logo

Weberman is Found Guilty: What It Means

Nechemya Weberman has been found guilty on 59 counts. The unlicensed therapist with ties to the infamous Vaad Hatznius was accused of abusing a teenage girl and there are rumors of many other victims swirling.

In what must have been a grueling two weeks, the young woman who stood up against Weberman was strong and resilient. She took a bully down. Today Weberman’s fate was sealed. It is likely that he will die in prison considering his age and the number of years his counts carry. The case was monumental and ground-breaking simply because there was a case. But with the verdict and future sentencing forthcoming, the case takes on additional significance.

First, the sobering news. I was not at the trial, but I did not read anything that indicated that there was any physical evidence or corroborating witness testimony. It’s scary that Weberman was convicted on these facts. Innocent or guilty, there were very few facts with which to nail him. On the one hand this might mean that innocent people can be convicted of these crimes. I am not saying the Weberman is innocent. I think he lost his chezkas kashrus a long time ago. But it is possible that similar facts could be asserted falsely. That is a little scary because it might cause a reprisal of rabbinic and lay reluctance to pursue these cases in court.

But it does teach the frum community something very important about sex abuse. The non-frum public take it extremely seriously. Sex abusers are hated by the public and are even hated by the prison populations of our most hardened criminals. No one likes a sex abuser. For some reason, the frum community is only just now coming to grips with this reality. We are too soft on sex crimes. We are not a “light unto the nations” when it comes to abuse. Hopefully, the visceral reaction of the public and the strong condemnation by the jury will teach us a lesson in taking this kind of thing more seriously.

Advocates for survivors of abuse have been following this case closely. However, I am not sure that survivors have been following this case closely. The survivors I have spoken to have been detached from the proceedings. I think this is important to recognize. Survivors, or victims, whatever you want to call them live with the guilt of silence. It is almost as if Weberman’s accuser broke their code. They are happy for her, but it only compounds their pain that their abusers are still at large. I urge everyone to be mindful of this as they discuss the guilty verdict.

Overall, this is a great victory. It is a victory against tyranny and intimidation. It is a victory against abuse of power and self policing (or lack thereof). It is another nail in the coffin of the myth of the “perfect, insular community” and is a step in the right direction. By that we mean, a time and place where safety for our children is more important that communal reputation and rabbinic power. We cannot allow unlicensed therapists and non-professionals to treat our children. Look what happens when we do. This is the kind of case that can open the floodgates. And don’t kid yourself, there are hundreds, if not thousands of cases that have not been brought forward. When the floodgates open, there will be a flood. We have ignored this scourge for too long, if we won’t clean our own act up for ourselves, the state and federal authorities will do it for us.

For decades, abuse victims have been made to feel like they are the villains and their attackers are the heroes. Now they can see how the public feels about their story. The public is outraged. The public wants vengeance and will not stand for cover-ups. That outrage will need to spill over into the frum community.

In order for our community to handle abuse properly, three things need to happen.

1) We need to [(added after publishing) all but] discard the concept of mesirah. The word needs to be excised from our lexicon and it must be relegated to an anachronism and relic of the past. If you need three poskim to explain why there is no prohibition of mesira in sex abuse cases read this: Mesira (The Jewish Informant) in Halacha. People who cover up abuse are thousands of times worse than any moser. Stop covering up and making excuses. We cannot stand for this in our communities.

2) We need to understand the horrible effects of abuse. We don’t get it. We never really will get it. But we need to know that it is much worse than we could possibly imagine. Here are just some symptoms of abuse (that do not apply equally to all survivors). Abuse victims contemplate suicide. They don’t trust anyone. They hate Jews. They hate God. They cannot be intimate. They are scared to commit to relationships or jobs. They seek escape via substance abuse. They cry every day. They become numb and cannot feel anything. They isolate themselves. They never grow up. They need to spend thousands of dollars on therapy and are never really cured. As much as the abuse hurts, the apathy from the frum community hurts even more. Which brings me to number 3.

3) We need to accept survivors into our community with love and affection. We cannot judge them. We cannot allow them to feel second class. We cannot protect their abusers. We must tell them that we do not accept the monsters that harmed them into our communities. We cannot choose monsters over innocent victims. But here is the hard part. We need to acknowledge their pain and suffering without making them feel like they are damaged goods. Yes, their lives have been severely affected for the worse. But they can live beautiful, meaningful lives. We just need to let them. We cannot screen abuse victims from shidduchim and we cannot excuse bad behavior because one is a victim. Yes, they are going to have a hard time because of everything that we still need to understand about the harms of abuse. But that’s okay. We need them to know that we don’t mind if they have a few issues here and there. Who doesn’t? They cannot be stigmatized, otherwise they will never come forward and we run the risk of losing another generation of sex abuse victims.

Let us hope and pray that Weberman was correctly found guilty and more importantly, let us hope and pray that this case is a tipping point. Let us hope and pray that this case is the wake-up call we needed. Let us hope and pray that there are no more korbanos to the Gods of shem tov and chillul Hashem. Those are noble pursuits, but not at the expense of our children.

Ad kan. Enough is enough.


90 Comments
Post Details
  • http://twitter.com/daniopp American Prometheus

    very good. I liked the first point especially.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      Thank you sir. Which “first point”? The lack of evidence? Or the mesira part?

      • Still surprised

        The point that there was no evidence. It’s hard for any lay man to understand why anybody would do that to a child. That is the problem in many cases, that a healthy person simply cannot understand the mind of an abuser. That is why many find it hard to believe. The daas Torah blog has an article on why he thinks he is guilty.

        • adkanenough.com

          Rabbi Fink.
          with all due respect
          Please explain why after nearly 2 weeks of testimony and a heartbreaking

          testimony from a 17year old describing intimate details of the abuse she suffered at the hands of a man old enough to be her grandfather are you insinuating that perhaps the jury got it wrong?

          Why?

          What right do you have to even question his guilt?
          Do you not trust that Gd knows all, and that it was Gd who made this happen?

          Or maybe just maybe he actually did rape the 12 year old girl?

          • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

            There is always doubt. I am a Defense Attorney by nature. I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibility that an innocent man was convicted. It would not be the first time. But as I said, he lost his chezkas kashrus and I have no reason to give him the benefit of the doubt. It has nothing to do with HIS stature in the community or HER statute in the community. It simply relates to the lack of corroborating evidence. Any lawyer will tell you, this was a weak case.

            • MarkSoFla

              It couldn’t have been that weak … they got guilty on 59/60 counts!

              • adkanenough.com

                I cannot understand why you have to put even a sliver of doubt into your article?
                As a Rabbi YOU have a responsibility to support the VICTIMS and not the perps!
                When you know how weak and vulnerable victims are why can you not allow yourself to give them your full vote of confidence, why do you have to spread even a seed of doubt so that once again those who are afraid to come forward will doubt themselves.

                It makes me so angry when people like you pretend to be on the side of the victim, but deep down we can sort of tell where your sentiments lie.

                • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

                  Oh come on…

                • L120

                  Seriously? Have you read anything on this blog? Do you know anything about Rabbi Fink? You’re making a ridiculous assertion which, as anyone who knows even the slightest bit about the author of this blog could tell you, is completely unfounded in reality.

                • Elliot Pasik

                  Ad Kan gets it. God bless you for your hard work in creating your excellent web site, which protects tens of thousands of children.

                • Tzafnas

                  A Rabbi has a no responsibility to support either side. He has the responsibility to G-d and the truth. That often means supporting the victim, but when there is truth in the claim, and only then.

                  • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

                    Thank you

            • http://twitter.com/daniopp American Prometheus

              his taking the stand, did him in. it allowed the state to showcase him as an embezzler and liar. Therefore the He Said, She Said is no longer on equal footing. it was a gift to the prosecution. nothing he could have said would have benefited the defense. I am puzzled whose idea it would have been for him to testify…

            • kweansmom

              Apparently it wasn’t such a weak case, since the jury unanimously voted to convict him on all counts only after two partial days of deliberation.

              Your article also seems to ignore the other witnesses and evidence presented. The social worker testified to seeing signs of anxiety and depression and her clinical judgement indicated that the girl had been traumatized even before she said anything. The mother testified about what the victim told her, and of being pressured by the counselor and the school to allow him to take her on a 12-hour trip upstate despite the problem of yichud. Weberman’s own testimony got him into trouble when he dismissed yichud as “a man-made law” and described the victim as a lower class of person. The receipts for lingerie on the charity’s credit card and the young nubile women boarding in his house didn’t make him look good either. And on and on. I don’t have time now to summarize the entire trial, but the conviction was not based on just one person’s say-so, and the main witness’ testimony was very strong. If you plan to be a defense attorney you’d better get used to the idea that your client absolutely can lose a case like this and should not rely on the “no physical evidence” defense.

              It may not be out of the realm of possibility that he’s innocent, but the jury felt it was beyond a reasonable doubt, and there’s good reason for that.

              • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

                All true. But was there a criminal charge for the 12 hour trip? Was she the only possible lingerie recipient? The point is that the evidence was kind of weak. That’s all. No big deal.

                • kweansmom

                  One of the charges was “endangering the welfare of a child”. I would think that taking a child upstate against the parents wishes and returning them late at night would fall under that category.

                  The other evidence speaks to his character and credibility and yes absolutely is relevant to who you’re going to believe in a case without physical evidence.

      • http://twitter.com/daniopp American Prometheus

        HA. I didnt realize that there were actually 2 “first” points here. But yes, both of the “first” points. (i was initially making reference to the evidentiary portion and the potential for a chilling effect. I DO believe that while there may be a chilling effect on rabbis there will be the inverse effect on victims – as they will now see that their claims wont be ignored without physical evidence – I also agree that a lack of physical evidence or other witnesses in criminal matters would make me a bad juror for the state)

        • MarkSoFla

          Would a trial lawyer ever be permitted on [such] a jury??? :-)

  • azi

    . It is almost as if Weberman’s accuser broke their code. 

    What does that mean. What code? Wouldnt they all come forward if they could ?

    • MarkSoFla

      He sure did break their code … he got caught and convicted.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      @b40c11b04639233e7c28d017e22d1dcf:disqus Survivors of abuse in the frum community are silent for many reasons. One reason is that they do not want to hurt the family’s of their abusers. This is somewhat of a code. that’s what I was talking about.

      • MarkSoFla

        One reason is that they do not want to hurt the family’s of their abusers.

        That may be one reason, but I think it’s a minor reason. A much more important reason is that they don’t want to hurt THEIR OWN families. As we all know, “bad for shidduchim” is quite contagious.

        • kweansmom

          It’s MUCH worse than “bad for shidduchim”. Her relatives were kicked out of their schools. Her boyfriend’s business was shuttered. Other abuse victims who spoke out have been shunned, screamed at, threatened, etc. This is not about snagging a good match, it’s about being allowed to live without threats and harassment. She found her own shidduch, thank you very much.

          • MarkSoFla

            I should have made it clear that I am using “bad for shidduchim” as a synonym for ostracizing in all ways.

      • Azi Grae

        so they would rather others not seek justice because they’ve made the decision to not do it for their own abusers? sorry, but that seems ridiculous to me.

        • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

          It’s cognitive dissonance. They sacrificed themselves for the sake of the community so it somewhat hurts to see another person destroy what you have tried to save. Also, don’t try to understand the inner workings of the frum victim. It’s impossible.

          • Azi Grae

            ok, I wont try but It doesnt just not make sense to me, it seems absurd and ridiculous and wrong to me. its seems like just another way they are victimized. they were abused and then they have to stay silent, they are creating their own Stockholm syndrome when nobody has kidnapped them

            • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

              Such is the life of the survivor of abuse in the frum community. I know this from multiple first hand sources.

  • survivor

    As a survivor of abuse, I agree 100%. This article is spot on.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      Thank you.

  • David

    After reading this, it’s scary that people even need an article like this. Where in history did our nation possible start compromising on such an important and sensitive issue? One thing I feel can be added is that mesirah must absolutely be balanced with preventing enabling. Enabling is far worse than accepting or condoning these acts. It’s actually telling people that it’s okay to do it.

    And btw it’s very scary that one can be convicted without full and proper evidence but the more people are comfortable coming out close to the time of the offense, the more accurate the evidence will be.

    • Azi Grae

      do you think this “community above all” existed in pre war Europe even in cases like this? Or is it a phenomena of American Charedism?

    • http://2nd-son.blogspot.com/ G*3

      > Where in history did our nation possible start compromising on such an important and sensitive issue?

      The frum world never “started” compromising – it’s not as if abuse was once considered an important issue in the frum community / in halacha, and then it was dropped. Abuse wasn’t recognized as a problem in the world at large until relatively recently. The frum world just hasn’t caught up yet.

  • http://twitter.com/noyam Noam Greenberg

    I know some will call me naive, but I have a small amount of trust in the legal system, and that if not the defense, at least the judge, instructed the Jury properly on the burden of proof. Many cases come down to reliability of testimony, and even without “physical evidence” the Jury was within its rights to find the accuser reliable and ignore Weberman’s defenses, especially credibility attacks. This isn’t an episode of CSI.

    And here’s the thing: if this leads to required reforms such as not allowing a counselor to be alone with a child (so that there’s a corroborating witness for the defense, for instance, if you fear false claims), then those are positive developments.

    I know someone who, because of the nature of his practice, treats pre-teen and teenage boys and girls. He is never in the office alone. He won’t allow it. If the receptionist isn’t there, he doesn’t see patients. Perhaps for a sense of propriety, perhaps CYA (I don’t think for a moment he’s protecting himself from urges, chas v’shalom) but either way, if this is the development the community takes, I support it. Either monsters won’t be left alone with children or honest people will be protected (to some degree) from false claims.

    • http://twitter.com/daniopp American Prometheus

      TITCR

  • MarkSoFla

    I’m not sure what kind of physical evidence you envision might exist in such a case. Can you elucidate?

    • Azi Grae

      agreed. firstly she was 12-15 which was years ago, secondly she was 12-15 and from a sheltered background she probably didnt understand that she could use semen stained clothing for evidence, and it likely never occurred to her that there would be a need for evidence or that she’d ever go to court.

      • MarkSoFla

        In short, she was no Monica.

    • kweansmom

      Maybe a smoking, er, gun.

  • http://twitter.com/stamfordhill Zelophehad

    Fair and balanced article, although sympathy for the victim, who went through a grueling court case, is called for too and is lacking in this article.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      Yes. I admit, I should have included that. I wrote this in 30 minutes and wanted it up as soon as I could. That was indeed an oversight.

      • http://twitter.com/stamfordhill Zelophehad

        You are a noble man.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      I added a line to the article. Thank you for commenting.

  • Elliot Pasik

    There are often never any witnesses to a sex crime. Years ago, there was no scientific evidence – no DNA, no fingerprints, no videos, no photos. Yet, beis din and court systems operated. Without scientific evidence, people’s minds were more highly trained. Judges and rabbis brought their skills of logic and reason to the justice table. True, remarkable stories have been told of how the Vilna Gaon, Rav Moshe Feinstein, and others decided difficult cases, where there was little or no direct proof. Here, Weberman violated his own religious precepts of yichud. Additionally, he admitted to being a liar and a thief. He set up a phony shell nonprofit corporation to raise charity money for his own personal expenses. He bought lingerie with some of that money. This wasn’t she says, he says. It was she says, sinner says, and she says, liar says, and she says, thief says. “Its scary that Weberman was convicted on these facts”. ????? Pardon me, I find it scary that you, an orthodox rabbi, this late in the day, find it scary. You’re worried that “similar facts could be asserted falsely” in the future. We’ve heard all this before, and these arguments have been utilized to chill survivors and their advocates from pursuing their grievances in court. You’re trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but today and tomorrow, you’re outnumbered by those who see how hollow these arguments are. I frankly don’t understand your entire column, much of which is psycho babble. And the ending: Let us hope and pray that Weberman was correctly found guilty? What a clever way to cast doubt. Yes, the politically correct, easy points have been touched upon here, but otherwise, I’m baffled by a rabbi who still doesn’t “get it”.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      Your comment is highly offensive. If you think that I don’t get it, you are either deliberately trying NOT to read what I write or just showboating in the comments section with the usual flair of Internet commenters. Please.

      • Elliot Pasik

        “Highly offensive”? And you critique the last few words of the final sentence, without replying to any substance? Rabbi Fink, you’re much too judgmental and thin skinned to be blogging. Kavod ha’rav to you is the most important “mitzvah” in the Torah. Its the survivors and advocates who brought Weberman to justice, with hard hitting advocacy, and you apparently have no appreciation for that, which has benefited all of the Jewish people, including you and your family. Wow.

        • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

          Sorry but your substance is hogwash. Advocacy should not being blind to the facts. It’s offensive that I am not an advocate in your eyes just because I acknowledge the lack of evidence in the case. I am very happy for you. You are the real hero here. If you need credit, take it. But don’t have the gall to associate me with the very people I have been fighting with this very blog and in personal and rabbinic life for a decade. It’s highly offensive.

          • Elliot Pasik

            You’re a good reminder of why I hesitate at putting rabbis on juries. Rav Kook and the Malbim write that the baal ha’battim usually have more basic morality and sachel than the rabbis.

      • S.

        A thought: Elliot Pasik obviously has no clue who you are, because if he did his comment would be impossible, not to mention ridiculous for him to have made, so pegging you wrong. However, another thought: it is precisely because he has no clue who you are, reading it entirely in a vacuum, that he read this as yet another rabbi sweeps it under the rug. If your post could come across that way without further context – maybe it’s food for thought?

        • S.

          On second thought, having read further exchanges I take that back.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      I mean, you yourself have commented on MY blog that I do get it. So what, I used to get it and now I don’t? Stop being such a zealot and use your sechel.

      • Elliot Pasik

        More unbecoming ad hominem.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      You probably think the entire article is psycho-babble because I didn’t thank you enough for all your tremendous efforts on behalf of klal yisrael. Please forgive me.

      • Elliot Pasik

        Highly offensive sarcasm. While you talk, others do. You should swing over to Rabbi Horowitz, and learn something.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joshie Joshie Berger

      perhaps when more blood is pumping to your brain than your heart you will read this article like most have, and not imply it says anything you imply it does in this lil rant of yours

    • http://twitter.com/InMyCookieJar Cookie Jar

      Elliot, this is an overreaction on your part. The comment Rabbi Fink made, while i dont agree with it, is not that big of a deal. The Rabbi is standing up for whats right here, lets give him some credit.

      • mendy

        Not that big a deal. No “of” in that sentence.

  • victim supporter

    The jury was asked if Weberman was guilty beyond ‘reasonable’ doubt, not beyond ‘any’ doubt and anyhow, the key evidence in this case turned on 2 points.

    1) why the victim didn’t say anything sooner

    - according to the experts, this is typical of all child sexual abuse, the victims usually only speak up later and further in this case, the victim would not have known that she had been sexually abused – they don’t exactly have sex education lesson in Satmar

    2) was the victim acting with vengeance against Weberman (and was making up the whole story)

    - according to the counsellor with whom the victim first confided in, the victim was depressed and suffering from post traumatic stress.

  • kweansmom

    You may have been in touch with survivors who didn’t follow the story, but several sources have reported that other Weberman victims were in the courtroom observing the trial.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      Eilu v’eilu…

  • Sukanya Dutta

    great article. I’m Indian, but I can relate because in India, rape victims are ostracized and treated as worse than second class citizens. their lives are often ruined. I hope one day all victims of sexual abuse are absolved of blame and can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

  • Yerachmiel Lopin

    I think the question of physical evidence depends on a case. Certainly when there should have been physical evidence available to the prosecution, it is a valid defense to say, “Where is the physical evidence?” But in this sort of case there are good reasons why there is no physical evidence available. In these sorts of cases the burden of proof on the testimony and overall pattern consistent with the accusation rises. But in this case the evidence clearly met the burden of proof plus some.

    Rabbi Fink, I wish you had been more nuanced in making it clear when the question of physical evidence is most concerning. I would also add what we both know, in the Frum world, the pressures against testifying are incredible, absolutely terrifying. So the willingness to go forward as a witness in a trial is usually indicative of more than in a community where victims are not ostracized and tortured for testifying.

  • Shayna

    Rabbi Fink,

    I recently discovered your blog and have been really appreciating your refreshing outlook on things.

    I agree with this article and I understand what the point of it is; I just want to add as a side note, that this case has been a HUGE CHILLUL HASHEM. (Besides for the obvious reasons) I am ashamed. Also, judging by the comments on secular news sites, people are quick to condemn all Jews based on this. That makes me sad. What Satmar (and others) are doing is unfair to themselves and to the other sects of Judaism.

  • http://twitter.com/YairSpolter Yair Spolter

    Well said.
    Very well said.

  • Dov F

    Very balanced and well put article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/itchemeyer.yeshivaforum ItcheMeyer YeshivaForum

    I’m sorry Rabbi Fink butI agree with Elliot Passik. Its inappropriate for you, as a rabbi, to cast suspicion on sex abuse cases with Rabbinic authorities as defendants. There’s way too much rabbinic coverup that happened and continues to happen that you’re alligning yourself with.

    Rabbanim, even someone as veit from the corruption as you, are automatically cast into suspicion in my mind when they stand up for the authority figures over the victims. And while I appreciate your article, I don’t blame elliot passik one bit for crying manipulation and ass covering.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      Name one Rabbi who covers up abuse who would appreciate my article. ONE! You can’t. Associating me with them borders on idiotic.

      • http://www.facebook.com/itchemeyer.yeshivaforum ItcheMeyer YeshivaForum

        No. The rabbanim I’m talking about are the second tier. They don’t actively cover it up. But they don’t know enough and talk reflexively, always covering for the rabbanim who they can’t bring themselves to challenge. I can give you 3 names that you’d be familiar with, having gone through ner yisrael, who are very damaging through simple ignorance and misplaced loyalty

        • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

          But I’m not ignorant not do I have any misplaced loyalty. Unjust pointed out what any rational observer would say. Especially one with legal training.

          • http://www.facebook.com/itchemeyer.yeshivaforum ItcheMeyer YeshivaForum

            Rationality seems to be objective then. What can I say?

  • http://www.facebook.com/itchemeyer.yeshivaforum ItcheMeyer YeshivaForum

    And what I just said has nothing to do with 90% of the content of your article, which is very good in dealing with victims post-abuse. My point is strictly on the other side, the dark side, that you probably aren’t involved in at all and don’t know what kind of filth you are aligning yourself with by simply saying a simple naive comment.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      I know exactly what I’m talking about. Don’t call me naive. I’ve actually spent days and weeks of my life dealing with abuse from both sides of the issue.

      • http://www.facebook.com/itchemeyer.yeshivaforum ItcheMeyer YeshivaForum

        I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. I still do. I’ve dealt with some of these people and there’s no way you could talk like that had you been in the trenches of this

        • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

          Ah. But I am. So there goes your theory.

          • http://www.facebook.com/itchemeyer.yeshivaforum ItcheMeyer YeshivaForum

            Ok. Idk. I can’t see it as any way but a war. In a war, you pick sides. There are no conscienscious objectors. Cooler heads? I see them as scared, ignorant, too worried about their reputations, or conspirators. You I designate ignorant in my head.

            • http://www.facebook.com/itchemeyer.yeshivaforum ItcheMeyer YeshivaForum

              There is evil out there. I don’t know how you can try to blunt the only weapon victims have in this war

              • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

                Let’s calm down. I’m not blunting any weapons.

  • http://twitter.com/bukin86 Yitzchak Bukingolts

    Thank you for being strong and courageous and pointing out the tremendous danger in the judicial system when it comes to these types of cases. If Weberman really did it, I hope he gets everything coming to him in prison… but the sad reality exists where good people can very easily be ruined! [not to be mistook for any desire for cover up etc]

  • RAM

    If every sect can run its own police state because everyone inside and outside the broader Jewish community is scared of their clout, this crime and other crimes will fester on. The DA seems to be onto this finally.

  • http://twitter.com/theburack theburack

    While (I think) I agree with your comment regarding mesirah as it applies today, I cant agree with calling it a total anachronism. We are comfortable in America today, but who knows what the future holds? If we were to find ourselves in a situation where molesters were castrated, tortured etc by the hands of a government, it could be mesirah would be applicable again. If you agree with me (not confidentyou do) I would prefer you qualified your statement better.

  • Aaron

    Is it possible to see a transcript of the trial?

  • ehov HAEMET

    Thank you for your balanced view. While he might have lost cheskas kashrus regarding many matters; it does not mean that he lost cheskas kashrut regarding this issue. He might a thief but it does not mean that he automatically loses cheskas kashrut regarding these matters. For instance, one would not necesdsarily say, that a thief loses cheskas not being assumed a rotzeach. WE find that even in the same area, “ein ossrin al hayichud”, it does not create a level of doubt required to forbid the woman to he husband. In addition the other side does not necessarily have cheskas kashrut. So this case did a lot of good inti intimidating real culprits not to mess with terrible crime; but it certainly gives them “proof” that they will not have a fair chance…and they will be convicted for lack of direct evidence, because the alleged victim is automatically beelived and the alleged abuser is automaticaly disbeleived without any DIRECT evidence (and no, there was no direct evidence of abuse, and he claimed it was not yichud because his wife was home and we have conflicting statements regarding the locks and the media convicted him from day one and she certainly had a vendetta so no evidence, nr even a chazakah that “eyn odom meiz” to make such claims for no reason whatseover).

  • Grateful

    To me, this verdict and trial is an encouragement. I was molested by my father, not in a religious-orthodox setting, I have been shunned by my familiy (not religious-orthodox) since the time I spoke out. I cannot go to court, status of limitations is over.

    The fact that another victim has the courage to go to trial despite the intimidation, the bribing attemps, the ostracising by the community giver me great hope and satisfaction. It is to me as if my case was heard and accepted too.

  • חמור נושא ספרים

    I deal with the implications כלפי שמיא here: http://learnedmule.blogspot.com/2012/12/finally.html

  • Chaim Grossferstant

    very good post. However The losers are unused to losing. they are not “good sports”. I predict repeated appeals, more intimidation, ostracizing and violence and a lifetime of ever-increasing victimization of the victim/ “winner”.

  • moses

    Hi Rabbi
    Why should we pray that Wgeberman was correctly find guilty.

  • Betty Horowitz

    Rabbi Fink, I am surprised that you express your opinion without Torah backing. Mr Weberman did not counsel the girl with a locked door. Rules were established and his wife and kids were always there. That a jury found him guilty shows nothing. For them the torah way of a girl is supressing, regardless if she is Satmar or Vien. There wasnt any “Eidim” that backed up her story. She was believed in a true goyish way. She impressed the goyim in her well demeanor, in her sticking to the points to this story. And she surely looked better than the 54 year old older guy. The family supporting her are by now mostly not shomer shabbos. They grew up chassidic and openly commited the worst sins until they moved out. ALthough the girls parents were frum. Why should you be happy to have a yid die in prison when many things point the other way. To keep to her terms she had this motto for four days
    “Every day, Every time , All three locks closed” When she was shown the impossible of this statement those days she shrugged her shoulders. When the day comes which wont be in years , will be before and he comes out of prison, how do you thin youll feel.
    I think you need to consider your beeing a rebbe

    • S.

      The Torah says that if a man seduces a young woman he has to pay her father and marry her. Do you think the man seduces the woman in front of witnesses?

      Even if the triple-lock was not true – and it certainly has not been established that he did not lock the door, you’re just asserting that he didn’t – the 12 hour road trip alone is established. Could his wife and kids have walked in at any moment? How did Weberman account for the purpose of the trip, much less every minute of it?

      You reveal your real feelings when you say “why should you be happy to have a yid die in prison” – not an innocent man, a yid. His guilt or innocence means nothing to you.

      • Azi Grae

        well done s.

  • vladimir

    Castration as a punishment for the sexual abuse.