Rav Tauber: Not Reporting Abuse To The Police Violates Halacha


rav-tauber-abuseMiami, FL – Four hundred people filled the main sanctuary of Chabad Aventura Sunday evening for a night of awareness and education about child sexual abuse (CSA), hereon referred to as abuse. The highly charged event served as an opportunity to show support to victims of abuse and to educate the public about the dangers of abuse. Survivors, rabbis, mental health professionals repeated a duel message: the Orthodox Jewish community will no longer sweep abuse under the rug and survivors who step forward will be embraced.

The event was emceed by Rosh Lowe and organized by Jewish Community Watch (JCW), an organization committed to raising awareness and preventing child abuse in the orthodox Jewish community.

Rav Elchonon Tauber, noted posek and dayan from Los Angeles, told the crowd that halacha not only allows you to inform on abuse to the police, but also insists that someone who knows of abuse and doesn’t report it is in violation of the prohibition of shefichas damim.

Rav Tauber urged the audience to view CSA as they would any other crime. “If you saw someone poisoning the food in a cheder, you wouldn’t ask your rov his opinion on whether or not they should be reported. You would go straight to the police. Do the same thing with abuse. If you know of an individual who is harming children, go directly to the police.”

Miami resident and entrepreneur Eli Nash, who has advocated for JCW since it provided him with aid while he confronted his own childhood abuse, told the assembled that keeping the dark secret of abuse quiet is not a healthy option. “Secrets are bad for our health,” Nash said. He also urged the community to combat abuse and support survivors. Nash concluded his talk with a resounding, “We deserve better.”

The attendees also heard from two survivors of abuse, who bravely broke their silence and shared their story publicly. By doing this they sent a message to other survivors that they are not alone, and that even after experiencing the horror of child sexual abuse they can take back their power and choose to be survivors rather than victims.

Another survivor of abuse, Bibi Morosow-Saul, explained the psychology of abusers and the hold that they can place over their victims.

Dr. Norman Goldwasser, a trauma psychologist, spoke about the impact of a previous JCW sponsored event that took place this past September in Miami. After the event, because of what she had gained at the event, a survivor came to him in order to receive help. Dr. Goldwasser shared the story of her suffering and her road to healing.

Meyer Seewald, founder and CEO of Jewish Community Watch, said that historically Jews have always placed a special emphasis on education. “Since G-d appointed the children as the guarantors of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, generations of parents have risked and sacrificed everything to educate their children according to Jewish traditions, from secret study groups in ancient Rome and communist Russia to the sacrifices parents make today so that they can send their children to Jewish private schools. Despite all of this, there seems to be a lack of understanding or unwillingness to address child abuse – an issue that drives so many of our children away from the Torah and towards drug abuse, depression, anxiety, and years of pain.

“This is the mission of Jewish Community Watch, to make sure every child in our community grows up without the pain and suffering that so many of us survivors experienced and continue to experience,” said Seewald. “We have held awareness events in four cities in the last six months and the response has exceeded our expectations every time. With all of us working together, we are getting closer to achieving that goal.”

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I see Matzav has fallen into the hands of the haters where all people are perverts and molesters. Why does Matzav feel the need to publicize this garbage

  2. #1,your comment shows how much you are not aware of the current reality. In the days of Yerovam ben Nevot or in other times when avoda zara was rampant, it would have been important to emphasize that avoda zara is against halacha. Your comment insults the hundreds of victims who are not believed when they report the abuse to the establishment (as opposed to the police) and who see their abusers being defended by various powers that be.
    Nowadays, the problem of CSA is so rampant while community support is so weak and action against abusers so rare that it must be addressed. In Eretz Yisroel, Bayit Cham, an organization that is the largest mental health service provider in the country (and has a frum administration) was asked to open a treatment program for frum kids who suffered abuse. Within three years, they have treated 400 children in three clinics. But many abused kids (and their families) are afraid to come forward for treatment because then it has to be reported to the police and they don’t have community backing to do so, so they keep it a secret until they’re 18, when they are not legally required to report it, not to the police and not to their parents. That’s why Bayit Cham then opened a program for abused women 18 and above. There is only room enough to treat 25 women concurrently and there’s a waiting list of 100!! What does that tell you about the abuse situation in our communities? That it’s an insult to address the issue by posting this article?! I don’t believe that the picture is more rosy in the USA. So yes, while it should be obvious that people should feel free to report abuse, the fact is that the level of community support does not encourage that course of action. You should applaud, rather than mock, those who are trying to spread awareness and raise community support.