From Victims To Victors

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “From Victims To Victors.”

The critical image of transformation of the Israelites going from the very depths of slavery to the lofty heights of redemption, the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, and going to the Promised Land is relived again in our very own times. This happened immediately after the Holocaust, when the Jews left the death camps of Europe (in fact, many coming by boat over the Mediterranean Sea instead of on foot over the Red Sea as in biblical times) to come to Israel. Here too, the Jews went on to fight as free men in the War of Independence for the founding of the State of Israel just like the Israelites fought the Amalekites in the desert and the Seven Nations to receive the Promised Land of Israel. Furthermore, just like we received the Torah after the redemption from Egypt, we are seeing an incredible resurgence of Torah learning in Israel today.


In both cases of redemption, we had to transform from being victims of slavery and persecution to instead taking the reins in our hands, and with Hashem’s help, determining our own destiny and becoming the victors! Incredibly, just as the Israelites were redeemed by Hashem from Egypt and brought to conquer the Promised land 3300 years ago, so too were we, Jews, brought from the ashes of Auschwitz to the shores of the Israel to fight and become “a free nation in our Land, the Land of Zion, Jerusalem” (Hatikvah). And just like the redemption from Egypt resulted in the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) to worship Hashem in the desert, so too will we soon relive the redemption in the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. Again, in the right time, we will need to have faith and courage to rebuild it with our very hands, and this will happen speedily and truly in our days. May Hashem let it be!

 
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Video Of Video

We went to the art galleries in Rockville Town Center today. 


They had this video called “Neighbor” by Kanat Akar. 


It’s about the life of a 13-year old refugee boy from Alleppo, Syria who migrated to Anakara, Turkey. 


The video is eerie and hypnotic as it walks you through the eyes of this little boy and the misery of his life. 


While to me it represents the dark side of life, there is so much to be explored and felt from it. 


You can’t watch this without feeling like you are there on this dirty, squalor of a road to nowhere, but wanting desperately to know where it ends.  😉


(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

Cannibal Soup

Two funny things came to mind about eating dinner.


The first was a joke my dad always told which was something like:

We had our mother-in-law for dinner…and boy was she good!  LOL

The second was something I heard recently about power and politics, which was:

If you’re not at the table then you on the menu!

Ah, you better have a seat (and welcome voice) at the table or else you may find yourself part of the next batch of beef stew coming out of the kitchen. 


Two new ways for us to think of dinner time.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Part 5 – Riverdale Sex Abuse

Please click the photo to enlarge or you can go straight to the link at the SAR website.


The summary findings from the investigation on the child sex abuse at SAR Academy found the following regarding Stanley Rosenfeld and “Rabbi” Sheldon Schwartz:

T&M uncovered the following regarding Rosenfeld’s tenure and behavior while at SAR:

  • Rosenfeld was an administrator at SAR from 1974 to 1977 and he was also employed as a teacher by the school during the 1986-87 school year. The precise circumstances of his departure and rehire remain unknown.
  • Twelve former SAR students and one non-SAR student reported that Rosenfeld sexually abused them during his time as an SAR Academy faculty member.  
  • According to two victims, Rosenfeld’s misconduct was reported to at least one member of SAR’s administration at the time of these abuses.  
  • The investigation could not conclusively determine whether the administrators involved in the rehiring of Rosenfeld were aware of the nature of the allegations at the time of his rehire.  


T&M uncovered the following regarding Rabbi Schwartz’s behavior while at SAR:

  • According to multiple victims, details of Rosenfeld’s behavior were, at the time, raised directly to Rabbi Schwartz, who not only failed to act on the information appropriately, but was also alleged to have been present at and/or to have brought students to Rosenfeld’s home for Shabbat visits during which abuse took place.
  • Separately, through the course of this investigative effort, several students came forward alleging Rabbi Schwartz had acted inappropriately with them.  

Rabbi Schwartz served as a Judaic studies teacher until he was suspended in January 2018, once allegations concerning his knowledge of Rosenfeld’s behavior were brought to the attention of SAR. His employment has since been terminated.  Current members of the SAR administration were not aware of the allegations regarding Rabbi Schwartz until the commencement of the investigation.

 

T&M’s findings and the fact that Rosenfeld appears to have worked at and abused children at multiple schools and camps in the New York area gives all of us reason to pause and consider whether we are truly doing enough to protect our children. 

 

For those of you who sincerely listened and believed the cries of the many victims, thank you.


For those of you who were complicit and even continued in the denials, I will just say to you that G-d sees all!

Head Of Peace Now Is A Moron

Jerk

I don’t often go about calling people names.


It’s not diplomatic or politically correct, of course. 


But I want to make an exception on this special occasion.


And that is when this week, the head of Peace Now, Yariv Oppenheimer, actually had the audacity to criticize terror victim, Yonatan Azriaev, in Israel.


The victim was savagely stabbed by a terrorist, yet the victim managed to pull the knife from his own neck and trust it into his attacker, killing him.


What an unbelievable act of courage, strength, and heroism!


But to the leader of Peace Now, he blames the victim and calls this an extra-judicial execution, instead of a completely appropriate act of self-defense against a terrorist on a murderous rampage.


All I can say is the guy is a complete moron (yes, I said it) and shame on the self-hating, anti-Semitic, Peace Now members who are indirectly supporting terrorism, instead of defending their brothers and sisters. 


Let’s hope and pray for a genuine peace with security for the Holy Land.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why Yell And Intimidate The Child?

Child.jpeg

So at the table next to us this morning at breakfast was a mean looking lady and a fidgety young child. 

The lady as we found out over the course of their dialogue was the child’s grandmother. 

And she wouldn’t stop berating this kid, maybe 5-years old. 

Grandmother: “Don’t you dare get up from the table until I’m done with my coffee, [and then this weird chilling] thank you.”

Child: Obviously looking to run around and have some fun, “But I just want to go.”

Grandmother:  Who has finished her breakfast and coffee and is just making a continuing point, “You’ll wait until I’m done, and I say we’re ready, [and again, the long controlling pause and then] thank you.”

Child: “I’m tired.”

Grandmother: “Then you’ll go upstairs, get back into bed and go to sleep, and no tv, just sleep–you will not move!”

Child: Looks up helplessly sad.

Grandmother: Now the truth starts to come out, “You know I don’t like the way you treat you mother. Your disrespectful! And that won’t go with me.”

Child: Appears to not really understand what she is saying and legs dangle anxiously off the chair, but clearly very afraid to get up.

Grandmother: “You’ll learn to be respectful to your mother. You will learn!”

Child: Head leaning sideways on table, says nothing. 

Grandmother: Makes child wait some more and more, and finally, “Now we can go.”

Child: Child picks head up and runs to take her hand. 

Grandmother: Sneers and smirks with her power over the child–she looks like a freakin’ witch. 

Whole scene was sort of heartbreaking. 

My wife and I look at each other, and shake our heads.

This was not teaching or loving, but something else and it wasn’t normal or nice. 

I say, “Perhaps, when a child is abused this way–day after day, year after year–this is why they grow up and then do horrible and hateful things.”

It’s amazing how adults take out their issues on children–and they think it’s legit–but deep down you can see it really isn’t–and the children and society pays for the sins of the adults. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Save Our Children

Missing and Exploited Children.jpeg

I was very taken by this ad yesterday for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children


NCMEC is primarily funded by the Justice Department for preventing and assisting with solving child abductions, child sexual abuse, and child pornography. 


It’s horrible when something bad happens to to an adult, but when it happens to a child–that is catastrophic. 


I remember my dad used to say when he went to the funeral for a child–“A child is supposed to bury his [/her] parents, and not the other way around!”


It is unthinkable the pain that a helpless child goes through when taken or abused.


And for the parents, who are responsible for and love that child, I don’t think they can ever rest or be at peace for a single moment, until the child is, please G-d, safe again. 


This reminds me of the tragedy this week, where a one-year old child was one of the victims in a terror car-ramming at a bus stop in Israel that wounded 11 people. 


Unfortunately, the baby’s leg that had been nearly severed by the terror attack, was unfortunately lost despite heroic attempts by the doctors to save his leg.


What did this kid do to deserve such a trauma and fate? 


As the NCMEC motto states, “Every child deserves a safe childhood.”


How can people be so cruel to others and especially to innocent children?  


Despite G-d’s love and caring in this world, evil still exists and every time a child goes missing, is exploited, or is hurt/killed is proof of this, and is a mandate for our need to fight for their good. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)