Posted October 16, 2011
Benjamin Aryeh Uchytil
Sacramento, CA 95825
Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky
Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia
6063 Drexel Rd.
Philadelphia, PA 19131-1296
August 2, 2011
Dear Rabbi Kamenetsky,
As an adult survivor of severe and unrelenting childhood sexual abuse, I have followed your halachic decisions and media pronouncements regarding this issue with great concern.
I am a Litvak, yeshiva-trained, from Monsey, New York. For many years I taught at Monsey yeshivos, mostly at the mesivta level. Rabbi, from my long-term perspective within the yeshiva velt I confirm:
1. Orthodox Jewish pedophilia is alive and 'well' in our communities,
2. The rabbonim actively protect our perpetrators from prosecution, ensuring that even more children will be sexually abused,
3. The rabbonim censure and threaten victims and their families in order to force them to keep quiet about what has occurred,
4. Orthodox Jews are often provoked to violence against victims who report to the police due to the Torah proscription against 'mesirah'.
Due to your misguided attempts to 'save the nedon', to prevent the prosecution of our perpetrators, these recalcitrant individuals are doomed to a high rate of recidivism: they offend repeatedly over the course of their lives. Indeed, a pedophile molests, on average, approximately 140 different children prior to his first arrest.
Rabbi, can you not see what is occurring under your very nose? Orthodox pedophiles are not only defiling but destroying our 'pirkei kehuna', our precious children. I cannot believe you consider your current course of action wise and profitable for our community. Saving perpetrators from prosecution: Is it good for the Jews? Most definitely not!
Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, hear my words: Your halachic interpretations, intended to moderate and mediate between Orthodox pedophiles and their victims, are failing as I write this very letter. While you are busily engaged protecting our perpetrators, Orthodox Jewish victims are fleeing Torah, fleeing Yiddishkeit. We are fleeing left and right. Many, such as myself, have gone frei. Many have chosen baptism and conversion. Others have committed suicide.
You are losing us. Thousands have left the fold. Truly: you seem to care so much about our perpetrators, do you not care for victims? It would seem not. Given this, we are on the move. We are writing, writing to the goyishe papers, the Yiddishe papers, and on the Internet - to whomever will hear us. Every time I meet a Jew - Orthodox or frei - I tell him or her the truth about Orthodox pedophilia and about your frightful course regarding this issue. I tell Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Muslims....
Rabbi, here is the truth: Although many survivors write you politely, groveling at your feet in the hope that you will change tack, you need to know that we despise you. You have hurt Orthodox survivors so badly, many to most of us will never forgive you for your destructive stance. Personally, I sincerely pray every day that HaShem will convict your heart and serve you a resounding kick in the tukkis.
Benjamin Aryeh Uchytil