Watch: Rabbi Wallerstein Responds to Backlash On Comments About Abuse Victims

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A recently-released 3 minute video clip (see here) of a longer speech given by Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein has caused a backlash. In response, Rabbi Wallerstein issued the following statement, in which he says that his comments were taken out of a 56 minute speech, averring that listeners much watch the whole speech and not take a few lines out of context.




  1. Rabbi Wallerstein is a very special person. His main point about the difference between a “victim” & a “survivor” was right on the mark. He had the guts to say it. Generally anything holocaust related is off limits. Look what happened to Rabbi Mizrachi.

  2. Rabbi Wallerstein was not speaking about abuse victims. He was speaking about a very specific video – a video that served no purpose other than to create an excused way of finger-pointing-living.
    If the purpose of the vidoe was to go after molesters, Rabbi Wallerstein would have supported it!
    If the purpose of the vidoe was to comfort survivors or victims, Rabbi Wallerstein would have supported it!
    If the purpose of the vidoe was to comfort this kid himself, Rabbi Wallerstein would have supported it!

    But there was no purpose to his video. That’s what Rabbi Wallerstein was talking about. Choose to be a survivor, not a victim. Choose a productive life, not one of pain and misery….

  3. I just watched the 3 minute video and I became a fan of Rabbi Wallerstien. He is one thousand percent right!
    Enough with the blame and it’s time to begin being survivors. I also experienced teams, abuse and so much more yet at one point I realized that it won’t help to harp on the past! I moved on. I am a proactive member of my community. I build and all that I do is fueled by my past. It pains me to see institutions build on the motto of victim hood. I don’t blame the victims, I blame our society that cowers and doesn’t demand what rabbi Wallerstien just demanded!

  4. Like the ponovez tov decided to call his orphan home batei avos not yesomim in order to cast a forward attitude of growth rather than focusing on the obvious pain

  5. Until We condemn all types of abusers regardless of their stature/position they will be victims.
    Start by outing the villains and the rest will be easier to accomplish. Unfortunately we still live in a blame the victim mindset….

  6. He’s right. I was a victim of abuse. But I’ve chosen never to speak about it and to be productive instead.
    But not everything needs to be said in public.

  7. Why is matzav calling rabbi wallerstein’s statement an “apology”? Just because all those PC pundits out there determined that he said the “wrong” thing doesn’t mean a thing! Rabbi Wallerstein wasn’t ‘apologizing’…he was merely clarifying. Just imagine for one moment if Moshe Rabbeinu were living today, how the critics out there wouldn’t give him a moment’s menucha. They would have a field day with him! Leave Rabbi Wallerstein alone. There are very few people like him out there who do things le’Shem Shomayim.

  8. Crazy how haters can hate on anyone even the people who help all the people who went through abuse.I saw the dear future generations video and it was only full of hate.Go rabbi Wallerstien!!!

  9. he was a 100% right in what he said on that video…. And Please, if you were abused or suffered in life then please go for professional help, learn to connect to hashem and leave the rest of the world out of it. I do not see why everyone needs to know your issues, weather its your doing or not….

  10. Rabbi Wallerstein is a very unique doer how have done and still does a lot for those kids who fail to the sideways with his entire big heart. But with all of these, a person that never went through a holocaust can never ever judge those who did. And with all the respect, Rabbi W – despite stating that you cannot judge them, did – in fact – judge them by making a clear distinction between the victims and the survivors. Rabbi W – as he himself testifies – was almost a drop off or OTD and he has a Shprach with those kids BUT HE WAS NEVER SEVERELY ABUSED AND VICTIMIZED. And even – I hope not – if he was, he might have had an inner survival tools and strength that had help him overcome. NOT EVERY VICTIM COMES TO THIS WORLD EQUALLY EQUIPED!!! I would expect a man of his caliber to understand the simple rule that every single person wants to be the best but not everyone can, especially those who went through severe traumas who shutter every healthy vital part in any person especially and especially in young helpless defenseless growing kids. By his wrong statements, he offended countless families who are living this bitter reality with their kids day in and day out without the proper support and understandings from the education system.


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