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)

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

Which Part of “Men’s Room” Don’t You Understand?

So after my swim, I’m in the men’s locker room.

There are dozens of folks showering and changing.

All of a sudden in strolls a lady.

First she walks one way through the locker room–looking up and down the aisles.

Then she walks the other way through again–glancing this way and that way.

The men are looking at each other like what in G-d’s name is she doing.

Some of the men start yelling at her to get out (maybe the others are sort of glad she’s there)!

She sort of nods at them, turns unapologetically and strolls back out.

The men are bantering back and forth now–like what was that all about? Is she nuts or something?

On the way out of the facility, I stop by the front desk and ask innocently, “Do you know that their is a women walking around the men’s locker room?”

One supervisor goes, “Oh, that happens. The men do that too–going into the lady’s locker room.”

Oh really–is this a professional swim club or a Roman orgy?

The other supervisor, a little more reasonable here, says if someone can point her out, he’ll have a talk with her.

The kid behind the desk says, “Thanks for letting us know.”

The funny thing is there is a sign in the locker room that prohibits photos and videos–but, I guess in-person viewing is permissible–good to know. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Naked And Yelled At

Naked And Yelled At

So true story…I’m in the changing room at the pool.

There is a guy there, just a few feet away, naked.

The pool supervisor comes over and says, “Hey, where’s your brother?”

The guy says, “Why?”

The pool supervisor says, “He asked for a change in schedule, and I told him he can work on Mondays, and he’s not here.”

The guy annoyed, says, “I’ll tell him.”

The pool supervisor, shakes his head, and walks away.

The guy turns to me and says, “You know this is the only job where your boss can come up to you when you’re stark naked and start yelling at you!”

I say, “Yeah, and you can’t even say it’s sexual harassment.” 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)