Kindness to the cruel is cruelty, for shame

Why was Eliezer Berland given permission to leave Israel, purportedly for religious reasons?

Eliezer Berland is a serial abuser who admitted and pled guilty to unspeakable acts with adults and minors alike.

I personally met with more than a few parents of his victims, including one set of parents who are dealing with the indescribable hell of recently discovered incest between several of their children who had been victimized by first and second “generation” victims of Berland.

How can the government of the county I love be so tone deaf?

Allowing sex offenders to take advantage of the Law of Return.

Not having a sex offender registry.

Even allowing registered sex offenders to sue child advocates for slander when they warn parents that the sex offender moved to their neighborhood.

And now this?

What message does this send to Berland’s victims? And his victims’ victims? And their victims?

Thankfully I was never abused, but I am not exaggerating when I say that I am suffering vicarious trauma today after reading about the awful decision to support and perpetuate this evil man’s distortion of religion.

Who will be supervising Berland there in the unstructured environment of Uman?

How can anyone think that this individual — who globe-trotted the world with his followers to evade justice the first time — is not a risk to flee again?

There are those who will say that such talk is inappropriate with the High Holidays looming.

To them, I respond that calling out abusers who harm children and informing abuse survivors that a rabbi proudly stands with them is a holy act.

About the Author
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Founding Dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey and Director of The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES, is a innovative educator, author, and child safety advocate. He published child safety books that are in 80,000 homes in three languages as well as beginner Gemara/Talmud & Chumash/Bible workbooks. Rabbi Horowitz conducts child abuse prevention and parenting workshops in Jewish communities around the world and received the prestigious 2008 Covenant Award in recognition of his contribution to Jewish education.
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