June 19th, 2012
11:53 AM ET

Hasidic child sex abuse allegations

By Ella Chick, CNN

(CNN)–Areas of Brooklyn, New York feel like a trip back in time. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities live a lifestyle that mirrors their ancestors from centuries ago. The dress, hair, language, education, food, values, prayers, traditions and community structure have been passed down and preserved through many generations and across oceans. All of those are an expression of the residents’ profound faith in God.

What is not visible are shameful secrets: Child sex abuse scandals have been making headlines for years and bringing unwanted attention to a group bent on privacy.

For Hasidim, every waking act is defined by the laws of the Torah; they depend on the teachings of rabbis to guide them in all parts of their day. Influence from the secular world threatens to invade their insular community.

Now revered leaders of the community are accused of protecting child predators and punishing the victims who dare to speak out about what was done to them, all to avoid outside involvement.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Judaism

soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Ronald Huell

    Ibuprofen has an antiplatelet effect, though relatively mild and somewhat short-lived compared with aspirin or prescription antiplatelet drugs. In general, ibuprofen also acts as a vasoconstrictor..",.

    My current blog site http://www.healthfitnessbook.comdh

    June 23, 2013 at 4:47 am |
  2. robin

    every religious group does that.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  3. jebus

    Religious fanatics abusing children? How could this happen?

    July 11, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  4. slickteigkcmo

    The most evil of all evil attacks the helpless, children, elderly, other disadvantaged..... demons come as women, men, all races, cultures, professions, equally evil all over the planet. Lucifer and his fallen angel demons are literally "everywhere" pray, turn to God, protect your children, your parents, each other, yourself, guard your hearts, souls and minds or deal with the justifiable rage of God. God bless us and keep us safe, psalm 23

    July 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  5. ikihi

    execute the criminal!

    July 8, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  6. achepotler

    Geez...god people abusing children...that's different!

    July 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  7. Lucille

    i am glad that the laws protecting children finally was enacted in the '70's. for so long men were getting away with these sinful actions. but today the authorities are punishing the offenders, at least here in the states. that makes me happy. Christ was a sacrifice, too. "...the just for the unjust..."

    July 3, 2012 at 12:31 am |
  8. B

    This is a serious problem in the hasidic community and great on CNN for reporting it. But it wouldnt hurt doing a little more research on the community and not making assumptions. The hasidic community in Brooklyns new – brand new by Jewish standards. To say that they are living by some ancient tradition is absolute nonesense. And those posters werent written in Hebrew – they are in yiddish. A small detail, but you wouldnt have a report on hispanics and say the posters are written in French [yiddish and hebrew are linguistically far more distant than spanish and french].

    June 23, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  9. I am the truth

    Religious information on liberal website like CNN? That is like believe the Bible rewritten by atheists. I like all the spin comments here: I'm right, prayer wrong, Rush & Palin conservatives yuk.

    A wiki cannot be conservative or liberal, just facts, that must make Wikipedia the Holy Gospel. jk

    Thanks to Obama, a new era of Conservatives will rule the land for years to come. Get used to your new masters.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    June 21, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      June 22, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Bryan

      James 2:26 states:
      "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

      Praying for help while not doing what you can to fix the problem is the issue. If there is access to people with the skills to help you, then you should avail yourself of that assistance. If you have a high fever but are too stupid to take tylenol or ibuprofen when you are advised to then you cannot say that you were not helped.

      July 10, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  11. kindness

    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from som other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

    June 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • JW

      Your testimony does not equal a hill of beans. There are plenty with contrary testimony, including myself. God of the Bible supports slavery, Jesus said in the N.T. that he explicitly endorses the law of the O.T.

      Right there, that's enough for me to stand against this mythical creature and fight him with all my being. Read your own Bible. It's full of a god that is genocidal and bloodthirsty.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Jim P.

      "MY personal testimony."
      is rather worthless. I can go ta Moslem web site and read the same thing about Allah and to a Scientology website and read the same thing about "clearing" and so on and so on and so on.

      There are a thousand versions of god in human history and they all have people who can tell stories like yours. This they are meaningless.

      July 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • MymanDarwin

      What you experienced is a delusion brought on by a carefully produced script from an outdated fiction book that was created by the ruling governments of that time to control the masses. Religion is powerful...but not in an ethreal or supernatural sense. It is a tool to keep the rabble in line and is used by every major government in some form as a means to keep the populace from asking questions and preventing science from upsetting the financial base that supports these governments.

      It is mind control wrapped in illusions of love and a promise of eternal happiness...as long as you tow the line.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  12. Reality

    From Rabbi Brad Hirschfield: When Priests And Rabbis Commit Se-xual Abuse

    Mar 29, 2010 ......


    “The words used by Pope Benedict and others in responding to the Church's ever-deepening s-exual abuse crises reflect a sickness that is not unique to the Catholic community. In fact, that sickness creeps into all religious communities of which I know, and leaves a trail of victims in its wake every time. I refer to the way in which religious leaders and the communities which they lead wear the mantle of victimhood to cover their naked moral failings."

    June 21, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  13. hippypoet

    Awakened Desire

    I dream of a night where i can blink eye and put out the light.
    It's obvious to me now to get to sleep is held by slits allow.
    When it came time for shut-eye and goodbye.
    My spirit was set free for great depravity.
    I bit my lip and clenched my fist,
    But these tainted desires, these thoughts persist.
    At the reach of each arm lay a tangible temptation.
    Through the act of sin i find i love this abomination.
    I caress her legs and run my fingers down her skin.
    The warmth of her body, like a blanket I wrap myself in.
    I @ssume her throne and bathe in her power.
    I rock her earth and debase her flower.
    Shy the sigh and give to scream instead.
    Don't hold back, Lay with three in the artists bed.
    One for me and one for you,
    Lets find out what an extra four lips can do.
    You have your toy and I have mine.
    How fast can you make those eyes shine?
    I make you my own and show you my cure.
    You'll never walk right again, that you can be sure.
    So I pull out and set my loin free.
    I see in friends eye desire my specter be.
    She charges hell's inferno and makes me her own.
    But little does this wretch know there is no room for her on my throne.
    Know if others fire burns in my eye, there will be no sleep for me.
    For I find I have a grave gift of deplorable debauchery.

    June 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  14. Biblical


    Makes a very good point of what happens when you define many different 'orientations'

    June 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  15. Rational Libertarian

    I've just realised where people like Biblical get their information. Look up the Conservapedia page on h.omos.exuality. It's frightening to think that it's not a parody.

    June 20, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • JellyBean@Rational Libertarian

      WTH?! Yes, scary indeed.

      June 20, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Rebel4Christ

      That is foul and shocking. Republican religioustards also frequent prolapsed.net for their crazy claims.

      June 20, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • BRC

      @Rational Libertarian,
      Damn you for showing me that site. I could have gone my whole life without ever reading it and I would havee been much much happier. The only thing I can do now is close my eyes really tightly and hope that it is satire of the finest order, and drink until I can no longer think about the fact that there are people who read those pages adn take them seriosly. My liver curses you.

      June 20, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Sorry BRC but the truth hurts. Conservapedia seems to be a legit conservative encyclopedia. I also hate how they have commandeered the word conservative to mean retarded. I consider myself to be conservative in many ways. I support minimum government, const.itutionalism, individual liberty and the abolition of income tax. However, these Christard fundies have created an association with the word conservative that I want nothing to do with.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • LinCA

      @Rational Libertarian

      You said, "Sorry BRC but the truth hurts."
      It sometimes does, especially when it conflicts with preconceived notions.

      You said, "Conservapedia seems to be a legit conservative encyclopedia."
      The term is a contradiction. An encyclopedia contains facts. Facts are not "conservative" or "liberal". While facts can support a conservative or liberal point of view, by presenting only "facts" that support the "conservative" side, they lose all credibility. They are nothing but a propaganda machine.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Rational Libertarian



      June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • BRC

      @Rational Libertarian,
      The commandeering of the word Conservative is also what bothers me. I am socially very liberal, but there are many ways that I agree with a conservative mindset (you've done a pretty good job of listing several). Unfortunately, you can't say Conservative right now without it being attached to people who are drasticly biased and massively out of touch with reality.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Rational Libertarian


      I used to occasionally refer to myself as a conservative, but there is too much of a stigma now. I'm about 90% libertarian economically and about 99% socially, so libertarian seems the best description. Sane people might reclaim the word conservative in the future, but for now I'll just have to be satisfied with the Limbaughs and the Palins of the world desecrating it.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:49 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.