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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Palestinian arrested for having sex with yeshiva students



A Palestinian man doing favors for the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community particularly on shabbat, serving as a shabbat goy, meaning doing items Jews are prohibited of doing on Shabbat, was arrested today for having sex with yeshiva students in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak, according to press reports.

Police arrested a Palestinian man living in Bnei Brak on suspicion of paying religious school students to have sex with him. The suspect has been residing in the city for 20 years and serves as a Shabbat goy.

Police estimate that over the years the suspect was able to gain the trust of several students from
the yeshiva. At one point he began to offer money in exchange for sex.

Investigators have traced so far two children who had been exploited by the suspect for an extended period of time. They estimate that there are other victims over the age of 14.

It was suspected that the Palestinian invited the yeshiva students to his house, where he had sex with them.
Police are trying to locate other victims, but are having trouble trying to get Bnei Brak residents to cooperate.

Rabbi Chaim Halpern dancing his last dance? Video


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Meilech Schnitzler indicted for assaulting Nuchem Rosenberg



Brooklyn, NY - Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes today announced the indictment of Meilech Schnitzler for Attempted Assault in the First Degree, for throwing a cup of bleach in the face and eye of Rabbi Nathan Rosenberg on December 11, 2012.
Schnitzler, 37, is charged with two counts of Attempted Assault in the First Degree; Assault in the Second Degree; Assault in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree.  He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the top count.
“This indictment alleges an act of thuggery in broad daylight that cannot be tolerated,” said District Attorney Hynes.  “The indictment sends a clear message that anyone who would seek to intimidate someone opposed to the uncovering of sexual abuse in the Orthodox community will face serious criminal charges and if convicted, I will ask for the maximum jail time.”
According to the indictment, the defendant and the victim both lived in Williamsburg and knew each other.  The victim was walking past 311 Roebling Street when Schnitzler allegedly tapped Rosenberg on the shoulder, threw a cup of bleach in his face and eye and ran away.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Weberman was leader in Va'ad Hatznius

Posters in Brooklyn call on Jewish women to abide by ultra-Orthodox standards of ‘modesty.’
This is no joke... read on:

One of the most striking ironies of the Nechemya Weberman trial, which ended with his conviction on 59 counts of sexual abuse, was the revelation that the unlicensed therapist was a member of the Va’ad Hatznius, or modesty patrol, the self-appointed arbiters of right and wrong in the Satmar community.
Until recently, the Va’ad Hatznius was little known outside the Hasidic community, but its actions have reverberated through the community for years. Although they ostensibly monitor the moral behavior of both sexes (men and women are both warned not to read English books, watch television or surf the internet), most of their energies are directed towards ensuring that women and girls dress and behave modestly.
Their reasoning is clear: When a female wears revealing clothing or chats with the opposite sex, it could entice the men, and lead to dire consequences. In other words, the goal of their injunctions is to inhibit the sexual impulses of the male population.
Where did the tradition of the Va‘ad Hatznius originate? And what do the Hasidim themselves think of it? The term V‘ad Hatznius doesn’t appear in the Bible or in the Talmud, but Maimonides does write, in Hilchos Yom Tov 6:21, that “the Beit Din [rabbinical court] must appoint officers during the festivals to patrol the gardens and orchards and along the rivers to prevent men and women from gathering there to eat and drink, lest they fall into sin.”
The Jewish communities of eastern Europe didn’t use the term Va’ad Hatznius either but religious leaders did issue rulings, forbidding women from publicly wearing fashionable clothing and jewelry, said Dr. David Fishman, professor of Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary. The rulings were announced after prayer services in the synagogue or through posters hung on the synagogue door. In larger cities, posters were hung in a number of places.
A book about these rulings, published in Yiddish by Mordkhe Bernshteyn in Argentina in 1955, explains that these decrees were often quite detailed. According to rules issued by the burial society of the town of Rymanow at the turn of the nineteenth century, for example, women were forbidden from wearing golden veils, pearl-studded or silver-lined kerchiefs. In addition, the dictum said, “women should not wear any fashionable dress or shoes. Even their kerchiefs should be similar to those that their mothers wore.”
Women who defied these rulings were penalized monetarily, as were the tailors that designed them, and if a tailor continued to sew fashionable clothing, he could lose his work permit, Bernshteyn writes, quoting the records of the Rymanow tailors’ guild.
The intention of those rulings had nothing to do with preventing sexual temptation, however. “They were simply worried that if Gentiles were to see how much money Jews were spending, the wealthy landowners would raise the taxes for the entire Jewish population,” Fishman explained. In fact, men, too, were warned not to dress in conspicuously lavish clothing or wear powdered wigs.
However, these rulings were issued during a time when Jews were collecting taxes for the Czarist government and hence had the power to levy fines against members of their own community, and ex-communicate or penalize them for defying the rules. Once the Czarist government took away the power of the Jews to tax their own population in 1844, the only means that community leaders had to ensure adherence to their rulings was through social pressure – a tactic which has remained effective till today, as Hasidim continue to fear being ostracized from their community or losing valuable marriage prospects as a result of so-called indecent behavior.
The strict separation of men and women is a relatively modern one, Fishman explained. In Czarist Russia, men and women used to stand together at weddings; there was no mekhitse, or partition between them. When Sh-Anski, the author of The Dybbuk, led his series of landmark ehnographic expeditions through Volhynia and Podolia in 1912–1914, he photographed cemeteries in which the graves of even the most pious couples were found side by side. Today most Hasidic men are buried separately from their wives. The Ohel (gravesite) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, for example, is not next to the grave of his wife, Chaya Mushka.
Rabbi Ysoscher Katz, who was raised in the Satmar community of Wiliamsburg, and is the director of the Beit Midrash program at the modern Orthodox rabbinical school, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, told the Forverts that the Va’ad Hatznius isn’t an organized body but an informal group of people who act on their own, and whose actions the Rebbe doesn’t officially condone. Every v’aad is comprised of a theoretician, one who decides which kind of behavior to ban, and enforcers.
The theoretician is usually a well-regarded figure, while the enforcers give a more fanatical impression, Katz explained. “They usually wear their tsitsis out, their hair and clothing is unkempt, and they have no job, so they don’t elicit much respect from the community. Weberman was undoubtedly a theoretician, his tsitsis didn’t hang out, his hair was combed, he had a job, this is why families trusted him.”
Katz recalled that the Va’ad Hatznius of Williamsburgh issued an edict about 20 years ago against women wearing ponjelos (loose houserobes) and turbans that revealed some hair, as they stepped outside to dump the garbage. Posters were hung everywhere, warning that tragedies might befall the community if women didn’t start dressing modestly. The Va’ad also rebuked the owners of dress shops for selling ponjelos and immodest turbans.
Katz says that the Satmar Hasidim he knows are privately upset with the Va’ad. “They say they’re bullies, extremists and have nothing better to do because they have no jobs,” he said. “But even if people don’t admire them, they still fear them.”
Rabbi David Niederman, President of the United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg, denied any knowledge of the Vaad Hatznius. When asked whether the group has the blessing of the Satmar rebbe, Niederman replied: “I don’t know (what) the Va’ad Hatznius is all about.”
The UJO is the central planning and social service agency for more than 200 organizations in Williamsburg.
The Satmars are not the only Hasidim to use modesty patrols. Katz remembers an incident his friends had with the Va’ad Hatznius of the Gerer Hasidim, while studying in Israeli yeshivas during their teen years. They had heard that the Tel Aviv Museum was interesting, so they took a trip there. Soon afterwards, their parents back home in the United States received anonymous phone calls, warning them: “You have no idea what your children are doing in Israel.”
“My friends suspected that the Va’ad was shadowing them – Katz said – and one day there was a knock at the door, and there was a Gerer Hasid saying, in Yiddish: ‘We’ve heard that improper things are going on here, that there are too many newspapers. So I’ve come to check it out.”
“Look all you want, you won’t find anything,” one of the students replied. The Gerer Hasid searched the entire apartment until he found an issue of Time Magazine with a photograph of Princess Diana on the cover. “You see?!” he exclaimed. “There really are impurities here!”


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Journal News publishes names of people who have legal gun permits, but will not publish names and addresses of criminals.


A controversial decision on the part of The Journal News (http://goo.gl/ugMM4) to publish the names and addresses of hundreds of residents in Westchester and Rockland counties who possess a handgun or pistol permit has sparked a furor online and on social media, with over 1,100 comments posted on The Journal News website and 18,000 likes on Facebook so far.
ABC News reports (http://yhoo.it/W0tBDW) that gun owners’ names and addresses were placed on a virtual map, enabling viewers to click on any dot to determine who has a weapons permit and where they live.
“This is CRAZY!! Why in the world would you post every licensed gun owner’s information?? This is the type of thing you do for sex offenders, not law abiding gun owners…I am canceling my subscription with your paper today!!!” wrote one commenter.
All of the data was culled from public records. The Journal News has also put in a Freedom of Information Law request to obtain the same information for residents in Putnam County. Officials there are still in the process of gathering those records.
In a statement, The Journal News defended its decision to post the information, saying its readers “are understandably interested to know about guns in their neighborhoods,” in the wake of the shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut last week.
“We obtained the names and addresses of Westchester and Rockland residents who are licensed to own handguns through routine Freedom of Information law requests. We also requested information on the number and types of guns owned by permit holders, but officials in the county clerks offices in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties maintained that those specifics were not public record. New York’s top public-records expert, Robert Freeman, disagrees,” the statement said.
The Journal News said it would not answer any additional questions about the map.

Friday, December 21, 2012

AMI MAGAZINE ENDORSES PEDOPHILES WHILE COMPARING THEMSELVES TO THE CHASAM SOFER

Frankfurter the "Tuchis Leker"

Ami editor Yitzy Frankfurter, the Satmar panderer and "Tuchis Leker," is running a bio on the pedophile defender George A. Farkas in this weeks edition of Ami.
Yitzy compares himself to the Chasam Sofer Z"L who "fearlessly battled the heretics of his days." 
And compares the ones who are defending the 12 year old victim that was raped and tortured by the fiend Weberman to "heretics."
He then goes on in his sick editorial to relate a story that never happened:

"Rabbi Hertz Frankel once shared with me that he had accompanied the Beirach Moshe when he went to be menachem avel the Satmar Rebbetzin, after the passing of the Satmar Rebbe z"l. The Beirach Moshe told the Rebbetzin then that he always marveled at how calm the Rebbe was during a mass protest, and showed no fear that someone might try to strike at him because of his strong views."

First of all this story could not have happened because everyone including the "dope" Frankfurter knows that the Rebbetzin despised the Beirach Moshe and would never had engaged in any conversation with her arch nemesis, no less than at his shivah.
 Just a small secret  to your ignorant readers, the Rebbitzin actually started her own following.
Second of all,  are you telling your naive readers that the Beirach Moshe could find  no other praise of R' Yoilish z"l but that R' Yoilish  remained "calm" at a mass protest..and this discussion took place at a "Nicham Aveilim of R' Yoilish?
Third of all, anyone who attended any of these protests knows very well that every time the Rebbe z"l showed up at a protest he was surrounded by a bunch of Romanian goons and Hungarian hooligans.
And why would any body want to strike him? His protests were irrelevant then as it is now; The State of Israel is a fact and all of Satmars' bantering opposing the State will not change a thing.
 With this made up story, Frankfurter wants to compare himself to the Satmar Rebbe z"l, WHAT GALL AND CHUTZPAH!!!

This lunatic, Frankfurter, writes:
"I view Ami's mandate as being to defend any beleaguered Jewish community in the world with all our means. I don't recall a recent time when a G-d fearing and law abiding Jewish community was as beleaguered as the Jewish community in Williamsburg is today"
So whose fault is that? When the leader of Satmar  community calls the victim a "zoina" as R' Aron Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe, called her, and calls Weberman the accused, a "tzaddik" what do you expect?

Farkas the losing attorney says:
"I'll tell you this: Abuse is possibly the most reprehensible thing a person can do. The only thing that comes close to it is to be falsely accused of it."
Hellooooooo!  "falsely?" He was found guilty 59 times by his peers!

"They looked for other evidence," "but it didn't make a difference. It was 'he said, she said.' She made a very convincing witness. One of the things we couldn't bring into evidence was that she could learn a completely made-up script and follow it in a matter of a half-hour. We had proof of that. Someone coached her to say certain things and she did."
First of all, Forkosh Batchie, every witness that testifies gets coached and as a former prosecutor you would certainly know that..
and you didn't coach Weberman?
Having said that ... if she followed a "completely made-up script," how did she stand up to an unheard of four days of cross-examination? 
To this gripping question ... the hungarian Farkas answers:
"That's true. In retrospect, maybe it should have been shortened. But that's "farfallen." I don't think it made a difference in the end."
It did make a difference, genius, the jury saw that even after four long days of cross-examination, her story held up!

Frankfurter the Satmar "tuches leker" asks:
"How did the prosecution manage to stop you from presenting your case as you claim?"
Farkas:
"The prosecution was successful in getting the judge to rule that a lot of the evidence we wanted to bring in was off-limits. I can't comment on what that evidence was because it's improper to do so."
Exussssse meeeee! What evidence did you possibly have?
 That the 12 year old child was fooling around? Well Mr. Farkas ...that's an indictment on your client the "chazir" Weberman; taking advantage of a 12 year old child knowing full well that she had problems...
and why can't you "comment" on it now ... isn't the case over?
 Or are you worried of a defamation lawsuit, since you evidence is a bunch of hog-wash and lies...
and even if it were true, how does your "evidence" preclude the fact that he raped her?
 So now any body, even a fat jlub like Weberman, can rape a girl that is fooling around?
What about the victim's evidence that Weberman burned her stomach with a lighter and told her to "apply peanut butter" so that the wound would heal? 
What kind of psycho client are you representing?

Fokosh Batchie then goes after the bloggers:
"Who spread these rumors (that Weberman is a serial rapist and a sadist) and innuendos? Bloggers. In a case of such importance, my feeling is that if you want to tell your story, come forward and tell it in court! If you are too afraid, don't tell it to bloggers. "
So now the bloggers are to blame that Weberman burns his victims' stomachs to satisfy his sadistic tendencies. He wants victims who are terrified to testify against monsters like Weberman not to leak this to bloggers? Get it? I don't!
"if you're talking about a guy who's been doing this to his therapy patients for who knows how long. I would expect an army of victims to come forward, as happened with other cases. It's a pattern. I'd expect to see something physical, something on his computer, some proof that he's a monster, and it's not there."
It's not there? Didn't you walk the courtroom halls yourself and saw with your own cursed eyes other victims? Women tortured and raped by Weberman who were terrified to testify, but came to give the victim support?
 Some were now married and had children and didn't want their children thrown out of the community... 
you liar!
You know good and well that this case was different because Weberman the Chazir was a powerful man in the community and his victims were afraid....


More later, I have to throw up first! Watch this column I'll comment during the week.......

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mayan end-of-world rumors prompt Michigan officials to close 33 schools


More than 30 Michigan schools closed for the holidays two days early, in part because the Mayan calendar predicts the world will end on Friday, an official said.

Matt Wandrie, superintendent for Lapeer Community Schools, said doomsday "rumors" are running rampant in several districts, adding to fears raised by last week's school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
"Given the recent events in Connecticut, there have been numerous rumors circulating in our district, and in neighboring districts, about potential threats of violence against students," Wandrie wrote on his website.
"Additionally, rumors connected to the Mayan calendar predicted end of the world on Friday have also surfaced," he added.
He noted that Twitter was lighting up with posts with sentiments like: "Friday would be a great day to go out w/ a bang."
The ancient predictions of apocalypse were a "secondary concern," with rumblings about violent threats against schoolchildren a bigger issue, he said.
Wandrie said all rumors of threats had been "investigated and determined to be false" but were still a "serious distraction" for students heading into the holiday break, and parents were vowing to keep children home.
So officials from five districts in Lapeer County covering 33 schools decided to just scrap the last two days of classes, extracurricular activities and athletic events.
"Although we in the county are reluctant to cancel school because the rumors are unsubstantiated, we feel it is the most appropriate decision given the gravity of recent events and our present circumstances," he wrote.

Spelling Out Abuse After Nechemya Weberman's Conviction



By Judy Brown (Eishes Chayil)

Edited By Naomi Zeveloff

Published December 20, 2012, issue of December 28, 2012.

Guilty on all 59 counts: guilty, guilty, guilty.
On Monday, December 10, a jury of 12 found Nechemya Weberman enormously guilty. The jurors convicted him of sexually abusing an underage girl entrusted to his care. They declared the respected member of the ultra-Orthodox community to be a criminal and a fraud, and thousands of survivors, advocates and victims, many of whom still live in silence, breathed a sigh of relief as one.
Once, an ultra-Orthodox man could not be found guilty of sexual abuse. He could not be charged with a word that did not exist.
I was 9 years old when I first encountered the word “abuse.” I was at my friend’s house. I found a book on a desk near her room, and ran to the staircase to read it. I don’t remember the title, or what the book was about, only that across its white cover was a picture of a gun, and on the first page, in the subtitle, was an adjective I’d never seen.
I read it, slowly: “Ub-u-sive…”
My friend’s mother came up the stairs just then, and when she saw me holding the book, she gasped. I wanted to ask her what ub-u-sive meant, but she grabbed the book right out of my hands and scolded me. She warned me never to take books without permission. Clasping the book firmly in her hand, she closed the door of her room behind her, and the book disappeared, hidden away, I suppose, in that mysterious, forbidden place where all books go that are not meant to be read.


It remains a vivid memory in my mind, the first of many similar episodes with books, magazines or pictures. Every incident reinforced the dominant ideology of the ultra-Orthodox world: More important than what you are allowed to know is what you are not allowed to know.
In the ultra-Orthodox world, words are important. Words are powerful; they give life to an image, reality to an idea. If you use only pure words, your mind cannot be tainted; bad words will leave a stain, marking you as less-than-good.
Abuse was not a word. If there was no such word, than there were no such children. And truly, for decades, there were none. They did not dare to exist.
When I was 9 years old, I heard a story. It was about a crazy lady who called the police. She told them crazy things about an uncle in the family. She had fabricated lies about him; she hated him, she wanted attention.
When I was 11 years old, a Bobov boy hung himself. He wasn’t crazy, but something was a bit wrong with him. Mainly, he didn’t have any friends in school. That’s why he hung himself, everyone at school said.
Then in high school, 14-year-old Chavi was expelled from school. She had testified to the police that her father molested her after he demanded custody. My principal explained to me that she knew that Chavi wasn’t lying, what she said was true. But her grandparents went against the will off the rabbanim and told her to talk to the police.
They had no choice, but to expel her, she said. Classmates were warned not to speak with her. We never saw her again.
Then, my friend told me her cousin touched her; he touched her a lot, she said. I didn’t know what she meant, but one day she took me to a faraway place, far beneath the world I knew. She pulled me along with her, down long, dark corridors to a space I’d never seen before.
Few in the Orthodox community know of this place, where children live who do not really exist. Few in the community know of this world, where children go to die of forbidden wounds.
I did not want to be there. I could not bear to stay. I wanted to run away from my friend. I wanted to be part of the happy world, where people smile, and sing, and pray, where they do not bleed impurity. But my friend pulled me back. She said she was scared, so scared, and that I must stay with her, and I did, watching her curl up in agony, begging to die.
I did not dare tell anyone what I had seen. That would be the worst of all. You cannot wipe off the blood of a leper.
I never prayed for my friend, or the ones who dragged me there later on. I kept them a secret, even from God. Surely He would have nothing to do with such boys or girls. God is for pure intentions and thoughts; God is for the tragically ill. Abused children are an aberration, a mistake, and I was scared He’d view me as tainted, along with them.
In the insulated confines of my ultra-Orthodox community there are two worlds: the outer world and the underworld, and in between them a horrifying disconnect. We, of the underworld, are untouchable. If it is revealed that we are in any way tainted by abuse, even if only by association, it will defile our entire family; it will ruin their lives, their prospects at marriage. We are contaminated. And it is our job to protect the community from our contamination.
For many years we hid. We hid from our friends and from our family; we hid from our spouses, who did not want to know. We grew in silence, through adolescence, through the teenage years, through young adulthood and, for many, through arranged marriages. Then, slowly, as adults, we emerged, one victim, then another, some by accident, some by therapy, some by way of an outsider who taught them the words forbidden in their childhoods, words that described hell.
We began to speak. We used words like “abuse,” “rape,” “molestation” and “pain.” We began to tell our stories to investigators, to journalists and on blogs. Some of us, for the first time, told our friends and our spouses.
The reaction was immediate. We were branded as tainted, damaged and dangerous, often by close friends and others. We were declared by leaders and respected rabbis to be “mosrim,” traitors; deceptive liars. They called us self-hating Jews. They described us as young and shallow, rebellious men and women bent on vengeance and destruction; adults whose empty, worthless lives were filled with bitterness and rage.
We had violated the rules of what we were not allowed to know. We were using words that had been banned, forbidden. And we, who were stained with someone else’s crimes, were ordered to disappear, to stop whining. For how could we claim trauma and pain when we did not really exist? How could we have witnessed crimes that our leaders, wiser and holier than we are, said were not there? Because there was only one truth in this world, that of the rabbis and the holy men — and it was only they who could decide what had happened and what had not.
In 2003 I began writing my novel, “Hush,” a story of two ultra-Orthodox girls who endure the horrors of sexual abuse. People often asked me how I did it, how I wrote and published such a book while still living within the community.
I never answer their question. I have never been able to explain. It would take another book to do so. Because from the day I wrote until the day I finally ran away, I lived through the darkest parts of my world.
“The truth shall set you free,” David Foster Wallace wrote in “Infinite Jest.” “But not until it is finished with you.”
Victims of sexual abuse, forced free by a horrific truth, live with gashlike scars across their souls. One scar from the crime, the other from the denial that followed. They live with a constant question:
How?
How did this happen?
How did a community of values, of family, of God, become stripped of its own humanity? How did a group of people, warm and giving in so many ways, so viciously deny the suffering right in front of their eyes?
I don’t know if we will ever find an answer. Yet if we look deep within our own mindset, perhaps we can better understand the complicated factors that have brought the community to where it is today: cover-up, abuse and scandal exploding in the daily news, like buried landmines in old battlefields.
The religious Jewish community is a closed world, one that has built high walls around itself, walls that ensure that the gentiles and their evil influences cannot infiltrate. Yet the religious Jewish community is also a giving world, one with countless chesed organizations, there to help ease the suffering within. It is a generous world so long as the suffering is of a certain kind, so long as it does not violate the rules of what can and cannot happen.
Chai Lifeline, Tomchei Shabbos, Bonei Olam, among others — these are all organizations that help the ill, the poor, the widows and the orphans to deal with misfortunes sent by heaven.
Heavenly tragedies are not in the community’s control. They are there by a decree of the Almighty, a small part of a larger, divine story, just one piece of God’s grand plan, one that we cannot hope to understand. We must accept it with simple faith.
Sexual abuse is not from heaven. Sexual abuse is an act of man. Sexual abuse is suffering brought upon a person by the twisted demons of another. It is part of a darkness we declared to be safely beyond our high walls.
It means that there are victims, and where there are victims there are villains. It means that there are scars, and where there are scars there are criminals.
The ultra-Orthodox community does not want to know its criminals. It does not want to see its villains. It chooses to hide the darkness, to fight like hell against those who try to show it. It chooses to ban the words that define the evil, to intimidate those who try to speak or understand it. This way the community continues to feel safe, to hold an image of itself as whole, unbroken, secure from the harm of suffering children.
It is deeply disturbing, seeing those scars, the part of the community that doesn’t fit the traditional Jewish narrative. It is terrifying to look in the mirror and see a gentile’s reflection; that was only supposed to belong to the goyim. The instinctive reaction is denial: This cannot be us. The instinctive reaction became community policy, and it is visceral, terrifying and cruel. Such children were called mentally unstable. It was better to be crazy than to be abused. Crazy was the child’s fault, abused was the community’s own.
And this is how the Orthodox Jewish community turned into a world that went to war with its own children.
The Orthodox Jews are not alone in this. Over the past decade, they have partnered with their historical enemies, the Catholics, to battle the grave threat posed by men and women scarred by the sins of their leaders. Among the Catholics, the lies and the scandals tore the forefront 10 years ago, opening the doors to thousands of other victims to come forward. A decade and billions of dollars in settlements later, the cases are ongoing.
For us Jews, the process toward justice has been much slower, with victims emerging from the shadows only recently. But a little more than three weeks ago, on November 26, a trial began on the 20th floor of a building in Downtown Brooklyn.
Tens of thousands watched — Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox, secular — following the story on blogs, Twitter and newspapers. Tens of thousands watched as, for the first time, an 18-year-old girl from a Hasidic enclave took the stand as a witness to her own hell. They watched the slight, just-married, slip of a girl say — and say again — that she’d been abused and molested repeatedly, and that what happened to her had a name, a label, a word. She existed. They watched the girl, not quite an adult, stand up to a community that refused to acknowledge an act of evil because doing so meant there was evil among that community, they who were inherently pure. ‘
On the December 10 the jury came out, and something changed in our world. Something happened to the long and paralyzing silence, frozen for decades with fear. It cracked open. It shattered with finality.
Guilty, guilty, guilty; 59 times guilty. The jury of 12 declared Nechemya Weberman to be a criminal, one who was enormously guilty. And survivors, advocates and victims breathed in relief as one. Because we had long known that bricks and stones, traditions and ancient rules do not ensure morality, only a dangerous pretense of it. We have long known that the greatest enemies lie not behind the walls, but here, inside, deep within ourselves.
There are those in the ultra-Orthodox community who say that much has changed, that there is more awareness than before. They say that many schools have taken on the issue, bringing in experts and educating teachers about the symptoms and dangers of abuse; so why don’t the survivors just shut up already? Why do they still demand attention and embarrass the community in the media? What more do they want?
For decades, victims of sexual abuse have had to pay dearly for the community’s denial. Those victims are now grown. They speak out in different ways, and it is the community that now, too has to pay a price for its denial.
The community members don’t get to choose the price. They don’t get to decide what victims should to do with the trauma they’ve created. After years of brutalized silence, victims will speak as loudly as they need to.
This is a community that wants to leave sin, so long as it can do so without expressing regret. It is willing to change the future, so long as we allow it to forget the past, so long as we don’t ask it to account for its actions. It wants change, it really does, but the change is conditional: change on its own terms, change it can take credit for without ever looking back, change that is another form of denial.
One cannot ask forgiveness from the dead. It is too late to reach out to those who jumped off balconies, who hung themselves off bathroom rods. It is too late to turn to those who swallowed bottles of painkillers, who overdosed on drugs. Yet there are hundreds of survivors who still live, men and women who’ve stood up and walked on — once terrified children, now haunted adults, still gripped by a past that has ripped into their souls.
They are no longer seeking the truth; now they seek only honesty. They are no longer seeking holy men; now they seek only good men. What they want from those who have legislated spirituality, from those who’ve led the community down its darkest path, is the first step of repentance; a confession, an acknowledgement, a reckoning that in the hollowed halls and back rooms of homes and institutions built for God, a terrible thing has happened.
Perhaps there will be a day when a victim in Williamsburg or Lakewood can ask for justice without being forced out. Perhaps there will be a time when advocates and survivors will not be threatened, harassed and terrorized for demanding that the most basic of morals be upheld. Perhaps there will be a day when the community and its leaders will acknowledge the hell they’ve created for so many of their own. Maybe they will ask for forgiveness. And then we will know that change has truly come.
Until then, let us teach our children the words stolen from our generation, words that describe hell. Because for those of us who have survived, who have lived in the underworld and came out alive, we hold a sacred knowledge: Words are important. Words are powerful. A mind cannot be tainted by a word, only by its refusal to acknowledge it.
Judy Brown wrote the novel “Hush” under the pseudonym Eishes Chayil. “Inside Out” is her essay series about life in the ultra-Orthodox world. It is based on true events, but her characters’ names and identities have been changed; some are composites, comprising several real-life people. Find her atFacebook.com/JudyBrownHush.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Don't fall in! Amazingly realistic 3D images on pavements across America and Europe: Video


From Piccadilly Circus to an incident at Waterloo this eye-opening 3D street art is probably the best on the planet.
Not only do these incredible pastel drawings on pavements across the world look realistic by themselves - but when passers-by jump into the scene they take on a life of their own.
As well as his London creations, U.S. street artist Kurt Wenner, 53, created a playboy's bachelor pad in a Singapore Airport, a magic carpet for children to ride over an Arabian fantasy city and a grand prix car for local female drivers to try out during the Bahrain Grand Prix.



Scroll down for video

Under the carpet: Mr Wenner's The Flying Carpet photographed in Bettona, Italy
Under the carpet: Mr Wenner's The Flying Carpet photographed in Bettona, Italy
Piccadilly Circus? A three-dimensional street painting called The Belgian Underground photographed in Brussels, Belgium
Piccadilly Circus? A three-dimensional street painting called The Belgian Underground photographed in Brussels, Belgium
U.S. street artist Kurt Wenner, 53, created this work, called Incident at Waterloo, in London
U.S. street artist Kurt Wenner, 53, created this work, called Incident at Waterloo, in London
Bradley Wiggins gets involved in the artwork by riding along a jungle scene called St Paul's and London Craning Skyward
Bradley Wiggins gets involved in the artwork by riding along a jungle scene called St Paul's and London Craning Skyward
Mr Wenner invented a new geometry that creates compositions that appear to rise from or fall into the ground.
Using his homemade pastels, he can take up to seven days to complete his intricately detailed large-scale drawings, sometimes longer depending on the weather.
Mr Wenner's innovative style draws on religion and classical mythology.
Mr Wenner began his career in Rome, inspired by the city's centuries-old tradition of street art.
Mr Wenner explains: 'The pieces look real because they are calculated to be perfectly and mathematically accurate.'
Incredible: A three-dimensional street painting called Women Driver photographed at Bahrain Grand Prix in Bahrain
Incredible: A three-dimensional street painting called Women Driver photographed at Bahrain Grand Prix in Bahrain
Adventurous: The Northwest Fantasy photographed in San Francisco, California
Adventurous: The Northwest Fantasy photographed in San Francisco, California
Mr Wenner's Titania Encantado photographed in Burgos, Spain
Mr Wenner's Titania Encantado photographed in Burgos, Spain
Grand Canyon Trail photographed at National Geographic Grand Canyon Visitor Centre in the U.S.
Grand Canyon Trail photographed at National Geographic Grand Canyon Visitor Centre in the U.S.
Sustainable: A 3-D painting by Mr Wenner called Greenpeace / Million Signatures
Sustainable: A 3-D painting by Mr Wenner called Greenpeace / Million Signatures
Hellish: Dies Irae, based a on a 13th century Latin hymn thought to be written by Thomas of Celano
Hellish: Dies Irae, based on a 13th century Latin hymn thought to be written by Thomas of Celano
Awe-inspiring: Mr Wenner's incredible 3-D sea dragon photographed in Kaosiung, Taiwan
Awe-inspiring: Mr Wenner's incredible 3-D sea dragon photographed in Kaosiung, Taiwan