • Jack B – While Otto’s writing style is often challenging to understand, he makes some good points about the diversity of and lack of structure within Chabad.

    In answer to your questions: yes; no; yes; no. From the micro perspective, Chabad sometimes looks full of conflict and very messed up, but from the macro it’s successful despite the lack of structure and leadership.

    It would be great to have a genuine discussion about the nature of Chabad on these pages with people who are willing to put aside their prejudices for a short time. This post is not about Chabad; my original comment was just an explanation (not an excuse) as to why some elements of this particular campaign against Rabbi Friedman did not make sense.

    Which brings me to RC’s comment: “not meant to be a Chabad bashing session, but …” As they say in Communication 101 “anything before ‘but’ is bulls**t”.

  • Daniel Levy says:

    As always, David Werdiger manages to keep a conversation about child abuse about the integrity of Chabad.

    Warped is an understatement.

  • Reality Check says:

    Now who can argue with David Werdiger’s logic about what I said. Would appear David failed Logic 101.
    Now have any of you Liberal party lovers, by chance, heard about question time in parliament yesterday? Julia Bishop, Israel’s great friend and friend of the Jews, asked Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus about Australia’s position on Israeli settlements, when Israel or any foreign affairs matters have nothing to do with his responsibilities, as Attoney General. When the speaker told Bishop to withdraw that question Abbott claimed that the speaker was only trying to protect Dreyfus. Another reason, Otto, to vote for them?

  • DAVID SEGAL says:

    Jack b.

    “So what is “Chabad”?

    It is the “Eights wonder of the world”. It is a “something” that has thousands of web sites, schools, Chabbbad houses, head Shluchim, Shluchim and Shluchot, and is not an organization.

    ———–

    David

    “From the micro perspective, Chabad sometimes looks full of conflict and very messed up, but from the macro it’s successful”

    Are you able to answer in plain words “what is Chabad”, and not what Chabad looks like in the eyes of an economist.

  • David Segal – If I answer your question, some twit is liable to accuse me of making this all about Chabad, instead of, say, about how various members or groups within Chabad are or should be responding to the issue of sex abuse, and in particular to appalling, offensive & misinformed statements made by Chabad Rabbis on the topic.

    As I’ve described elsewhere on this site (which is where this discussion really belongs), Chabad is a global, distributed Chassidic movement.

  • Reality Check says:

    Furthermore, David, does that mean whenever you see a but you stop because the rest is “bull…t”.

  • RC – it means when one sees a sentence of the form “I don’t want to criticize X, but …”, or “I’m usually a fan of Israel, but …”, or “You can play dumb, but …” etc the part before the “but” often means the opposite.

    I will try one more time to have a meaningful discussion with you. I’ve written about structure of Chabad as a global org is, as a way to determine what a reasonable response from “Chabad” should be to Rabbi Friedman’s statement. In response, you and others keep saying things like “Chabad must take responsibility”. What specifically does that mean? Who exactly? and what should they do?

  • Reality Check says:

    Well, David, if you had gone to the trouble of reading on, you would have quickly seen that it wasn’t one of those “buts” to which you refer. See what you’re missing out on because of your prejudices.

    Quite frankly, I don’t care less about Chabad’s structure. All I care about is that here in Melbourne, it’s a pretty close knit community with the all the trimmings, and as such the heirarchy able to protect the child sex perpetraters in the past, and still claim to be victims while the victims are the perpetrators. Take a leaf out of Rabbi Moshe Gutnick’s book, and show compassion for the victims, rather than defend the institution which protected the perperraters.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Let’s make it even more clearer for the more stubborner, less smarter, more intenser lovers of senseless arguments – see Reality Check and Daniel Levy that I DO care about you !!!

    Chabad, in the case of Rabbi Friedman who, as said before, had an episode of “tembeli”, lost his marbles etc., was absolutely right in defending the NAME and REPUTATION of Chabad AGAINST the accepted, by Chabad, said episode by one of its members as NOT being representative of the org’s substance, philosophy,crede etc.and, concurently condemning the said idiotic act.
    This stands to the following reason: an individual , as all individuals, is likely to run into “some” trouble controlling his/her actions/words/reasonable rethorical behaviour , as Rabbi Friedman did. While formally a member of a certain group/entity, would that individual with lost marbles, something for which the entity he belongs to is NOT responsible, be considered as in the same mental/ethical/moral cathegory as the ENTIRE group/entity/org. he formally belongs to !!!???
    The answer is a definite NO !!! particularly when the said org. comes out quite clearly against the utterings of the said member with lost marbles. Not good enough for some, then those some can ………………………..

  • Daniel Levy says:

    The entity is responsible for putting monsters in positions of powers to abuse.

    2 new cases in Sydney this week, one in Melbourne. This is an endemic problem within your community and you should be ashamed.

  • letters in the age says:

    Entity =Brand…..

    Get it Johnny?

    Cheers

  • david segal says:

    from the statement

    “Of course, it is essential that no victim/survivor is placed under pressure to make a police statement – they just need to be made aware that they have our complete and unequivocal support, both now and for when they are ready to do so”.

    What does that Paragraph in their statement mean?

    Whose pressure?

    What is considered pressure?

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