Showing posts with label child molestation in the Torah community. Show all posts
Showing posts with label child molestation in the Torah community. Show all posts

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Teach Your Children - "Beware of Chazir Menshen"

Years ago, I got involved with fighting child abuse. But there was a problem in how to present the problem to young children. An experienced teacher once said that he was told about warning children about child abuse, that it could backfire. Only a very experienced and confident teacher should talk about such things to the class. One teacher said that his mentor did talk about these things to the class, but that he feared that he was not ready to do it. So what could I do? Because child molestation is rampant everywhere, even in the Torah community. I hit upon the idea of telling my children, "Watch out for the chazir menshen." When I said "chazir menshen" my face revealed my true revulsion for anyone who would do such a thing. Not long after this, my young son came charging into the house shouting, "Tatee! A chazir mensh is next door." It seemed that next door, in a shull, my son was learning, and a man came in and started learning. Then the man came over to talk to my son about something and suddenly, my son realized that this fellow had not come to talk. My son bolted for the door. I was out in a flash. I saw a fellow huffing and puffing on his way up the street, and I was after him. He beat me to the bus by a few steps. Which was very lucky for me, if not for him. It seems that one of the favorite tactices of molesters is to go to a different community where nobody knows them. Not long after that the police found a young child sitting in the driver's seat of a car that had just had an accident. It seems that the owner of the car was a molester who would let kids drive the car as a payment for their chazir help. When he saw the accident from the kid's driving he ran away, but the police had the car and probably traced the license plate to the owner. We have a great problem that biology begins way before marriage. Yeshivas have problems. When I was young, a Yeshiva expelled a large group of older students. That was why. Some despair of preventing everything. One student told me that he told his Rosh Yeshiva that a student was engaged in chazir stuff. Nothing happened. I don't want to discuss what happened when the student started pestering the Rosh Yeshiva about it. I once went to a prominent Rov in Israel, to discuss with him the laws of Gittin. After a while, he said that he was going to doven Mincha, and I went along. After Mincha, the Rov called me over. "Do you go to the Mikvah?" he asked. I answered, "You suspect me of going to a place that is tumoh, rima visolayoh?" He smiled and said to me, "Go back to Monsey and say that filters are wrong." That has to do with Mikvah laws, but he didn't contest my description of the Mikva. A Mikvah is a great problem. There is a new one in Monsey that is built in such as to avoid many problems, but taking children along with the father to the Mikvah is surely a questionable act. A friend who is very active in child molestation once told me that there is a Mikvah in Brooklyn known in the trade as "h___central." Men come in, look, lock on to somebody, and they are gone. Biology doesn't run away. What can you do about it? I told you what I did about it, teaching my children about chazir menshen. But that is not enough. A child must not be worried about eventually getting married. There are parents who do not want to suffer the humiliations and struggles that finding a shidduch for a child requires. When I was involed in shidduchin, mostly to Israelis, who have a different time zone, we had to dedicate a good part of the night to reach people who were not available by day. We struggled, we slept less, and we suffered the shame of being refused. And our children knew it. Once I turned to my young daughter at the Shabbos table and said, "When are you leaving?" She blushed happily. It means a lot to a child to trust the parents that they will work hard for a shidduch. When children trust their parents to deliver a shidduch when they need it, it is much easier to control the kedusho. But there are parents who get a phone call from a child, "Mazel tov! I am engaged." The parents are shocked and upset that they knew nothing about it. But why didn't they know about it? Today, in the Torah community, there is a terrible problem with kedusho. I once dealt with a lady who was a government employee dealing with certain problems. She told me she wanted to meet some Monsey rabbis, and I arranged a meeting with a rabbi who is heavily involved in marriage and divorce. I later went to the rabbi and asked how the meeting went. He told me, "She left me a video of Torah Jews swapping wives." I don't want to say where the video was taken. When I tell this to the "pros" who know all about life that I don't know about, they laugh at me. They say, "That is the problem/ Hah! hah!." I wouldn't dare write what they have to say. Somebody once told me that in his neighborhood of Torah Jews the bad things go on in the houses while parents are busy elsewhere or or know what they better not find out. A fellow told me his child was molested when he moved into Monsey and somebody came over to help him adjust because he was a new "baal teshuva." He found out why that individual wanted to "help out" rachmono litslon. We have to give our lives for our children, so that they know and you know, what is going on. The key, I was told by a major Israeli thinker, is to make the children enjoy Torah and mitsvah, and to be happy. And today, that requires a lot of effort. We have to fight for our children, because we have competition.