OP-ED: Why Sexual Predators Are Successful
Author: Ze’ev Malin
Yesterday, on this page, we posted the shocking revelation about a man in the community, Meir Pogrow. Meir is a brilliant man, the initiator of new ways to learn Torah, and founder of many community initiatives. He is a father, a husband. And, to the shock of everyone in the community – a sexual predator. Meir used his brilliant mind and Gemara logic to concoct ways to molest women and children. He was ALLOWED to do this for years. No one even knows how long.
I used the word ALLOWED. Within the Orthodox community, the shaming of another is considered a high sin. It’s reserved for people who don’t give Gittin. For years and years, community leaders, concerned about the possible impacts on the monster’s family, swept things under the carpet. Excuses, such as “there is not enough proof” and “poor woman, she is nuts” were heard, instead of claims being investigated. Even when the proof was overwhelming, the lady or ladies making the claims were the nuts, the crazies, the ones out to harm this poor, innocent man. And community leaders fell for it. Each and every time.
WE ARE TO BLAME FOR MEIR POGROW. We, a collective we, are to blame for the success of creeps like Pogrow. We enabled his behavior. He knew he could get away with it – because he knew that in the framework of Orthodox Jewry, crimes such as his would remain unreported, unpunished. Who, in their right mind, would ever suspect that an esteemed Rabbi, someone who was a facilitator of Torah learning to hundreds, could be such a sick, vile person? Within Orthodox Jewry – no one. It would be his word against the nutty women.
This time, however, he miscalculated. He didn’t know that a brave women, by the name of Tamara Shoor would take to Facebook and publicly name this sicko (her post can be found here
). He didn’t think that the Rabbonim in this community would actually take public action against him. And he didn’t think that his cunning, manipulative plan would ever come to light, with his horrible schemes secretly coming to an honorable death with him at 120.
IT’S TIME FOR ORTHODOX JEWRY TO WAKE UP! Just like Pogrow, there are hundreds of sick individuals – Rabbonim, teachers, Rebbeim, mentors, and just plain people – who are sexual molesters and predators. Don’t wait until it is too late. Rabbonim and lay leaders must speak from the pulpit about this once taboo topic. Sexual crimes are happening all around us. Throw away the broom, pick up the carpet, stop sweeping it away. It’s incumbent upon us all to expose these people for what they are.
My plea to you: If you have been the victim of a sexual crime, if you have been violated – don’t sweep it under the carpet. Tell the world. Tell the Rabbonim. Tell the police. Stop allowing these animals the right to perform these acts.
It’s not just for you. It’s for your family. For your kids. Your neighbors. And yes, even his innocent family.
Enough with the games. Sexual crimes are a real problem. It’s time we took it by the horns and dealt with it.
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author and does not necessarily represent or reflect the views of LCN.