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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Innocence Betrayed

Anonymous guest post

By the time I was ten years old I knew this life wasn't for me. No, I was not molested. I was not beaten or abused in any way. I was the middle child in a large Orthodox family and I always felt loved and cared for. My parents are honest and kind, good people.

But there was something in this life filled with rules and limits that I couldn't understand, something that tugged at my heart and told me that my path would be different. And all this before any Jew would disappoint and disgust me and lead my intellectual self running toward the place my heart had been taking me to.

I was fourteen at the time. I was hanging out with whomever I wanted. I was eating whatever I wanted. But I was in an Orthodox school and environment and my friends were, as well. I wasn't doing drugs. I wasn't staying out late with a bad crowd and partying. I was living the life I knew was right for me.

My friend Leah was rebellious. She knew she was would always be frum, but the pull of my attractive life had her acting out and doing stupid things. She was looking for answers and wanted help, so when someone suggested she speak to Rabbi Ezriel Tauber, she did. She liked him and found that his approach worked for her. Maybe she just wanted some extra attention and validation of what she already believed. In any case, she harassed me into going to see him. I did, just to make her stop.

And then my whole life changed.

My view of Jews and Rabbis became warped. He was the first of many to show themselves for who they really are - wolves in sheep's clothing.

It was a chilly night and Rabbi Tauber's small office was warm and cozy. I thought to myself, "This will be quick and easy". Oh boy, was I wrong! So painfully wrong.

The Rabbi told me that my soul wanted to be better than I was. That I was giving in to animalistic cravings and I had to stop. I told him I didn't agree with him and liked where I was in my life. When he asked if I was involved with a guy, I was honest and said yes. Then he asked for the boy's phone number. I was immediately suspicious and said I didn't want to share that with him. Why did he want the number? The Rabbi said he just wanted to talk to my friend and see what kind of guy he was. I was curious. I wanted to know what he would say and how my friend would respond. So I gave him the number.

The Rabbi dialed the number while I sat there, totally trusting him at his word. And then he blew my naive world apart. He told my friend that I had come to him for help. That I wanted to break up with him but didn't have the courage to do it myself. He said I wanted to be a better Jew and wanted nothing to do with boys anymore. Consider the relationship over.

I was shocked.

Rabbis don't lie! Rabbis are trustworthy! How could this have happened?! But it had.

I left Rabbi Tauber's office with an open wound that night. Over the years salt has been poured on my wounds and they have been reopened wide, time and time again. The further away I travel from that world, the easier it is for me to breath. The air over here is clear.

I think I'll stay.


  1. I'm not surprised. Tauber honestly and truly believes (well, he's pretty cynical, but he acts as though he honestly and truly believes) that he did you a favor.

  2. So, what happened next? Poor guy, receiving a call like that.

    And of course, poor you.

    What arrogance on his part. Assuming that he knew what’s best for you. Assuming that his way is the only right way. Assuming that your “soul” is Chareidi. And what did he hope to accomplish? Did he honestly think that you were somehow trapped in an evil relationship with a guy, and all you needed was a heroic rabbi to rescue you? Again, what arrogance.

    Practically speaking, it’s a terrible approach to dealing with a “kid at risk.” He violated your trust. The most important part of any relationship is trust, and betrays you in the first meeting. Aside from being underhanded, it’s foolish.

  3. I agree with you G3. If he truly thought he could "help" me, lying to me was a really silly move. I'm not sure what he was thinking, I wonder if he was thinking at all. Getting to know me first, would have been his best bet in earning my trust. Fortunately for me, I wasn't planning on a return visit, either way. I only wish I had never met him.

  4. Let's say that I would see a 14 year old with a gun pointed at his head and I told him "wow! That's a nice gun. Can I take a look at it? I promise I'll give it right back." After he gives me the gun, I put it in my pocket and dial 911.

    What would you say? "How could this happen! Rabbis don't lie!"

    As every traditional society in history has recognized, for men and women to socialize or be alone together is cruel, selfish and reckless unless they are in a long term publicly committed relationship and as such are prepared to raise together to maturity any children produced.

  5. Incidentally, this rabbi hater now has a handicapped child whom she wishes would get run over by a truck.


    I bow very low in my admiration for drop outs from orthodox Judaism.

  6. Incidentally, this rabbi hater now has a handicapped child whom she wishes would get run over by a truck.
    Well if God did this on purpose, or a form of punishment he sure is no God that I would want much to do with. Avi

  7. JP: "Let's say that I would see a 14 year old with a gun pointed at his head and I told him "wow! That's a nice gun. Can I take a look at it? I promise I'll give it right back." After he gives me the gun, I put it in my pocket and dial 911." You are just proving her point. You compare having a bf at age 14 (which is a normal thing in many societies) to life danger. Please check the air between your ears.

    Also: "this rabbi hater now has a handicapped child whom she wishes would get run over by a truck".

    Wrong. Read again. She is saying that it makes her cry thinking about the idea that if she would get run over by a truck, this would be a relieve to her. I.e., the thought alone makes her cry. Not that she wants it to happen but if it would have happened, she would feel relieved for her. That's how bad the illness is.

    But you twist anything you read into something that fits into your warped worldview.

  8. Maybe if gravity makes planes crash, you don't "want to have anything to do with it" either. So try jumping out a 20 story window and see how that attitude helps you.

    Denying reality is not usually a good way to make decisions.

    And if I knew this blogger's name and address, I would give Child Protection a call.

  9. She writes that she would be relieved to see the child killed. How about the child herself - is she on board with that too? I doubt it.

  10. She also reports wishing she never had children.

    I wonder how awesome that is - to be raised by a mother who regrets having conceived you and who wishes you were dead.

  11. UK: seriously, why do you bother debating with this behaima? He will take any individual's mental health issues and use it to generalize, stereotype and disseminate hate. He has the delusion that he is a serious scholar and researcher and even has openly admitted on your blog that he has no hater from any rabbi in his area to blog, read other blogs and surf the 'net. There's no constructive benefit to addressing the venomous rantings of such a small mind.

  12. That should have read "heter" not "hater" Spellcheck error :-P

  13. UK,
    Why are white males not attracted to Black women???

  14. "UK: seriously, why do you bother debating with this behaima?"

    Translated: We atheists are an embarrassing bunch of losers who really don't have answers, so let's just ignore critics while carefully remaining anonymous.

  15. Anonymous: Who says they aren't?

    JP: "And if I knew this blogger's name and address, I would give Child Protection a call."

    Were you born with that stalking instinct or is that what religion does to you? You must be one of those people that would have wished all bloggers to reveal their identity by law. Good that we have democracies on this planet.

  16. I see. Only child abuse committed by an orthodox jew, whether real or imaginary, is important and must be condemned to the high heavens. Other child abuse should be ignored.

  17. JP, you are an extremist. I don't normally respond to extremists, but I feel the need to defend myself here. The blog you pulled up and used against me clearly states that my child went to sleep ( if only sleep would come) wishing she was dead, due to her extreme pain and suffering. I cried just thinking about it and realizing how relieved I'd be for her. The blog post was written in a lot of pain. It was a sad time for our family and we are grateful that things are much better now.
    If you called cps, they'd be confused. Our home is filled with love and I spend enormous amounts of time and energy with my children. It's obvious to all how much I live them and cherish them.
    Lastly, I am not a rabbi hater. Rabbis dig their holes. I trip and fall into them. I feel pity for anyone in your counsel. You are not very understanding at all. I read your profile. Your cold cruel letter to your parents made me sick. I'm done communicating with you.

  18. "JP, you are an extremist"

    I am a typical orthodox Jew.

    "Our home is filled with love and I spend enormous amounts of time and energy with my children."

    Abusers always deny any wrong doing. That's why we have CPS.

    "I trip and fall into them."

    Considering the type of job you're doing now, I bet you would have been a fantastic mom at age 14.

  19. How about anew name for the "Jewish Pihilosopher" The new name is the "Jewish Non Philosopher" Avi

  20. Avi very clever, very very biting sarcasm.

    How about a new name for you. Instead of Avi let's call you "steaming pile of shit". Lol.

  21. i am new to this forum. i found this post was very moving and i am glad that the young girl had enough strength of mind and courage to leave rabbi's office not feeling bad about herself. As a member of a helping profession, i could see using subterfuge to prevent violence or suicide, such as JP describes when the 14 yr old has a gun in his hand but a teenager has a hard enough time trusting adults without betrayal of a coonfidence. i also don't get why JP is responding in such a venomous way to this person who has shared some of her experience in what she has obviously perceived as a safe forum. i think the name calling and denigrating takes away from the effectiveness of any message that people try to convey.

  22. The intention of this post is to denigrate the orthodox rabbinate.

    My repsonse is that first of all, assuming that this incident is even factual (which it very likely isn't) the rabbi involved probably believed that he needed to take extraordinary action to avert an emergency (a 14 year old mother).

    Secondly, I think it's important to note that rather than dealing with her problems constructively, the author seems to have a pattern of being very selfish and narcissistic: of blaming others (the rabbi, God, society) for her suffering and of being unconcerned with the needs of others (wishing for the death of her special needs child).

    My guess is that children raised by such a person are at a high risk for neglect and abuse, as the mother is solely concerned with herself and perceives herself to be a victim. It's unfortunate that Internet anonymity prevents the authorities from investigating.

  23. You seem to like guessing, JP, but it doesn't look like you are being successful quite often to get to the truth of the matter.

  24. I think I'm dead on.

    It's interesting how people who criticize and ridicule rabbis based on the least suspicion or the slightest evidence are called whistleblowers and brave heros. When I do the same to atheists and heretics I'm a hater and a stalker.

  25. JP -
    I think you should reconsider your confidence in the "rabbinate." The Agudah's shameful resistance to reporting of molestation, Rabbi Blau's clear apology for wrong-headed cover up of Baruch Lanner's behavior: these instances alone should at least give you some pause regarding the inherent correctness of rabbinical behavior. This poster's story about Reb Tauber's dishonest behavior rings so, so true that, in the words of Rabbi Berel Wein, it doesn't matter if it is true - the fact that someone can tell such a story and it sounds true says volumes about the situation.

    If you remain stuck in blind faith, I wish you well. If you wake up, I hope you learn to handle it. A true crisis of faith is very hard to go through.

  26. JP... I know you think you are dead on, which shows to me how dillusional some people can be.

    You are a hater because you do hate homosexuals, atheists, etc. And you are a stalker because you actually do harass people, not only online.

  27. "these instances alone should at least give you some pause regarding the inherent correctness of rabbinical behavior"

    The woman in this story is probably an abuser. I suggest reporting her to CPS and I'm a hater and a stalker.

    Little hypocrisy here I think.

    And as far as hatred is concerned, if not for ridiculing and criticizing every rabbi from Moses to the present, what would Jewish skeptic bloggers write about. Like this post.

  28. I wish the women whose story we have just read the very best. Frum or not, we all need someone to love, and we are all enriched with healthy and happy children.I hope she finds a lifetime companion, and has the zechus of having a family.

    On the more general topic what Orthodoxy should do when confronted with those who are on the way out, I want to say for the most part they have no clue. They should outsource this kind of work to others, counselors, more neutral people, who though positive about Orthodoxy, understand they must also take into account the needs and interests of those they are advising. It is terrible when those who choose to leave loose all ties with their parents and siblings. It is also terrible to spend a life looking back with anger.

    For what it's worth that's my two cents.

  29. Dramamama3 is divorced? I wonder if her remarkable people skills drove her husband out.

    Traditionally, Jewish communities have used a very simple, nonviolent method of dealing with dissidents. It's known as "cherem" or "shunning".


    I highly recommend it's revival.

    First, let's try to prevent atheism.


    If, God forbid, that fails, then hunt them down if they are covert


    and throw the bums out.

  30. Jp cares about all jews...kol areivim zeh lazaeh,,,,,this is why he is here online, even though the internet is assur, he wants us all to get to gan eden after a hindrid in sfansig. He cares about each of us deeply, our souls.....wants us to be saved (sounds a bit like christianity, no?)

    The best way to be mekarev us is to yell and scream, belittle, harass put down curse out and generally act like a tuchus (just Watch the recent agudah convention videos....his mentors!)


  31. "Jp cares about all jews"

    I don't care about you.

    "The best way to be mekarev us is to yell and scream, belittle, harass put down curse out and generally act like a tuchus" 

    You mean like ex-orthodox Jews do to those who are still orthodox? Like in this post for example?

  32. "You mean like ex-orthodox Jews do to those who are still orthodox?"

    nope, not at all. and even so, why go down to their level?

    "I don't care about you"

    oh please!! please, mr. philosopher! please care about me and all of the other hidden non-believers that lurk in these pages.....please!!

    lol. (your poor kids)


  33. ksil, it's all quite simple:

    O ye that love the LORD, hate evil. Pslams 97:10


    At least once in a while, when you want to take a breather from porn, open a Bible. You might find it quite enlightening.

  34. Evanstonjew, I appreciate your good wishes. I am happily married and enjoy my family immensely. I truly appreciate what I have, because unfortunately we are not all that lucky.