Sunday, January 04, 2004

Of dogs and men

Anybody who has never seen a big chassid (and we can be big can’t we?) crossing the road in total terror from a tiny little toy dog has never seen the real face of modern day chassidus. I am sure there must be a good explanation for the reason that Chassidim are scared of dogs, but I have never found it.

I know that dogs are a tumene chaya (unclean beasts) and that is the justification that many will give, however I know many equally tumene chayas that not only are not run away from but are actually given places oiven uhn (at the head table). This leads me to conclude that the dogs tume qualities are not the only reason we run away from them. Indeed some might argue that tumekeit is positively a requisite for a place oiven uhn. I know that this is nothing new to anyone reading this blog so let us share some information that might doch make reading this one worthwhile.

Let’s talk about sex! We all know that some things go on that have to be swept under the carpet. It is said that Chanina Shiff once announced to a rapt Gurrer audience that it is indeed true that the (now late) Rebbe goes early to bed and he does spend most his time alone. But, he assured his hushed crowd “er vaist vus tit zich bai yedem einem inter der dochene! (he knows what happens under every eiderdown)” . I wonder if that meant that he was also aware of all those yingerleit who cheppe (abuse) young boys in the mikve?

I have never figured out why in our community we prefer to hush this subject up rather than speak about it. And let me be clear about it, I am not talking about all those 15 year old bucherim who help masturbate their yungerleit friends out of their sexual boredom. That, while possibly wrong from a religious point of view, is in my opinion something that should be between those two and their maker. Providing of course that it is entirely consensual. Of course if anybody were to ask me my opinion I would tell him (or her) don’t do it! The reason is because the most likely outcome of such a relationship is misery for the older partner as if it is ever revealed the blame will always fall on the elder baal avaire even if the impetus did come from the hormone driven youngster. I am not going to sermon here about young peoples possible sexual confusion as I believe that at fifteen yjey will find someone to do it with and if it is not an older guy that happens to grab the opportunity (and more besides) it will be someone else.

What I am talking about is non-consensual sex with minors, and believe you me it is happening! I don’t want to go into specifics but I think we have all heard the stories. A girl raped in a taxi on her way home from a chassene. A boy abused by the babysitter. A young girl forced to perform fellatio for her father, known pedophiles that have been haunting the local mikves for decades… All these stories and many more have had their police investigations blocked by the Ra Bonim.

Those who deal with these things have assured me that the authorities that be, prefer that these cases not be mentioned. I have been assured by some of the victims that they will never forgive the authorities that be for that.

The danger of not talking about it is that parents are unaware of the dangers that lurk. Has anybody ever told the young girls that when going home with a taxi hired from a local mini-cab service that the driver might very well be the guy who recently raped a girl (He was never fired to the best of my knowledge) Has anybody ever told the mother who pack the little bags with fresh clothes for their sons to take to mikve that they run one chance in twenty of being in murky opaque hot water two meters by two (excluding the steps) with a known pedophile?

Well I suppose I can’t blame you because you did not know (I hope) but how about the Rabonim that I personally have spoken to? They do know…

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