It’s a brave person to admit publicly they’ve been the victim of sexual abuse. Making this admission in a small close-knit community is even more courageous; few do it.
Manny Waks has shown he’s a person who stands by his convictions, someone not afraid to say it how it is. Forthrightness is a quality I admire.
In Manny’s response to the statements from Yeshivah and the JCCV, he makes some comments that are especially insightful.
While Yeshivah’s reluctance to fully cooperate with the investigation is somewhat understandable as it attempts to maintain its reputation – although completely unacceptable – the JCCV’s silence on this issue has been bewildering and outrageous. It indicates that there is a major gap in leadership in the Victorian Jewish community. No one was willing to stand up when it counted – this from an organisation that claims to be the voice of Victorian Jewry.
No victim would be interested in seeking assistance or support from an organisation that lacks moral leadership. Furthermore, the JCCV’s recommendation to seek assistance and support also from the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence, a group that has proved itself to be primarily a Yeshivah apologist, is further alienating.
What is most revealing about Manny’s observation of the JCCV is that it parallels my experience with the same organisation. This confirms to me that there are some fundamental deficiencies with the JCCV. Address these and we can start to identify and then tackle the underlying harms that exist within the community, rather than just remedy them in a superficial manner.
In a sluggish response to the unfolding child sex abuse scandal rocking the Melbourne Jewish community (The Age, Jun 22 2011; Galus Australis, Jul 5 2011; The Age, Jul 8 2011) , the Jewish Community Council of Victoria released a statement on the matter on July 13 2011. The opening paragraph states:
The Jewish Community Council of Victoria is disturbed by the recent allegations of sexual abuse at Yeshivah College. JCCV President, John Searle said, “we abhor the abuse of children in any way, be it physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, and particularly when it is perpetrated by those in positions of trust and authority at our communal institutions”.
Sadly, I know these words are, in part, entirely disingenuous simply because the JCCV president personally endorses the specific form of psychological abuse of children that manifests itself as the intolerance of homosexuality. He has told me face to face that it is completely acceptable for [Orthodox] Judaism to perpetuate a dogmatically justified stance on the matter.
I have stated previously and will reiterate findings of relevant research:
Studies conducted over the last decade reveal that GLB individuals attempt suicide at rates between 3.5 and 14 times those of their heterosexual peers
Those belonging to religious faiths that promulgate negative discourses about homosexuality are particularly vulnerable to suicide and self-harm. Conflicts between spiritual or religious beliefs and sexuality can result in significant psychological dissonance as well as division and exclusion from family, friends and community.
How much longer will we have to put up with the vacuous platitudes of this ego-driven individual, who by his very silence on this matter is further enabling the horrific abuse of children in large sections of the Jewish community?
I find going to the gym really rewarding. Tonight it was especially so because not only did I get to perve on some ultra-hot guys but I had a flash of inspiration, some might say it was divinely inspired, while I was pedalling away on the exercise bike.
There are a couple of issues that seem to be on the agenda about the offices of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria. One is how to deal with the problem of “alcohol abuse issues affecting Victoria’s Jewish youth”1. The other is that the JCCV and Rabbi Rapoport fear that if the GLBT community become members of the JCCV “this would fracture the Jewish community”2.
I have worked out a really simple solution to both of these problems. It’s simplicity floored me, and I’m sure you’ll feel similarly impressed.
Oh, I just remembered, there’s a third benefit that will come from this. A reduction in child abuse. You get three for the price of one. Such a mitzia!
The answer to the million dollar question? Stop circumcising boys. How simple is that?
You want to know my logic? Well, when a Jewish boy is born, he is circumcised, usually when he’s 8 days old. The mohel (the man who does the snip), according to some ancient Jewish customs3:
takes some wine in his mouth and applies his lips to the part involved in the operation, and exerts suction, after which he expels the mixture of wine and blood into a receptacle provided for the purpose. This procedure is repeated several times, and completes the operation, except as to the control of the bleeding and the dressing of the wound.
What happens here is the infant gets a feel for a man’s mouth around his penis, and this is impressed into his brain. Some baby boys, the more intelligent (and better looking) ones, remember this sensation as they go through puberty, and rekindle the desire to have a man’s mouth around their penis. This leads to their desire to grow up to be gay.
Other baby boys will, similarly, retain the taste of the alcohol and again, later on in their youth, will develop an obsession for more of the substance. This leads to the problem of alcohol abuse.
By stopping this cruel practice, we can effectively stop homosexuality, youth alcohol abuse and as a bonus, reduce the incidence of paedophilia.
It’s really quite amazing. Three remarkable outcomes from one simple action.
I’m so clever.
I received this invitation on Facebook from Chris Jones today. He’s trying to make the world a better place. It would be good if you helped him too.
Chris says, “Hi Michael, I manage a Liverpool based guitar band who are planning to release a single to coincide with the Pope’s visit to the UK.
The song is a comment on religion in the 21st Century and all profits from UK sales will be donated to a secular based charity that works with victims of child abuse (For example NAPAC).
The recording has already taken place. The final mix and mastering will take place next week. You can, however, listen to a rough mix of the song @ www.soundcloud.com/thegreatdivide
The song includes lines such as:
“Everyone has a God they don’t believe in, Your one true religion is another’s superstition”
“Shout it, sing it, shout it out loud, You don’t need a God in your life now”
If we can achieve our goal, and have a song with such lyrical content, on top of the UK charts, on the day the Pope returns to the Vatican, I am confident it would stimulate great debate and engage young people.
Similar to the Rage Against The Machine v X Factor Facebook campaign we are looking to target a specific date to download the single. Depending upon which artists are currently in the charts as little as 30,000 to 40,000 downloads could see the song reach number 1. Long gone are the days when an artist had to sell in excess of 100,000 records to reach the top 10.
I appreciate that the genre of our song will not suite everyone’s palate, but the vast majority of the general public did not download the track by Rage Against The Machine because they were appreciative of their song. The influence that both You Tube and Facebook can exert has already been proven, and I am confident it can be utilised to make this work.
Your support would be greatly appreciated.
Please join the Facebook group entitled “Emancipation from Religion” and invite your friends to do the same.