A Crack in the Wall, or Proud to be a Mizrochnik

For many years, sexual harrasment in the religious community was a tabboo subject, MO and Charedi communities alike. Even when major Rabbinic educators were convicted of such actions, schools were wary of educating Jewish youth on the subject for fear of being “not tzniusdig” and talking about the taboo of sex. The result is that many people don’t report harrasment for fear of being ostracized. Some don’t even understand the nature of sexual abuse, having never learned what it is.

I am proud to say that the wall of silence is being breached. Rav Shlomo Aviner, a generally Moderate RWMO figure in these parts, has publicly and unequivocally called for children to be educated on the matter from kindergarten – in both formal and informal contexts (such as Bnei Akiva). He bluntly stated that whatever potential damage that comes from this education (a rebuttal to the tzniut brigade) is more than offset by the need to protect our children. He also stated unequivocally to his students that people who commit such acts should be immediate grounds for going to the police, or at least abuse centers.

Rav Aviner, I don’t always agree with your positions, but today I wish to warmly congratulate you on your brave stand. I hope that many more spiritual leaders follow in your wake.


Hi, my name is Avi Woolf. I'm an American-Israeli MO Jew living in Israel. I have a background in Israeli (as in Land of Israel) and Jewish History and an insatiable need for knowledge. I also have professional experience as an editor, translator and indexer. Enjoy the ride! If you are interested in using my services or just want to drop me a line, contact me at: opdycke1861NOSPAM@yahoo.com
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2 Responses to A Crack in the Wall, or Proud to be a Mizrochnik

    • AIWAC says:


      Thank you for the link. It’s certainly very disturbing (though I question the 95% statistic).

      Nevertheless, it only reinforces the need for what Rav Aviner was discussing. Children, and later teenagers, need to be aware of everything involving sex (each according to their age). The silence on the subject is causing much more harm than good. We need to let them learn about it on OUR terms, rather than through porn sites or other places.


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