Sexual Acting Out

There is now a seemingly endless slate of sexual harassment allegations against some of the biggest shots from Hollywood to Washington, D.C. 


From the longest-serving Congressmen to the biggest star of morning television news, it seems that no one is sacrosanct.


Is it just that “absolute power corrupts absolutely”?


Or maybe it’s more broadly to be stated, as the Rabbi noted on Shabbat, that: 

“G-d created man perfectly imperfect!”

Men and women are created with sexual urges to procreate, bond emotionally and physically, and enjoy each other. 


Men tend to be the stronger than women and are able to have children into old age, and perhaps, it can be said, have the bigger “urge to merge.


Sure, there are women who are normally sexually active, and also those who are perhaps hypersexual (nympomaniac, “cougars,” etc.) and who commit sexual abuse too.


In fact, it was interesting that Wikipedia actually breaks rape down into 4 gender on gender categories:


– Rape of females by males

– Rape of females by females

– Rape of males by females

– Rape of males by males


Issues with physical intimacy and sexual harassment and violence span both sexes, however, it is also clear that:

“Rape affects women disproportionately, with the majority of people convicted being men.”


In the U.S., the statistics show gross levels of sexual violence to women:


– 1 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetime (vs 1 in 71 men).


– 91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female.


Also, particularly disturbing is the number of girls and boys targeted:


– 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before age 18. 


What type of society have we created, where women and children are not generally safe?


It’s interesting to me in Judaism that there is a recognition of sexual impulse, and that some Hasidim actually wear a “gartel” belt when praying to physically and spiritually separate the upper half of the body with the head and heart, from the lower half with the more animal instincts.


In short, the head and heart need to control the animal part of people. 


Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be happening in so many cases. 


Stunned from the outpouring of sexual allegations nearly everyday now, I said to my wife: 

“What is wrong with these people? They have it all: position, power, and wealth; and yet, they throw it all away –including their integrity and reputations–for a five minute lay in the hay!”


Is the animal instinct too strong for the person to control? That just isn’t going to cut it.


As a functioning society, it’s got be completely unacceptable for people to act out sexually or otherwise violently hurt their neighbors. 


It’s time for social reform and for the animals to be controlled by the people. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Long Arm Of The Law

This bird was hilarious running into and out of the ocean waves. 


Over and over again, it’s little puttering feet running toward and then just escaping the water rushing to the shore. 


In a way, I thought that I’d like to be as playful and happy as this little bird running and having fun in the water. 


But when I showed the video to my wife, she got a different message from it. 


She said, “you can’t outrun the long arm of the law!”


The (jail)bird runs towards trouble, but then running away, the waves of justice invariably catch up with it. 


I think with all the scandals in the news again lately from Hollywood to Washington D.C., we are all sort of stunned by the famous and hugely successful people who are now being caught up in inappropriate sex scandals and all sorts of abuse of women and men!


It’s wrong that these people use their wealth, fame, and power to hurt other people, period. 


There are no excuses, no lapses of judgement, especially when it seems to happen over and over again to the same people. 


Put your “package” back in your pants, and behave like upright human beings and not like a bunch of wild animals.


Yes, perhaps it’s one thing to be playful like the birds in the ocean waves, but it’s another to be part of the list of scumbags–if true as accused–like Anthony Weiner, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Al Franken, John Conyers, and more. 


You can pay off the women with jobs and settlements, but you can’t escape the rushing water of ultimate judgement for your unbridled play and tarnished souls. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

STOP Human Trafficking

So we watched the movie “Sold.”


It was about this young Nepalese girl (maybe age 12) who was sold into a horrible brothel in Kolkata, India.


She fought to keep from getting raped, but eventually they drugged her and tied her hands to the bedpost–where the evil bastards had their way with this child. 


She and the other young girls in the brothel were raped about 10 times every evening to “repay their debts.”


The horror these children go through taken, beaten, drugged, and raped over and over again. 


It’s unthinkable and the lowest grotesqueness of people who could possibly treat children this way. 


Finally, the young girl does manage to escape to Hope House (a rescue shelter for the human trafficking victims) and with the information she provides, the police are able to raid the brothel and rescue the other children. 


The movie tells how their are 5.5 million children around the world that are being sex trafficked–and I would presume that the real number is unfortunately much higher!


I can only imagine how G-d must cry heavenly tears for these poor children.


It is incredibly hard to understand that in some areas of the world poverty is so bad that some desperate families actually feel they have to resort to selling their children to survive.


In other cases, the children are preyed on and simply disappear.


Children who should be playing with toys are instead forced to be sexual play things. 


Innocent children who should be treated with love and care are instead treated as animals for the sick and cruel physical pleasures of others. 


Have mercy on these children—save these children from wherever they are bound and held–give them back their freedom and their dignity. 


If ever there was a cause for people to rally around–surely, saving these children from sexual abuse and trafficking is one that all can agree is at the crux of our very humanity and mankind’s soul. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Fighting Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse.jpegNonviolence.jpeg

I came across these excellent graphics used to educate and prevent against domestic dominance and abuse.


The first wheel shows how “power and control” are used to instill fear and dominate domestic partners as well as in an overall pattern of relationships with physical and sexual violence:


– Intimidation

– Emotional Abuse

– Isolation

– Minimizing, Denying, and Blaming

– Using Children

– Male Privilege

– Economic Abuse

– Coercion and Threats


In contrast, the second wheel displays positive patterns of “equality” in relationships and nonviolence and are marked by the following attributes:


– Non-threatening behavior

– Respect

– Trust and Support

– Honesty and Accountability

– Responsible Parenting

– Shared Responsibility

– Economic Partnership

– Negotiation and Fairness


Have you ever noticed a pattern of domestic abuse behaviors that include the following?


– Constantly lecturing on political views the other person should hold.

– Keeping them away from their family and friends.

– Controlling the major life decisions.

– Hiding money and accounts.

– Demanding the partner stay home with the kids indefinitely.

– Using emotional withdrawal and/or passive aggressiveness to control.

– Requiring the other person to be available whenever they want.


Spouses and partners should be your best friend and not your servant or dog to kick when you get home.


Watch out for those who exhibit the bad behaviors and patterns of abuse and violence…and stay safe in good and healthy relationships! 😉


(Source Photo: Domestic Abuse Intervention Project – Duluth Model)

Alarming Graffiti Message

I actually stopped to read and photograph this graffiti or should I all it a cry for help.


First of all the “artist” was considerate and put it on paper (that was taped up), and not directly on the street pole.


Second, there are some incredibly thoughtful, alarming, and prayer messages on this in both English (as well as in Asian, and Hebrew languages), such as:


– “Jewish prayer for no rape.”


–  “Abusive bee.” “Bee pose,” “Queen bee,” “Bee wisdom,” and “Bee Sting”


– “Abusive spiritual teachers being arrested”


– “We are angelic”


– “I pray for diversity in the bee colony”


– “I pray for a well taught dog”


– “Goddess may the dog be happy”


– “Hashem [G-d] causes the generations to realize they are one”


– “Temple of the animist”


– “Freedom of religion.”


– “Kosher U.S.A. Government”


– “Thanks MD/DC Service Dog.”


There is more, but I couldn’t make out all of it.


There is a also a drawing of a girl in a sitting position with her knees up and sort of smiling.


What strikes me most in this are the numerous references to some sort of abuse, likely sexual with the references to things like prayer for no rape, abusive bee, bee sting, bee pose, and abusive spiritual teachers being arrested.


I feel very unsettled by this, like someone is in trouble and this is a call for help from the community.


All the identification with religion, spirituality, and G-d make this even more significant in terms of the spiritual questioning and perhaps confusion from it all.


Also, is this person disabled/blind–note the reference to the service dog.


I hope that this person(s) are okay and that if they are in danger and need help: go immediately to your parents, the police, school authorities, or a social worker.


People in the community care, and especially G-d hears your prayers.


Whoever might be hurting you needs to be dealt with by the authorities, and please G-d, you will be alright. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Best Mother’s Day Present Ever

Women Can Be Anything

So today is Mother’s Day–one of the most important days of the year. 


My mom passed away from Parkinson’s Disease almost 2 1/2 years ago, and I miss her and my dad every single day (more than I can say or even come to terms with)!


I see lots of gifts being bought and given today to the mothers of this world, especially flowers, chocolates, and cards.  


But what would be the best gift we could give all our collective mothers?


That is simple…EQUALITY.


Whether it’s the glass ceiling that keeps women underemployed, left out of certain professions altogether, underrepresented in management and the executive suite, and paid 79 cents on the dollar for what men get…it’s not fair and it’s wrong!


Women can do what men do as good and sometimes better, and generally they complement men in the workplace and make us more productive, more innovative, more balanced. 


Diversity in thinking brings us better decision-making and more success in business and in government, 


Like in the photo, women can be architects or enterprise architects–they can also be vice president or president. 


Women should NOT have to endure any type of domestic violence or sexual abuse or discrimination…for G-d’s sake, we are enlightened!


Forget the flowers this Mother’s Day and give your mom a present that she will really love and cherish…a promise and commitment of respect and equality for women today and every day of the year. 😉


(Source Photo: WSJ by Andy Blumenthal)

G-d Is Good, (Some) People Not So

G-d Good

I am quite disabled after hip surgery, but I am livid. 


There was an article in the New York Times about a Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt who likes to take children and young adults naked to the sauna and Mikvah (Jewish ritual bath) and watch!


Some even reported that he “gawked at a naked 12-year old,” “invited a 15-year old for intimate night time conversations during which he frequently put his hand on the boy’s leg,” and invited himself into a 17-year old’s living room and tried repeatedly to persuade him to change into a bathrobe.”


The article describes how this has been going on for around 30 years and the Rabbi was asked in various forms to stop by the Riverdale Jewish Center synagogue, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), and even investigated by Yeshiva University (YU). 


Interestingly, this is happening after the “2012 sex scandal involving top Rabbi’s from Yeshiva University, another with Rabbi Baruch Lanner with “sexual, physical, and psychological abuse of scores of teens” in his charge in the National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), and most recently, the 6-year sentencing for “videotaping more than 150 women” (going to the Mikvah) of Rabbi Freundel of Kesher Synagogue (right here in Washington, D.C.). 


All of these sex scandals involved highly prominent rabbi’s (and I feel sick to my stomach even using that esteemed word for them), and at the time this abuse was going on and for years after, no one wanted to believe this was happening!


A friend posted this article about Rabbi Rosenblatt on my Facebook page –we both know this Rabbi from Riverdale, NY where we grew up–and asked “What have you to say to this?”


Well let me tell you…many have come forward for the NYT’s article and others on my Facebook page and behind the scenes to confirm knowledge of Rabbi’s Rosenblatt’s gawking and other inappropriate behaviors with children.


– “I refused to consider having him perform my marriage ceremony because of this and another of his ‘unusual habits.'”


– “Not only was this common knowledge personally–it was known institutionally, by both YU and the RCA.”


Yet others choose to continue the disbelief (some excerpts):


– “I believe these rumors to be vicious slander.”


– “I want to believe some weird habits are being blown out of proportion.”


So let me tell you that not knowing something is happening or not wanting to believe does not make it so. 


I and others I have spoken to remember children being invited to play racquetball as I remember it (squash in the article) and to go to the Sauna with the Rabbi afterward. 


As someone described for the NYT article about going to the Mikvah with the Rabbi, I can attest that this similarly happened to me PERSONALLY. 


Before I got married, the Rabbi accompanied me to the Mikvah for the ritual bathing which he said was needed before marriage, and just as the 15-year old victim in the article described, the Rabbi was “watching me” and I remember the Rabbi also telling me that he had to in order to see my whole body immersed.


I also remember feeling his look at me being off and feeling sick afterwards, like I just wanted to wash again and again. 


However for others referenced in the NYT article, it was much worse, “The routine was always the same: ‘Always the hand on the shoulder or the leg, always the hand touching some part of your body’…The rabbi’s touch ‘was very seductive and it was very manipulative in a way.'”


Unfortunately, as is typical, it is easier to blame the victims or disavow them, then acknowledge a deep-rooted sick and evil in our society by some who are at the top of the pecking order religiously and otherwise.


To be completely clear, the chilul Hashem is NOT with the victims, but RATHER it is with the man who for over 30 years continued this sick ruse, even after he was asked repeatedly to stop his inappropriate behavior with children and young adults. 


For those who choose to continue to look the other way, say how nice and scholarly these Rabbis are, and make every excuse in the book, rather than demand a FULL investigation and justice, all I can say is they are being complicit! 


One last thing I will say, there are others in that community that were involved.  


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

100 Times Harassed


After my last blog on stopping sexual assault, a colleague brought this other video to my attention.



32 million views and 120 thousand comments and counting. 


This young lady walks around the streets of New York for 10 hours in jeans and a t-shirt and is verbally harassed a 100 times–not including winks and whistles. 



Women (and men) should not have to live in fear, shame, or be abused doing nothing but living their lives peacefully and respectfully. 



Darn, can the folks out there show some respect and decency.



This could be your mother, wife, sister, or daughter…think about it.



Video sponsored by IHollaback