The Hunted Becomes Hunters

I was on the treadmill and on the TV was the movie Rambo First Blood with Sylvester Stallone–he’s incredible. 


There is an amazing scene where he is running, outnumbered, outgunned, and being literally hunted in the woods. 


But as he is a special forces trained warrior, he turns the tables on the bad guys. 


– The hunted become the hunter!


Life is not Hollywood.


Yet, miracles do happen, and good can overcome evil. 


Like the more than 150 brave women of the USA Olympics Gymnastics Team who testified and put the creep Larry Nassar away for the rest of his disgusting life. 


The hunted can be empowered through the justice system and do what is right and put the bad guys away–where they should stay and rot out their miserable days. 


The innocent women who suffered at his dirty hands prevail!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

One More Of The Abusers Caught

SAR.jpeg


Above is excerpt from email (forwarded to me) sent out by SAR Academy (now with high school, but previously elementary and middle school only when I was growing up).

It is incredibly horrible what this pedophile Rosenfeld did to the innocent children there and elsewhere.

Now one more of the abusers has been caught and the truth has come out–even if after almost 40 years!

Here is a quote from blog of Luke Ford (2009) that sheds light on this evil creep:

“Stanely Rosenfeld is a former cantor and spiritual leader at Temple Am David who received a 10-year suspended sentence after pleading no contest to molesting a 12-year-old boy he was tutoring. He grew up in New York City and worked in the New York public school system for about 20 years, and worked about 10 years at a private Jewish academy in New York. In a recent lawsuit it was alleged that other Jewish synagogues had problems with Rosenfeld, but he was allowed to move from one to another and offend again. In previous probation reports Rosenfeld acknowleged constantly having to ‘fight his desire for boys.’ He said he often looks at children when driving and had ‘considered what it would be like to pursue a child’ but that he has never acted on this desire.” The report also says that, “When asked if he had molested both male and female children, [Rosenfeld] responded that his ‘preferred prey’ is adolescent boys.” Rosenfeld has acknowledged other victims within Rhode Islands well as victims in different states, demonstrating his clear propensity to commit these crimes against minors. Rosenfeld also told stated in past probation reports that he had molested boys when he was in New York, but he was never charged. Hopefully, this is the end of the line for pedophile Rosenfeld who will now rot in jail.”


How was this allowed to continue for so long and no one did anything?

Victims in those days were questioned like they were crazy or told they just imagined it or “had a bad dream”!

But to the contrary, it was very real nightmare.

#MeToo.

Fortunately, I wasn’t harmed as bad as others–as thank G-d, I woke up in time!

Yes there were others who definitely seemed to facilitate it–was it knowingly or unknowingly? Not really sure how they couldn’t have known.

People are beasts, although some have and exercise a moral conscience–others apparently don’t have the integrity or inner strength to do the right thing–or they just don’t care or dare to.

For the victims–it’s painful to see it again so real like it was just yesterday, but it’s good to know that on some level truth and justice do come out, even if too little to late.

There is much more work to do in our society to acknowledge what has gone on and been given a blind eye or even a wink and a nod instead of a resounding outcry and complete moral outrage.

It is long past time to demand the end of this ongoing evil in our communities, workplaces, and to our dear children. 😉

(Source Email: SAR Academy)

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)

Bystanders Standing By

Skirt

So I was on the Metro train coming home from the office. 


I was sitting on the left side of the car (riding backwards–which I hate) 


And a lady was sitting on the right side of the train (also riding backwards)


She was stylishly dressed, but also honestly a little seductive in a short skirt, knee-high boots, and bare legs. 


There was a older man sitting across from her (facing forward and facing her). 


At one point then some really weird stuff started to go down. 


This guy gets up and starts staring at this lady–but not just the lady, specifically at her legs.


But it get worse, he turns his head sideway–this way and that–very obviously trying to look under her skirt. 


These were not kids mind-you, but grown adults–and this behavior was not only unexpected, but completely shocking.


There are lots of other people around, and it seems like no one knows what to make of this guy or even cares.


Then he inches closer, as if to get a better look, and get this–100% true–he starts to sniff at her.


It was so scary to see this guy on the train acting all perverted–obviously some sort of serious sexual predator. 


My mind starts racing into whether I should get up and be prepared to confront him, so he doesn’t hurt this women, or if there is enough time, can I call for the cops.


But before anything else could unfold, the train pulls into the next station, the double doors open, and he quickly hops off. 


I turn my head to look at the women to make sure she is okay, and I see her breath out a deep-sigh of relief. 


This could’ve been really bad–he could’ve tried to attack her in broad daylight or even follow her off the train. 


The funny thing was that I didn’t see anyone say or do anything about it or even pay attention to the potentially dangerous situation unfolding that was obvious. 


The people were all around, but the bystanders were just that “standing (idly) by” and in no way seemed to pay any notice or they just didn’t want to get involved–it was like complete apathy. 


I hope for everyone’s sake–that people really do care and pay attention when there is danger about–and that it’s not just everyone for themselves.  


We are much stronger together, than when everyone is apathetic or just looking out for themselves. 😉


(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

Rape Crisis Nation

Rape Crisis Nation

I’ve been wanting to capture this in a photo for some time.

I took this picture from a moving Metro train and one with incredibly dirty windows at that.

It is the phone number for a 24-hour rape crisis hotline.

Underneath the phone number is a picture of a hand picking up a telephone to call.

It is written as graffiti on the wall facing the train tracks.

And around it are radio towers, telephone polls, what looks like transformers, and a barbed wire fence.

It is quite an ominous setting for the ad placement.

To me, rape is one of the most horrendous and brutal crimes.

Ironically, it physically and emotionally violates a person through the very means that most people make love and life.

My first exposure to rape was in the opening scene to the movie Death Wish, where Charles Bronson’s wife and daughter are brutalized–I saw this movie as a little boy and it left a huge imprint on me.

Over the course of my life, I have known people who have been both raped and molested and it changed them forever.

I found these rape statistics online, and even though rape is down 60% since 1993, 1 out of every 6 women in this country experiences a rape or attempted rape at some point.

Also, it means that 20 years ago, the percentage was about 26% or 1 out 4.

The Atlantic-2 years ago–reported similar numbers with 18.3% of women who were raped or where rape was attempted.

Honestly, I think the numbers may even be higher, since so many cases go unreported, and according to the American Medical Association is one of the most unreported crimes.

The numbers are outrageously high for a western, modern, civilized country or any nation!

What is even more shocking is that the U.S. is listed as the 6th highest country for reported rape.

Perhaps a large part of this is because we report more frequently in this country, but also maybe because we are more free and affluent and thereby, people are able to partake of vices such as alcohol and drugs, which are associated with sexual violence.

Rape is a horrific act and in medieval times, the crime of rape was often punished with castration or even death.

In Death Wish, Bronson became a semi-crazed vigilante and sought out his own form justice.

Today, in real life, we provide the victims a hotline number to call and the rapists–if they even get reported–and caught, prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced–may get some time or not, who really knows, but we should all care.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

That’s The Last Straw

Special

Our daughters and granddaughters are special.

They deserve to be protected from sexual predators, such as those that spike drinks and take advantage of their unknowing victims.

I was so pleased to learn about a new Anti-Date Rape Strawto help prevent this.

The straw developed by Israeli inventors tests drinks for common date rape drugs.

If the dangerous drugs are present, then the straw changes colors or becomes cloudy–providing a crucial early warning sign to those who might otherwise be drugged and sexually assaulted.

We now have greater awareness of the prevalence of sexual abuse, especially by people we know and trust–such as dating partners, sports coaches, teachers, and even clergy–so we must remain ever vigilant.

We need to teach our daughters that they are beautiful and special and to protect themselves–and not to think that “it can’t happen to me.”

With these special straws, our daughters can be better prepared, aware, and hopefully safer.

I can see the potential growth and application of this technology to protecting government and private sector leaders, dignitaries, and other VIPs from potentially ingesting–intentionally- or accidentally-tainted food or drink.

With a straw, eating utensil, or even toothpick like device that tests for the presence of dangerous pathogens and contaminants, we can provide a critical safeguard and prevent eating and drinking harmful elements.

Potentially, these types of devices–maybe connected to an smartphone–could be used to provide other important measures and readings of food–such as ingredients, nutrition, and calories–of the actual servings we are about to eat.

This technology has incredible potential to help us not only eat safer, but also healthier.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)