In the style of Deuteronomy, allow me to summarize the Jewish Standard’s article, “Outcry over hosting a sex offender” (July 12), with the following points:
â€¢ Rabbi Michael Taubes, the rosh yeshiva of MTA, hosts convicted child molester Baruch Lanner on various occasions.
â€¢ Rabbi Norman Lamm, YU’s chancellor, steps down from his position and apologizes for his inactions when confronted with child molestation in his institution.
â€¢ In 1989 the RCA convened a bais din, made up of three YU rabbis, which later acquits Baruch Lanner and ruled that the accuser must apologize to him. In the end, Baruch Lanner was charged, convicted, and jailed.
â€¢ Rabbi Chiam Belski, one of the OU’s experts in kashrut affairs, wrote in defense of Rabbi Yosef Kolko of Lakewood, who was charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy, “after conducting a thorough investigation.” (Yosef Kolko happens to be the nephew of Rabbi Yehudah Kolko, another child molester, who also was protected by Rabbi Margolis of Yeshiva Torah Temima on Ocean Parkway.) After Rabbi Kolko pleaded guilty of all charges, Rabbi Belsky continues to maintain his innocence.
â€¢ Rabbi Shmuel Golden, former president of the RCA, said, “We are pleased that his (Rabbi Belsky’s) overall position is comparable with that of the RCA.” I suppose batting .110 is something to be admired.
â€¢ This March, in a speech in London, Rabbi Herschel Schachter warned rabbis about the dangers of reporting child sex abuse allegations to the police because it could result in a Jew being jailed with a black inmate or Muslim who might want to kill him. “It could be that the whole thing is a bubbe-mayse,” he said about possible allegations. I guess the take-home message is all about inconveniencing a Jewish child molester.
At last year’s Tishah B’av kinot at Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck, the keynote question of the day posed by Rabbi J.J. Schacter was: What does Tishah B’av mean to you, today?
The answer is plain to see.