The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Friday, June 22, 2012

So, Where DO We Start?

A few groundrules:

This thread is not about Chareidi bashing.  It is designed to address a specific problem in our tribe.  (It is foolish to believe that, even with the progress the MO world has made, the issue of abuse does not effect that world.  Guess what?  It does).

Consequently, if the conversation degenerates into Chareidi bashing, I will take my marbles and go home.  I am hoping to have a positive, meaningful discussion in which ideas are exchanged and solutions (or at least partial solutions) are sought.

With that as background, I asked a young family therapist I know and respect who deals with these issues where he thought we should start. 

He noted, first, that the blog will attract like minded people and I will likely end up merely preaching to the choir.  He warned me not to aim to high:  The institutional issues are, at least in the short and medium term, intractable.  If I focus on those issues, this will become a screed.

He suggested that the first place I may consider taking the discussion is a focus on the responsibilities that we have as parents. "Parents are the only ones in the entire world whose sole consideration [vis a vis their children] is the well being of their children.  They need to internalize the uncomfortable truth that even the people whom we respect do not have our children's safety at the same level on their priority list".  Unless this fundamental point is digested and believed, it will be difficult to get anything done.

How to do this is the challenge, especially in sectors of our society where there is a very significant reliance on the leadership and where spreading that word would almost necessarily require the cooperation of leadership.


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