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I created an account to say this

I am a survivor of abuse

I tried to type up a longer, more detailed post but it got too hard. The bottom line is the following

There's no such thing as universal feelings, reactions, desires, needs that all victims share. Each one is an individual who suffered alone and carries the unique scars that stay with them and each one will react to future situations in life in their own way.

Therefore, there is no single response to abuse that will leave all victims feeling safe, secure, validated, supported, closure and everything else all the well meaning people here want to give them.

However, I think there is a single response that would leave all victims feeling further pain and trauma and that is "It can't be."

Rabbi Shimon Russell - How to Safeguard and Protect our Children

https://youtu.be/fefqSvXf0JI


« Last edited by Yehuda57 on January 12, 2022, 05:44:00 PM »

Author Topic: Chaim Walder dies  (Read 77676 times)

Offline aygart

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #100 on: December 27, 2021, 06:48:19 PM »
I feel like many here have the wrong attitude.

The halacha generally is that until allegations are confirmed by two witnesses, it's "Chashdaihu V'kabdeihu" - suspect but respect. You are not allowed to believe the allegations, but you must put safeguards into place to protect potential victims.

Today, the man is no longer alive, and even if all allegations are true, he can no longer harm anyone. Thus, until we have a clear psak from a reputable bais din, there is no reason to believe any of the allegation. Yes, I know some will be quick to say that the victims will suffer if nobody believes them, but 2 points - 1) who said that's a reason to permit being mekabel lashon harah, and 2) I'm pretty confident that none of the alleged victims read DDF.

That being the case, even if Yonason Schwarz's voice note is suspect, and we would not be inclined to believe it on a standard matter, here we should cling to the belief that the man was innocent. All the talk about 'dozens of victims' is not coming from sources we would trust if they were the ones telling us not to eat from our favorite restaurant. So why are we being so quick to condemn a man who can no longer do any harm?

That depends on how this story affects how to view his books.
Feelings don't care about your facts

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #101 on: December 27, 2021, 06:49:33 PM »
That depends on how this story affects how to view his books.
I think that it's a small question, and each person should ask their own rav or guidance. I think it's a lack of tznius and a question of lashon harah to air that question in a public place.

Offline Dan

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #102 on: December 27, 2021, 06:52:21 PM »
I feel like many here have the wrong attitude.

The halacha generally is that until allegations are confirmed by two witnesses, it's "Chashdaihu V'kabdeihu" - suspect but respect. You are not allowed to believe the allegations, but you must put safeguards into place to protect potential victims.

Today, the man is no longer alive, and even if all allegations are true, he can no longer harm anyone. Thus, until we have a clear psak from a reputable bais din, there is no reason to believe any of the allegation. Yes, I know some will be quick to say that the victims will suffer if nobody believes them, but 2 points - 1) who said that's a reason to permit being mekabel lashon harah, and 2) I'm pretty confident that none of the alleged victims read DDF.

That being the case, even if Yonason Schwarz's voice note is suspect, and we would not be inclined to believe it on a standard matter, here we should cling to the belief that the man was innocent. All the talk about 'dozens of victims' is not coming from sources we would trust if they were the ones telling us not to eat from our favorite restaurant. So why are we being so quick to condemn a man who can no longer do any harm?
IMHO, such thinking glorifies and encourages suicide in our community as a get out a jail free card, c"v.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline neveryou

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #103 on: December 27, 2021, 06:54:43 PM »
Do people listen to shlomo carlebach music? How is that different?

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #104 on: December 27, 2021, 06:56:47 PM »
IMHO, such thinking glorifies and encourages suicide in our community as a get out a jail free card, c"v.
I didn't say that all investigations should be dropped. I am merely saying that we should not act on any judgement at this point, and we should not reject someone defending him because it doesn't seem like the most plausible narrative.

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #105 on: December 27, 2021, 06:57:32 PM »
Do people listen to shlomo carlebach music? How is that different?
Rav Moshe has a teshuva that is said to be talking about that music, though the Carlebach fans say it's not, because it's about listening to music made by a kofer.

Offline Euclid

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #106 on: December 27, 2021, 06:57:42 PM »
Yes, I know some will be quick to say that the victims will suffer if nobody believes them, but 2 points - 1) who said that's a reason to permit being mekabel lashon harah, and 2) I'm pretty confident that none of the alleged victims read DDF.
This goes beyond CW himself: our community needs to have a zero tolerance attitude towards sexual abuse. And it needs to be made clear, beyond a shadow of doubt, that we will not and can not stand for abuse. This allows for vulnerable people to come forth if/when they're abused and not suffer in silence.

If we circle the wagons every time someone famous/well-known is accused of sexual impropriety, then we are just shooting ourselves in the foot. There are far, far, far, far more people in our community who have had their lives ruined by abusers, then there were people being falsely accused of abuse. Vulnerable people need to know we have their back.

Offline Dan

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #107 on: December 27, 2021, 06:59:58 PM »
I didn't say that all investigations should be dropped. I am merely saying that we should not act on any judgement at this point, and we should not reject someone defending him because it doesn't seem like the most plausible narrative.
Nobody said anything about rejecting a defense. You don't lose the ability to a defense because you're dead.
But I have a problem with saying that we should sweep this under the rug or don't believe it just because he's dead. It's not just about the victims who also deserve to be heard, but it's also about others thinking that suicide is a good way to escape punishment and dealing with what people will say about them. And preventing suicide is highly l'toeles IMHO, which like sexual abuse is considered too taboo to discuss.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #108 on: December 27, 2021, 07:03:32 PM »
IMHO, such thinking glorifies and encourages suicide in our community as a get out a jail free card, c"v.
This reminds me of a powerful story I once heard from Rav Fischal Schachter, which perhaps should be the first thing told to anyone contemplating suicide IMO (though I am far from a professional on the matter).

A Jewish man was once standing on top of a building screaming that he's going to jump, and all the locals were gathered below, beseeching the man to reconsider. The man started listing all his tzaros, saying that life has become unbearable, and he wants to escape it all by ending his life.

The Gerrer Rebbe (don't know which one) walked by and heard the man's words. He immediately looked up at the man and said. "You fool! Do you really think Hashem will give you reprieve because you did an aveirah and committed suicide?! When you come up to shomayim, you will still have the same exact problems that you have now! Even more - you will have an added problem to deal with - your suicide! Hashem doesn't let you escape even one of your pressing issues by doing an aveirah."

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #109 on: December 27, 2021, 07:07:14 PM »
Nobody said anything about rejecting a defense. You don't lose the ability to a defense because you're dead.
But I have a problem with saying that we should sweep this under the rug or don't believe it just because he's dead. It's not just about the victims who also deserve to be heard, but it's also about others thinking that suicide is a good way to escape punishment and dealing with what people will say about them. And preventing suicide is highly l'toeles IMHO, which like sexual abuse is considered too taboo to discuss.
I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, but I was not trying to say that we should let the matter rest. I meant to say that we now have more time to let the professional rabbonim come to a conclusion, and being that someone is defending him, we can assume his innocence for the time being. But I completely agree that the matter should not be shelved just because he is no longer alive.

Offline Dan

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #110 on: December 27, 2021, 07:07:22 PM »
This reminds me of a powerful story I once heard from Rav Fischal Schachter, which perhaps should be the first thing told to anyone contemplating suicide IMO (though I am far from a professional on the matter).

A Jewish man was once standing on top of a building screaming that he's going to jump, and all the locals were gathered below, beseeching the man to reconsider. The man started listing all his tzaros, saying that life has become unbearable, and he wants to escape it all by ending his life.

The Gerrer Rebbe (don't know which one) walked by and heard the man's words. He immediately looked up at the man and said. "You fool! Do you really think Hashem will give you reprieve because you did an aveirah and committed suicide?! When you come up to shomayim, you will still have the same exact problems that you have now! Even more - you will have an added problem to deal with - your suicide! Hashem doesn't let you escape even one of your pressing issues by doing an aveirah."
Powerful lesson, but people in that situation aren't thinking about solving the next problem. They're thinking about how to solve the current one. Knowing that their crimes will get polished over and declared off-limits for discussion is providing an incentive for that end.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline Euclid

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #111 on: December 27, 2021, 07:07:38 PM »
This reminds me of a powerful story I once heard from Rav Fischal Schachter, which perhaps should be the first thing told to anyone contemplating suicide IMO (though I am far from a professional on the matter).

A Jewish man was once standing on top of a building screaming that he's going to jump, and all the locals were gathered below, beseeching the man to reconsider. The man started listing all his tzaros, saying that life has become unbearable, and he wants to escape it all by ending his life.

The Gerrer Rebbe (don't know which one) walked by and heard the man's words. He immediately looked up at the man and said. "You fool! Do you really think Hashem will give you reprieve because you did an aveirah and committed suicide?! When you come up to shomayim, you will still have the same exact problems that you have now! Even more - you will have an added problem to deal with - your suicide! Hashem doesn't let you escape even one of your pressing issues by doing an aveirah."
IMO Dan's point isn't that we should ensure people don't commit suicide in general, rather we don't want abusers committing suicide before they are punished and their victims get closure.

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #112 on: December 27, 2021, 07:08:59 PM »
Powerful lesson, but people in that situation aren't thinking about solving the next problem. They're thinking about how to solve the current one. Knowing that their crimes will get polished over is providing an incentive for that end.
The point is that it doesn't even solve the current one.

Offline YossieW

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #113 on: December 27, 2021, 07:17:58 PM »
I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, but I was not trying to say that we should let the matter rest. I meant to say that we now have more time to let the professional rabbonim come to a conclusion, and being that someone is defending him, we can assume his innocence for the time being. But I completely agree that the matter should not be shelved just because he is no longer alive.

Is the Beis Din of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu considered reputable? (I don't know one way or the other)
all i have seen is he has been front and center all over this topic and he claims to have investigated and spoken to close to 2 dozen people and came away that he has seen the evidence to believe those claims

https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-689858

Offline WonderingYid

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #114 on: December 27, 2021, 07:27:42 PM »
I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, but I was not trying to say that we should let the matter rest. I meant to say that we now have more time to let the professional rabbonim come to a conclusion, and being that someone is defending him, we can assume his innocence for the time being. But I completely agree that the matter should not be shelved just because he is no longer alive.
Such as?

Offline beeweegee

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #115 on: December 27, 2021, 07:33:55 PM »
This reminds me of a powerful story I once heard from Rav Fischal Schachter, which perhaps should be the first thing told to anyone contemplating suicide IMO (though I am far from a professional on the matter).
Powerful idea/story, but I highly recommend against sharing this with anyone contemplating suicide (certainly not acutely, anyway). No time to expand now, but will try to come back later to do so.

(Source: I AM a professional on the matter :P - clinical psychologist with a specialization in trauma and suicidality)

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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #117 on: December 27, 2021, 07:37:37 PM »
Powerful idea/story, but I highly recommend against sharing this with anyone contemplating suicide (certainly not acutely, anyway). No time to expand now, but will try to come back later to do so.

(Source: I AM a professional on the matter :P - clinical psychologist with a specialization in trauma and suicidality)
What are you going to tell us next. Someone committing suicide is not thinking rationally.  :)
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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #118 on: December 27, 2021, 07:39:04 PM »
I feel like many here have the wrong attitude.


I think your attitude is commendable, and comes from the right place, which is more than I can say for most eager to rip the man apart. But in addition to what @Euclid eloquently responded, I'll add that the reason abusers are able to abuse so many before they are found out is at least in part because so many are so slow to believe victims when they do come forward, even for the most noble of reasons.

I'll note there was no thread discussing this matter until he was no longer alive, despite it being one of the biggest stories in the frum world over the past while. I've considered starting a thread just asking why it didn't exist. I'm genuinely curious, even if I think we were better off without it.

As I said before, I don't think every DDFer needs to protest individually, but when the "talk of the town" is to whitewash his actions just because he is no longer alive, that is sending a loud and clear message to his victims, and in turn ensuring the next abuser's victims remain silent and cause even more to get hurt.

And as for waiting for rabanim to issue such statements, sad to say that hasn't really happened till now, and it's tough to envision a day it does happen.

Imagine a court case where the pews were filled with supporters of the victims rather than the accused.
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Re: Chaim Walder dies
« Reply #119 on: December 27, 2021, 07:41:13 PM »
Such as?
I am thankfully not proficient in the field, but at the recent Agudah convention, Rav Elephant and Rav Lopiansky indicated that there are rabbonim who specialize in these things. (They said that just as some rabbonim are professional in Choshen Mishpat and some in Even Haezer, a rov who is not a professional in researching abuse cases should contact one that is to do the investigation.)