A common thread runs through several Jewish Week articles (Dec. 5 issue) in reference to Rabbi Steven Pruzansky (“Teaneck Shul Taking Steps To Rein In Rabbi Pruzansky”), Rabbi Elimelech Meisels (“As Beit Dins Spar, An Apparent Abuser Remains Free”) and Parshat Vayishlach (Sabbath Week) — a thread in which justice seems to take a back seat.
In any other setting Rabbi Pruzansky would be asked to step down or hand in his resignation; Rabbi Meisels would be thrown in jail; and the biblical Dinah, who was kidnapped and raped, would not be blamed for this incident – albeit her brothers took the matter into their own hands, however brutal.
The Jewish community has to be better than this. We are repeatedly told by Hashem to seek justice. No beit din or committee will ever have enough power to right these wrongs. Sexual abuse victims should bypass religious courts and had straight to the authorities; this cannot be emphasized enough. Those who shame our community by making inappropriate comments should be let go. Until these measures are put in place we will continue to be shamed by those who offend. It is our duty to not stand by when the blood of our brothers and sisters is being spilled.