Tuesday, August 13, 2013

This Post is in Memory of Eliyahu Goode, A'H' who was a Baltimore victim of child sexual abuse. Eliyahu passed away last month at the young age of 24. August 15th is the shloshim..

  Eliyahu was a student of mine in Torah Institute when he was five-years-old.  I was twenty.  This post is my personal reaction to Eliyahu's untimely death.

 Eliyahu is a casualty of our community.
We failed him.
We let him die inside, before his neshama ever left his body.
I believe that Eliyahu Goode A'H' was our latest victim of so called "da'as

We are so busy protecting ourselves and our confused understanding of "da'as Torah," that we let Eliyahu's perpetrator free to continue to abuse and destroy more innocent neshamos.
We allowed Eliyahu to torture himself to death, in a world devoid of any justice.

Hashem please forgive us, for we have blood on our hands.
We seem to have forgotten that Avraham Avenu was not really supposed to sacrifice his son Yitschak.
It was only a test!

We must stop protecting soul murderers, and offering our children up as korbonos.
We are failing this test every time a child is molested and we fail to protect them, and help them find justice and healing in this world.   We are violating a basic moral truth of the Torah by abandoning these children and adult survivors.  This is NOT what Hashem wants from us.

I heard from a reputable source in Baltimore that Eliyahu's perpetrator is the son of a rabbi at Ner Yisrael.  One of the same rabbonim who is protecting my father and telling the parents of T.I. that it is a safe school for their children.

Why wasn't Eliyahu's perpetrator ever brought to justice?   Why wasn't he exposed?  The perpetrator is very likely a second, third, or even fourth generation victim of child sexual abuse, himself.  He is likely still passing his pain along to the next generation.  He must be stopped!
How could Eliyahu continue to live in a world that betrayed his trust and his innocence, while his perpetrator walks free to continue to abuse?

We like to deny this reality, but the yeshivish velt (world) is so riddled with perpetrators and survivors of child sexual abuse, their is at least one in every extended family.
This is the result of years of covering up for the perpetrators, which has a domino affect and allowed the problem to fester and escalate to it's current uncontainable state.
 I could have been Eliyahu.  Some part of me is jealous of him because he is in the world of truth. 
 About eighteen years ago I tried to kill myself and was not successful.
Eliyahu is at peace.

 I am not.
Hashem wants me alive for a reason.  I am still here in this world of lies, where we throw our children into the fire, sacrificing them for what we convince ourselves are high spiritual values, like this, new age, so called, "da'as Torah."

Let us not let Eliyahu's death go by unnoticed.  Let us stop this madness, and confront  the loss of this young life.   Maybe then, we can begin to do teshuva.  Maybe then, we can show Eliyahu's family some meaning in their suffering and help his family find healing and peace.

Over the years I have heard of so many perpetrators and victims of sexual abuse coming out of Ner Yisrael.  A rabbi told me that years ago his son was a student at Ner, and left suddenly one night after slashing all of the tires of the teachers.  He turned his back on Torah, and for years refused to tell his father why he left.

Years later he finally told his father that his friend (another student) was raped by the son of one of the rabbis.  The victim was expelled and the crime covered up.

How can we live with ourselves??

 How do you think the survivors of my cousin, Moshe Eisemann feel, knowing that he is till living on Ner Yisrael campus??
Can you imagine how they continue to suffer because of our inability to take a moral stand?!  Why aren't we demonstrating outside his home and forcing him to leave?
 Perhaps because Rabbi Hopfer told Moshe Eisemann's victims that the chillul Hashem would be too great if people found out about it?

I ask you, what greater chillul Hashem is there, then the soul murder of our children?!

A few years ago, a former talmid (student) of Matis Weinberg contacted me.  Having heard of my story he approached me to ask me if we could discuss an important issue.

Matis Weinberg (son of the late R' Yaakov Wienberg, and sister of Aviva Wiesbord)  left California years ago and moved to Isreal to escape allegations of sexual abuse.  He was later taken to Bais Din in Israel by a group of former students who alleged that he molested them.

 This talmid wanted to know how I came to grips with the fact that my grandfather, a rosh yeshiva, a talmid chacham, molested me.  He could not wrap his mind around the fact that his rebbe, the man who taught him Torah, the man who in his words, "made me what I am today," could also be a child molester.

This talmid knows that children don't make up stories of abuse, and he heard first hand from Matis's victims, although he personally wasn't one of them.  He knows that in our community victims of sexual abuse are even less likely to come forward, knowing that if they dare to tell the truth they will not be believed, and will likely be killed off, in favor of protecting the perpetrator and the image of the community.

 This man was struggling with something that he knew I had struggled with for years.   How could such good, and such evil, exist together in the same person?  How can we, who are witnessing the apparent failure of our leaders in this area, hold two such apparently conflicting realities in our mind at the same time, without going crazy?

For those of us with a personal relationship with these leaders, the challenge becomes magnified.  How can we trust anyone?

The Torah is full of examples of our great leaders who made terrible, costly, mistakes.  The Torah does not hide their mistakes, to teach us this very lesson.

Yet, we seem to believe that our generation is above the Torah.

 Our leaders are infallible.

The fact is, that most of us our not mature enough to hold conflicting realities in our mind at the same time.
Most survivors who have been through what I have, (and sadly it is very common)  leave the community and never look back.

Most students of respected talmidai chachamim who are child molesters, or who defend and protect child molesters, would rather (although perhaps subconsciously) abandon their own children than grapple with the reality that our greatest leaders are human and can, and are, making terrible mistakes.

As a community we must move back in time, before our current perverted understanding of unquestioning "da'as Torah" and "emunas chachamim" (which is a relatively new idea, the way we it is used today to escape responsibility,) and find our moral center.

We must stop defending evil and stop killing our children.



  1. i did not fail eliyahu though we never met

    here in jerusalem where the worst scandal ever in israel broke out, in my street, my area, where 150 mostly haradim children were damaged for life. nachlaot pedophile scandal.it went world wide the story.

    when i heard i jumped in and started war against them(i am not haradi or very religious) a few mothers spoke out, wrote about it on the internet which is fantastic. long story.jewish mum( my neighbour), a mother in israel, etc

    i am exposing all the cover ups all the time - there is no blood on my hands. when you come to jerusalem,if you want to contact me please do. there is so much to talk about.

    ruth cohen harif on facebook

  2. I met some of the people from your neighborhood. It was a terrible thing that happened there. A shock and a tragedy for all of us. Kol Hakavod for standing up for truth!

  3. Is there a reason why the name of Eliyahu's abuser is not being revealed?

  4. I would have to hear the information directly from someone who heard it from the victim, or his family, in order to post the name.