Rabbi Manis Friedman 'Clarifies' His Position On Child Sex Abuse

By Shmarya Rosenberg (Failed Messiah blog)
January 30, 2013

Chabad's Rabbi Manis Friedman tries to clarify his position on child sexual abuse in a new video released tonight. But is what Friedman says on this new video clip enough? Is it an apology for the hurt he caused with the video publicized yesterday? Does it explain and correct his offensive remarks in that video? Is it an honest acknowledgement that he was wrong, that he made mistakes, that he hurt victims, and that he's sorry? In short, is it teshuva, repentance as defined by the Jewish law Friedman is paid to represent?

Chabad's Rabbi Manis Friedman attempts to clarifiy his position on child sexual abuse in a new video released tonight.

But is what Friedman says on this new video clip enough?

Is it an apology for the hurt he caused yesterday? Does it explain and correct his offensive remarks released yesterday? Is it an honest acknowledgement that he was wrong, that he made mistakes, that he hurt victims, and that he's sorry?

In short, is it teshuva, repentance as defined by the Jewish law Friedman is paid to represent?

I'm sorry to say that it is not teshuva.

There is no apology, no acknowledgement that he was wrong, no acknowledgement that he made mistakes or that he hurt victims – all halakhic (Jewish law) requirements for repentance to be valid. There is also no credible explanation given by Friedman for why he said the hurtful and foolish things he said in the video clip publicized yesterday.

When watched one after the other, the videos make clear that Rabbi Friedman would still make all the same claims to child sexual abuse victims today as he made yesterday. So victims should just 'get over it,' they're not damaged directly from the abuse, it's only the 'collateral damage' that hurts them, and they can just shrug that off and go on with life by not letting the collateral damage control them.

Little comfort (and even less truth) for victims who often suffer flashbacks, panic attacks, severe depression, self-loathing they cannot control and suicidal thoughts.

For those who missed it, yesterday's video is posted below tonight's attempt by Friedman to spin his way out of the mess yesterday's video caused.

Today's video:

Yesterday's video: