Author's Note: In the interest of clarity, I adhere to the notion HAVEI DAN L’KAF ZCHUS (giving the benefit of doubt) and I oppose any attempt to rush to judgement. I suppose though it is possible for any man's head, including that of a Hasidic rebbe, to swell as a result of his own self-magnification.
Save the dates 2/20/14 through 2/27/14
"The Skvere Rebbe is coming to town."
"The who what?"
"The Skvere Rebbe. Surely, you've heard of him, The Grand Rebbe, David (I have seen the quasi-Hebraisized spelling "Dovid" and the Yiddishized "Duvid") Twersky. No? Well, don't feel bad, my friend. Neither had I until a few days ago."
Since then I have learned a great deal about this man of whom a good many folks within the non-Hasidic orthodox community have a low opinion. He is, they claim, a man who leads a lifestyle hardly appropriate for a "grand rabbi". Then again, if indeed, he is a tyrant over a community named New Square in New York State, I'd ask 'how many tyrants do you know who lead modest lifestyles?'
I have to tell you though I'm struck by the use of the adjective "grand". Now whether it's part of his hereditary title, frankly, I do not know but it does seem odd, does it not, for a man whom many (not, however, from the folks within the non-Hasidic orthodox community) consider a tzaddik (a righteous man) should have such a pretentious title or any title at all. For what little it's worth, were I searching for a tzaddik from whom to seek advice, I'd not call on the Skvere Rebbe.
Okay, he has an ego, so what? Just makes him more "everyman" (whom he probably despises) than he'd care to admit. Remove the fancy bekishe and hat, leave the kippah and "Surprise!", but are you really so surprised to find out that before you is just another Yid with an attitude and a whole bunch of followers gullible enough to believe he's on a higher, more godly plane than they.
Were he truly "grand" he'd tell his right hand man: "If I see that word next to my name ever again, I'll fire your _______." (Fill in this last space however you wish).
If there is any one issue that really makes me livid, it is the practice of some orthodox rabbis NOT to call police when allegations of child molestation arise in their communities. It is said of the Skvere Rebbe that he advises, threatens, pressures, intimidates folks in his community who, in their naivete, bring such information to his attention, believing he'll champion their cause.
A man who knowingly endangers children by NOT reporting such information to police-information pertaining to the sexual assault of a minor that, if reported promptly, could prevent life-long trauma and tragedy to current and future victims.That instead of doing what any third-grader knows is the right thing to do, one is told: 'These are delicate matters that need to be handled internally'-which is to say "mishandled" internally or simply hidden away and ignored.
What if, in so doing, the offender hurts another child? By not taking what is clearly the right approach, he puts other children at risk? Would he adopt the same approach were his own kids at risk? From what higher authority does he acquire such dastardly authority and why does he apply it in a way contrary to the best interest of a child's well-being? The likely offenders, if left to these so-called "internal investigations" suffer no ill consequences and are left alone to live their lives and continue working without being barred from any contact with children, regardless of the destruction they have wrought upon others often until the time arrives when their victims from years before come forward ... "J'accuse!"
Yes, there are some cases being adjudicated currently. Please check out the three websites below to stay current:
Alan D. Busch