Rav Lau: Don’t Cover Up Abuse of children

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Israeli Chief Rabbi Rav Dovid Lau wrote an open letter to educators Sunday evening in which he calls for them to “open their eyes” and deal with any and every instance of child abuse of any kind.

A portion of the letter, as translated by Arutz Sheva, reads:

“To my great pain we’ve recently been witness to horrific cases of abuse in our midst, cases in which children were hurt in their houses and their schools. How painful it is to hear that the very places which are supposed to provide a feeling of safety and security for our children, have become places of fear… Burying our heads in the sand is not the answer in these difficult and painful matters. Every individual must know that he bears responsibility for what goes on around him, even if it doesn’t involve him personally.”

“I feel disgusted by the very fact that we have to address these matters, but address them we must… As those who dedicate their lives to providing better education, you bear an even greater responsibility to look around and devote your full attention to anything that might damage the souls of our precious youth… Under no circumstances should these things be swept under the rug. We can’t avoid dealing with phenomena that, unless they are stopped, can cause great damage to so many more people in the future.”

David Steger – Matzav.com Israel News Bureau

3 COMMENTS

  1. Ever since Bayit Cham – the foremost frum mental health service provider in Israel countrywide – opened centers to treat frum victims of sexual abuse and to train rabbonim, community leaders, educators and parents, hundreds of victims have come out of the woodwork. We can no longer deny that this is a serious problem that must be dealt with – it’s far too big to be ignored. Those who suspect and remain silent or even cover up for the abuser as well as families of victims who try to hide it, need frum society to send a clear message that NO LONGER CAN THIS GO ON! Having rachmonus on the abuser’s family while abandoning (or worse) the victim is one of the major causes of off the derech kids. What happened to “lo saamod al dam rei’echa”? These kids feel abandoned by the community even though it’s not the Torah that betrayed them, it’s imposters who behave like animals and pretend to be tzaddikim and (if we’re trying to judge favorably) misguided people who protect them. If abusers know that they will not get away with it, no one will defend them and they will bring ruin upon themselves and their families, maybe they will go for help a lot faster. All addicts need to hit rock bottom before doing anything. But if the environment constantly pads the bottom, they will never hit it. Rabbi Lau’s voice needs to be heard and it needs to be joined by many others.

  2. Yasher Koach to Rav Lau for opening this discussion in public. We all feel disgusted by the topic- but it is even more repulsive that so many choose to remain silent and bury their collective heads in the sand while our precious neshamos suffer.

  3. Those sick and disturbed people have almost certainly been abused children. We must offer help to their victims so that they will become healthy adults and at the same time we have to make sure those people can not hurt anyone ever again.

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