Monday, February 21, 2011

The Ban On Vosizneias

The following letter to the editor appeared in the January 13, 2011 issue of the 5 Towns Jewish Times by Dr. Asher Lipner. This letter speakes for itself!

To the Editor, thank you so much for analyzing the controversy about the latest rabbinic ban on an internet site. And thank you for your courageous coverage of the epidemic of child abuse in our community.

In your recent article on the rabbinic ban against Vos Iz Neias, you quoted people involved in putting together the ban as commenting that the fact that VIN is anonymous makes it difficult for the banners to negotiate with them. This appears to be quite hypocritical, as the “anti-VIN activists” hide behind an anonymous interview, and nobody seems to know for sure who they are. This certainly makes it difficult for the community to “negotiate” the ban because it seems to most people that it is one more example of leading rabbis being manipulated by individuals with a personal agenda.

Furthermore, their claim that the rabbis who signed the ban “are grateful to VIN for what it has accomplished” in the area of reporting on child molestation in the community would be laughable if it were not so devastatingly false.

If the rabbis were at all interested in helping survivors of abuse tell their stories or providing parents with information about the dangerous individuals who have harmed children, they would be allowing and even instructing those newspapers and blogs that are under their influence to do so, and stop preventing child advocates and survivors from using the Charedi media to inform people and save lives.

I have personally been told by editors of Charedi papers that they feel they must ask Agudah rabbis permission before publishing articles and they have not been permitted to warn parents of this life-and-death issue, because it is “too controversial” for the rabbis.

Until this changes, parents must hope and pray that the ban on VIN fails, as so many other bans have, and that VIN continues to provide lifesaving information despite the fact that our leadership wants to continue to cover it up.

Asher Lipner, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Executive Vice President, Jewish Board of Advocates for Children

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