In following up the recent revelations of sexual abuse and cover up in the Orthodox Jewish community, I came across Shmarya Rosenberg, a blogger at Failed Messiah, who has been shining a bright and unflattering light on what goes on in that world. His website reveals a religious community whose leaders and members seems to be as zealous as the Catholic Church in protecting sexual predators and abusers and rapists.
The allegations made against David Cyprys, for example, are positively ghastly. He is on trial for, among other things, the rape of 12 students at a yeshiva and the verdict is due on Monday. The religious leadership of the community apparently knew what he was doing but took no steps to limit his contact with young boys.
He also reports that just yesterday, “More than 1000 hasidim came to an event hall in Brooklyn last night to give money to the legal defense fund for Rabbi Nechemya Weberman, a hasidic unlicensed therapist who is accused of raping a girl over a period of four years beginning when she was 12-years -old.”
Rosenberg has also been on the case of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes who has been accused of going easy on sex offenders in the Hasidic community.
It is a disturbing thing about tight-knit groups. Because they can (or think they can) largely control the information about them, initially one hears only about the good things they do, such as the strong sense of community and so on. But once that veil is ripped off for whatever reason, one often finds all manner of nefarious activities going on, with people taking advantage of that code of silence to carry out all manner of abuses.