The Jewish Week reports on disgraced rabbi Mordechai Tendler’s now-dropped lawsuit against a group of anonymous bloggers – including JWB – who exposed him:
“The greatest ‘crime’ today in the Jewish world is not the number of agunot, it is not the sexual predators that have been allowed to prey on the vulnerable of our community,” wrote Jewish Whistleblower, one of the anonymous bloggers named in Rabbi Tendler’s petition, in an e-mail. “No, it is the crime of speaking out publicly against the corrupt leadership of our community and those that prey sexually on the vulnerable in our community.
“The Jewish community needs us bloggers simply because our leadership refuses to address these problems.”
Steven I. Weiss disagrees:
“It’s immoral to use a disguise to put the heat on other people,” said Steven I. Weiss, a blogger whose reporting on sexual abuse in the Orthodox world and other issues can be found at The Canonist.
Weiss noted that several Orthodox leaders, like Rabbi Yosef Blau, spiritual adviser at Yeshiva University, have been highly criticized for speaking out against abuse within the community and that by doing so they ultimately increased the credibility of their claims.
“That’s part of what credibility is: knowing the consequences for what you are saying and doing it anyway. Anonymous bloggers aren’t willing to live with the consequences,” Weiss said.
Many of these anonymous bloggers are trying to protect their wives and children from the retaliation that would certainly come if unmasked. Until the Orthodox community protects whistle blowers and their families, many will have no realistic choice but to stay hidden., even though it hurts their credibility.