Every New York City tabloid newspaper this week is covering the repeated harassment by members of the Charedi Jewish community of a 17-year-old girl who has testified in the sexual abuse trial against Brooklyn Rabbi Nechemya Weberman. Four men were arrested recently for taking the girl’s picture in court and posting it online in an attempt to intimidate her.
Earlier in the week, the New York Post reported that “the alleged victim was left trembling after Weberman allegedly glared at her through a glass door to the courthouse conference room where she sat during a break in her testimony.” Before the trial, other men were charged with trying to bribe the girl so she would drop charges.
Are these people “religious” Jews? If so, then I am a Martian. If Weberman is really a Rabbi, then I am from Venus. They are simply gangsters, thugs and despicable people who deserve to be punished.
Orthodox Jews are supposed to adhere strictly to the laws and ethics of the Torah (Bible) – and clearly the Torah abhors behavior like this. These people’s acts are neither religious nor Orthodox – and it infuriates me to hear them referred to by the media as “religious”, or Weberman referred to as a “Rabbi.” Rabbi is a title of respect, even reverence, and surely someone who allegedly fondled a young girl and forced a 12-year-old to perform indecent acts is not worthy of this label.
The victim is a Jewish woman – she is someone’s daughter, someone’s granddaughter. It is doubly despicable that the ultra-Orthodox Charedi media ignores this case, as does the Charedi Rabbinate. One cannot be a “religious Jew” who rapes and harasses. Wearing a beard and a kippa is less important to God than treating people the right way.
One law enforcement source was quoted as saying in the Post: “It’s the same thing you have with the Bloods or the Crips.” Gangsters, thugs and criminals wear all kinds of outfits – including, in this case, dressing up as religious Jews by wearing white shirts, black suits, peyos (side-locks), and kippot. But this sort of behavior is a desecration of all that religion stands for.