Friday, December 31, 2004

Watchdogs vs Rabbis

Rabbi Yaakov Menken writes (these paragraphs since deleted from his blog):

I will make one comment about the so-called “watchdog” mentality, as applied to a well-known scandal of a few years back. The newspaper editor who “broke” that story insisted that he “went public” not because he wanted to sell papers and enhance his own reputation as a journalist, but because “nothing was being done.”

Then, two years later, he “broke” a similar story after a whole set of steps were taken, and, in fact, the first line of his story was that a Bais Din was about to be convened in order to find out the truth.

This tells you something about the truthfulness of the so-called “justification” for his publication of the first set of allegations. I am not saying that those who should have done better supervision are not worthy of criticism – but I’m saying something about the motivations of self-appointed watchdogs.

Rabbi Menken is talking about Gary Rosenblatt and the rabbi Baruch Lanner affair.

JewishWhistleblower responds to rabbi Menken:

I've criticized Rosenblatt publically (and deservingly) but when it comes to the Rabbi Baruch Lanner and Rabbi Matis Weinberg cases, he should get a medal. He protected children/young women/men from sexual predators something that in both cases rabbonim involved were incapable of. These predators preyed on our community for decades.

Rabbi Yaakov Menken what you have written shames us all. You owe Rosenblatt a public apology.

What research have you done in these cases? Have you spoken to the victims? Does the truth even matter to you?

It wasn't a beit din at all and it wasn't convened to find out the truth.

It was merely a tribunal that gave permission to forward the allegations to a beis din in Israel that refused to hear the matter.

Steven Weiss weighs in here and here.