Rabbinical Abuse Of Power And Mordechai Gafni’s “Rehabilitation”

Steven I. Weiss writes:

[V]irtually all of Gafni’s defenders based their recent defense on the notion that even if he’d committed the abuses alleged against him a while ago, he could reasonably be said to have healed, should be allowed to repent, and so forth. Obviously, that proved to be a crock his first time around, but according to his defenders’ reasoning, there’s no cause for them to bar him from continuing to serve as clergy [again] if he gets a good bill of rehabilitation.

And that’s a plainly-wrong attitude; clergy are in place not by grace of God, but by opportunity granted by the community. It is not their right to be clergy, but their privilege. And when they so severely break the trust granted them, they can never be accorded that privilege again.

In this vein, it’s worth noting that Gafni’s defenders, who included some of the most liberal Jewish thinkers alive, when pushed were still defending Gafni in the exact same ways that their more-conservative counterparts defended men like Baruch Lanner: it’s his parnassah, his living, they’d say, and that can’t be taken away; he’s a brilliant educator, and it’s hard to replace someone like that.

This is a chimerical approach that indicates an attitude of rabbinic privilege, a notion echoing throughout the rabbinate that they deserve to be there more than congregants deserve to be assured of their safety. It’s lame, and it just goes to show you that when their world is threatened, you can reasonably expect most people in power to act the same way.

Spot on.



Filed under Crime, Haredim, Jewish Leadership, Modern Orthodoxy

4 responses to “Rabbinical Abuse Of Power And Mordechai Gafni’s “Rehabilitation”

  1. Franji

    ” he could reasonably be said to have healed, should be allowed to repent, and so forth.”

    Well, how does the torah say in the case of the woman who stretches her arm to grab the mevoshim of that person fighting her husband?
    Vekatsota et kappah lo tachos aleiha!

    The right thing to do in the case of such predators, using a kal vachomer logic, is vekatsota et meboshav, lo tachos ‘alaiv.
    Since in the case of the poor woman, she is going to the rescue of her husband and the torah says on her case, lo tachos aleiha.
    In the case of these creeps, Lo Kol Sheken?
    Don’t u think?

  2. Apples and Oranges

    here we have a hetetical sect of Jews whose whole derech is znus and avoda zara and then there is shock that one of its priests in doing what his sect preaches? ganfi went after the znus. the women went after the znus. one of the leaders of the menuval movement wants ketubas to include other loving couples, ie, wife swapping. why is this blog covering this issue anyway. I thought the purpose of this blog is to expose Orthodox wrondoing?

  3. Franji

    have i got one for you guys
    straight from nrg yahadut of today

    why is mikhlelet orot, trying to terminate kolekh founder?
    find out all about it.
    מייסדת “קולך” נגד מכללת אורות

    למה רוצים במכללת אורות לפטר את מייסדת “קולך” חנה קהת מתפקידה כמרצה? לטענתה, מנכ”ל המכללה פרופסור גוטל נוקם בה על חלקה המרכזי בחשיפת פרשת הטרדה מינית בבר אילן, שבסופה הודח רב המדרשה. לטענת גוטל, מדובר בטובת המכללה ואין קשר בין הפרשה לבין הפיטורין. בית המשפט יכריע

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