Rabbis: It’s The Fault Of Provocative Women, Not Ill Behaved Men

According to Arutz Sheva, our dear rabbis of the reconstituted ‘sanhedrin’ have this to say about former Justice Minister Haim Ramon’s conviction for sexual harassment:

The Ramon verdict is a judicial evil, said the rabbis. “After the complainant’s picture was published as it was published,” they said, “there is no reason to expect different behavior on the part of the defendant, in a society in which there is no fear of God and moral restraint.”

Got that, ladies? According to the rabbis, if you’re too pretty, if your blouse is too tight or your skirt too short, it’s your fault. Judaism, meet Stone Age.

[Hat Tip: Pilegesh.org.]

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37 Comments

Filed under Crime, Israel, Jewish Leadership

37 responses to “Rabbis: It’s The Fault Of Provocative Women, Not Ill Behaved Men

  1. Anonymous

    I think this story was rearranged to make the rabbis look bad. It would be more credible if written like this:

    The Ramon verdict is a judicial evil, said the rabbis. “The credibility of witnesses, including their professions and personalities, the way testimony was acquired, the ways in which certain witnesses were prevented from giving evidence… are enough to rule out any possibility of achieving justice,” they said.
    The rabbis also commented on the lack of morals in society today. “After the complainant’s picture was published as it was published,” they said, “there is no reason to expect different behavior on the part of the defendant, in a society in which there is no fear of God and moral restraint.”

    THe rabbis weren’t condoning the president’s actions, they were merely condemning what they considers society’s loose morals (i.e. women dressing very sexy, and men trying to have sex with any woman they can).

  2. The ‘sanhedrin’s’ own release reads:

    http://www.thesanhedrin.org/en/legal/psak5767Shevat13.html

    “After the complainant’s picture was published as it was [with all the media intervention in this case], in a society in which there is no fear of the Almighty and moral restraint [in politics, the media or the courts] there is no reason to expect different behavior on the part of the defendant [to play to the media].”

    The material in square brackets were added by a translator working for the ‘sanhedrin.’ But Arutz Sheva, which supports the ‘sanhedrin,’ simply translated the Hebrew without adding in this unusual clarification.

    Why unusual? Here is the ‘sanhedrin’s’ Hebrew release:

    http://www.thesanhedrin.org/he/legal/psak5767Shevat13.html

    “לאחר שפורסמה תמונתה של המתלוננת כפי שפורסמה הרי שאין לצפות בתוך חברה שאין בה יראת ה’ וריסון מוסרי להתנהגות שונה מצידו של המורשע!”

    You can see from this that “playing to the media” is one out of many meanings. Further, without the ‘sanhedrin’s’ English translation, it would not be the first understanding a reasonable person would have.

  3. Also, you’ll note the section I posted is the first section in the release in both Hebrew and English. The press releases make the rabbis look bad, not Arutz Sheva.

  4. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    Some sanhedrin,
    Is there a mechanism to commission the sanhedrin to rule after a fact on a case?
    Particularly in this case after the court of the state ruled? Who asked them to present their opinion?
    Prof (some proffessor) Weiss -the spokesman? aka atono shel bilaam- has clearly expressed himself in the past in a mysogynist way .
    What happened to pray for the peace of the malchut?
    What is it? A shadow government? They seem bent on destroying the democratic foundation of the state?
    ישעיהו פרק נט
    פסוק טו: וַתְּהִי הָאֱמֶת נֶעְדֶּרֶת, וְסָר מֵרָע מִשְׁתּוֹלֵל; וַיַּרְא יְהוָה וַיֵּרַע בְּעֵינָיו, כִּי-אֵין מִשְׁפָּט.

  5. B”H
    There is no mitzvah to pray for peace of Yeravam’s goverment nor Ahav’s not Olmerts but to have these type of goverments in mnd when saying the 19th blessing of the Amidah.
    “u malchut ha’risha meheira taaker u tmager utshaber ve tachnia…”
    “And please destroy and subjigate the wicked government…”
    PS:
    5 Adar, 5766
    (5 Mar, 2006)
    The Authority of the Government depends on Jewish Law
    http://www.thesanhedrin.org/en/press/hatzofe20032006.html

  6. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    but to have these type of goverments in mnd when saying the 19th blessing of the Amidah.
    ….”And please destroy and subjigate the wicked government…”…….Posted by: – pilegesh.org
    what a guy!

  7. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    malchus harisho?
    check the original version of the prayer, it begins:
    למינים ולמלשינים אל תהי תקוה
    It concerned itself with the then minim. In our days, we have new minim, since the original minim in the prayer are no longer in the fold for 2000 years or so.

  8. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    ….”And please destroy and subjigate the wicked government…”…….Posted by: – pilegesh.org

    is that your opinion too mr Smith?
    in any case the thought is fascinating, destroy the israeli government and promote a government by a bunch of savage sordid wicked old trolls?
    why, we can go straight for a joint venture with the iranian majlis with whom the self appointed sanhedrin shares so much values in regards to women status, xenophobia, coercion. One problem I can think of, is that the majlis was elected and includes many women =just like the knesset-ouch!-

  9. To the best of my understanding the current Sanhedrin is not so much about replacing the current political system as it is raising awareness of Judaism’s ability to contribute to all aspects of public debate, not just kashrut or weddings. If you’d really like to explore replacing the current corrupt illusion of democracry with a true Jewish democracy, visit the Orange Revolution

  10. Garnel Ironheart

    Way back when I was in undergrad there was a girl in one of my classes who loved dressing provocatively. for some reason, however, if she caught a guy staring at her she would get upset and bark “What are you looking at?” Somewhere along the line, a simple constant has been forgotten – life isn’t fair. If women are going to dress in a certain way, men are going to look. If the media is going to promote casual touching and sex as an expected part of social discourse, women and men are going to engage in it. And if politicians can get away with stealing billions from the public, lying while under oath and other crimes, then they’re not going to respect an underling who says “no”. In this case, I read the media release as follows: Ramon is an product of a society where “No” means “Buy me another drink and then ask again”. Until that ethic changes, this behaviour will continue to happen. Men have to be taught to behave responsibly and respectfully towards women but, life not being fair, women have to button up their shirts because men look and in this society they also touch.

  11. formellyfrum

    “After the complainant’s picture was published as it was published,” they said, “there is no reason to expect different behavior on the part of the defendant, in a society in which there is no fear of God and moral restraint.”

    Not to make light of this, maybe this logic is why the rabbis did not go after the child molesters in Brooklyn. Maybe the boys, god forbid, showed up to yeshiva in shorts during a hot summer day.

  12. YUGUY

    A few months ago in Australia a woman was raped. The head Australian Islamic Imam said that the woman wasn’t garbed in the traditional Islamic garb, so she provoked it and the man was not to blame. His actual wording was

    ‘If you leave meat out in the market, do you not expect the cats to eat it?’

    After that release, I would use this line in many arguments about the true intents and evils of Fundamental Islam, to prove that these fundamentalists are insane and their actions are extremely base and inhumane.

    The Sanhedrin that releases a statement that can be interperted along those lines, even if the intent was heading elsewhere, is disgraceful. We are not cats, we are not animals, we are HUMAN. We have an ability to rise above our base and natural instincts to do good in the world. There is no blame to be put on any victim in these cases. I will blame the offender, despite the facts that he had urges.

    Any jerk that would defend the offender would only do so until it is his/her loved one sitting in the seat of the prosecution. Basically, this Imam, and our Sanhedrin, are as bad as lawyers who defend people they know are guilty of heinous crimes.

  13. Lawrence M. Reisman

    “…there was a girl in one of my classes who loved dressing provocatively. for some reason, however, if she caught a guy staring at her she would get upset and bark “What are you looking at?”” We all know the type. But all she did was dress provocatively. She didn’t take a guy’s hand and stick it under her clothing.

    Most of us know there’s a boundary between what the eyes can see and what the other body parts can touch. At lease we should. For those who don’t, there’s the law.

  14. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    the orange revolution!
    oh yea, that was emulated by the gazans from the antisemitic ukrainian revolution.
    can’t do. minhag haemori.

  15. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    way to go YUGUY.
    the australian imam’s analogy is right on.

    sadly these days, ours are not different than theirs. you will find admirers of islamic tzniusdik in our midst. the dialectic arguments proposed by our fanatics are no different than theirs. and i can’t help wondering, since both litigeants were secular in this case.
    1-would the sanhedrin stick it’s nose in the case, if that unfortunate lady soldier came across mr ramon on the beach and couldn’t control her urge at the sight of him in a swiming suit, she then jumped on him and gave him a kiss of “her tongue in his mouth variety” ?
    2- who would be at fault there? of course her, but would there be attenuating ground on account of his swimming suit?
    back to our unfortunate soldier, was she in bikini then? in army uniform?

  16. anon

    Blame the victim because no victim is blameless.

    Every day I daaven and I am forced to say shelo asanee eeshah I realize that our religions sensitivity to women was secondary. If we can cover the challah . . .

    For all those more learned than I can a woman add shelo osanee eesh?

  17. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    Garnel says
    Men have to be taught to behave responsibly and respectfully towards women but, life not being fair, women have to button up their shirts because men look and in this society they also touch.

    What a great idea. With the promise of teaching the men, at least, we see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    What a relief. Trouble is, they -men- may have been taught already and woe to us, what happens if they forget again?
    With “life being unfair”? ladies, caveat ladies!
    You have been forwarned, “in this society”, if you go around without your burqa, chador or sheitel, you are asking for trouble, in this society, they -men- also touch r”l.
    We all know the story, וַתֵּצֵא דִינָה בַּת-לֵאָה
    of course she was called the daughter of her mother, -who was not such an inspiration- (like the father was).
    Rashi added: Yatz-anit hayata. She brought it upon herself! Had she not gone out, …..

  18. shmuel

    Yeah, the Dinah episode is so spot on, with the same exact responses. Well done. You beat me to it.
    What a crazy world. Blame the victim for being raped.

  19. Schneur

    Why not mention a leading light of this so called sanhedrin none other than the scholar who dances at every wedding Adin Steinsaltz Even israel saltzman (as my doctor calls him).
    The PR machine about this man makes the PR machine about his master pale in comparison.
    Will someone ever examine who th true Saltzman is his true biography his life’s accomplishments, his relationship to Chabad , to pluralism, his relations with Christianity. It would make for fabulous reading.

  20. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    thanks, r’ shmuel.
    more on dinah’s case, you should read midrash tanhuma bereishit (available on line on snunit).
    it becomes so much more evident that certain concepts/ideas are yafeem be-ittam, while others do not age gracefully.

  21. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    R’ Schneur
    I am very keenly interested in the subject. could you direct us where to look?
    his personal pr machine is indeed very impressive, in the sense that the man never seems to have learned mishlei:
    “let others praise you – not yourself”
    yehalelukha acherim velo feekha.
    The blurb about him is diffused all over describing him as a one in a thousand years kind of mind. Sometimes the quote is attributed to time magazine, sometimes newsweek.
    Did you at one time address his weakness in hashqafa? somebody did on this site sometimes ago, and i am watching the sanhadrin development amazed.
    I have used some of his gemoras, recently holding them for study I feel like holding a tanakh printed by missionaries.

  22. This idea that women must button up and repress themselves in order to help keep men from sinning is the basis of my whole problem with the concept of tznius.

    While I am certainly not advocating that women dress and act like hookers, the halachic concept of tznius (as I understand it) sets up a system where if men sin in their sexuality it is women who are responsible because they were somehow not being tznius enough. Maybe men should learn to act like grownups and take responsibility for their actions.

    Now, I have no problem with men looking at me as long as they do not do so in too threatening a way. I suspect that too many people (especially white people) are taught that to acknowledge that a woman is physically attractive is somehow demeaning to the woman. This is a misunderstanding of radical 70s feminism on both sides. However, I DO have a problem with unwanted physical contact as with Chaim Ramon. That is sexual assault.

    When I was in college (in Massachusetts), I took up with a guy on my campus who had a girlfriend who went to school in California. They met and dated for 2 months in Israel and this was some 4 months later and he had not actualy seen her since they were in Israel. This man totally flirted with me and tried to get next to me and I was confused and deliberated with myself on whether I should cave in to this man’s attentions or not.

    After I caved in and we hooked up he suddenly got very distant saying it was a mistake, yadda, yadda, yadda. At the end of it all he said that I was too attractive and alluring and that he is not capable of controlling himself and told me (as he was in the process of becoming a ba’al tshuvah) tha this was the way of Judaism that men cannot control themselves and so women must alter their behavior in order to protect men from sinning. It struck me as bullshit at the time, that he had twisted the message of Judaism in order to justify his actions. Years later I learned that this man was not twisting anything and that this is the basis of most of the restrictions placed on women in the name of tzni’ut.

    Taken from a more global perspective, this is one of the many reasons why Orthodoxy is generally a bad deal for women.

  23. Neo-Conservaguy

    “What a crazy world. Blame the victim for being raped.”

    No, but in our world today we’ve perhaps shoved the pendulum a bit too far in the opposite direction. While we shouldn’t blame the rape victim, can we ignore the highly sexualized manner in which a large number of western women dress on a daily basis?

    Is it a good thing that American teens as young as 12 are wearing makeup, cutoff shirts, and high heels to school? Are you unaware of the impact that media glorification of ultra-slim women models wearing scanty clothing has had upon many teen girls in the form of eating disorders, sometimes leading to death?

    Have you been to an “upscale” Reform or Conservative b’nai mitsva lately, and seen the “clothes” worn by many of the women? Is it a qiddush haShem that one cannot help but to catch sight of far too much of a woman’s tuchas when she’s standing at the Torah table to receive an “aliah” – is that why some fought for women to receive that honor?

    There should be a reasonable position noting that while men are always responsible for their behavior, women are also responsible for unwanted attention they attract if they “express” their fashion sense in a manner best left to the privacy of consenting adults. In this sense, I think in general the Modern Orthodox women seem to do the best job of balancing a rational sense of fashion with a reasonable approach to personal modesty. Even the Hot Channies, for the most part…

  24. shmuel

    I don’t care if she’s wearing a dental-floss bikini at the pool (sorry about that visual, which will trigger many a lascivious thought and I’ll be responsible. Don’t think bad thoughts, gentlement!): unwanted touching is unwanted and wrong. I’m as straight as the next man, but you can’t do what you’re not allowed, regardless of what she’s wearing.

  25. TM

    This is simply one of the most inappropriate events to elicit this type of discussion. There are genuine rapes and matters of severe inappropriate behavior that take place all the time and would be far better examples for this discussion. I don’t think this particular story teaches us all that much.

    First of all, this wasn’t a rape. To call this a rape is to insult women who have been raped.

    Second, it’s not a question of how the woman dressed so much as the accusation made by defense witnesses who claimed that the woman’s behavior was flirtatious and aggressively so. In other words, her words and actions determined more than her clothes according to the defense.

    Third, the hug in the infamous photo of Ramon and this woman is the sort of hug that might be very confusing to the man being hugged. Imagine that this was your wife or girlfriend and she came home with this photo. Would you consider it appropriate touching or would you consider it suggestive and inappropriate? Wouldn’t you wonder whether there was more behind the hug? When one considers that in the photo, Ramon appears non-chalant about her while she is hugging him quite closely, is it so surprising that he mis-read the signal? After the kiss that has now destroyed this man’s career, this woman gave him her phone number upon his request.

    None of this is to justify the kiss, but merely to say that this particular story is not one from which one can draw macro conclusions. It is far from straightforward and one wonders whether the justices would have handed down the same sentence had Ramon’s lawyer not been so aggressive about attacking the young woman.

  26. Anonymous

    “while we shouldn’t blame the rape victim, can we ignore the highly sexualized manner in which a large number of western women dress on a daily basis?”

    Really now, how many Presidents of a country and how many Justice Ministers, men whom mature and are married, not many, and the proper response would be that of contrition to apologize to the victims.

    These men were not seduced by the women, but rather they were RAPED by these men, Men of honor and of position.

    We all encounter many temptation, and in various degrees everyday ofour lives, and somehow most of us have the ability to resit and do so rather easily and subconciously, without much thought, for those that cannot
    because they believe they can get away with it, or have a superior and arrogant concept of themselves, thankfully we have laws for these type people.

    Condemned them do not condoned this dehumanizing acts.

    Any thought to the victims and how their lives and those of their families are now shattered, life will never ever be the same for them, any thoughts about them, that is moral and just a response, not blaming them. PleaseWake Up.

  27. Anonymous

    “First of all, this wasn’t a rape.”

    Verdict; RAPE. Sorry!

  28. Anonymous

    Shmuel(y)

    Right On! Bulls Eye!

  29. da boy

    The point missed by many of you is that the Israeli media prejudiced the public against Ramon. Ramon’s picture was published with the woman in question. The picture distorted the public view against Ramon. There was nothing the Sanhedrin said either way for Ramon’s guilt.
    What you all failed to see is the in-justice of Israel’s “Justice Ministry”. That is what the Rabbis made a statement about. The fact that every little detail in the ramon and Katsav trials is being released to the media, probably does not concern you. But the public opinion does count and therefore Ramon and soon Katsav have been denied fair trials.

  30. Anonymous

    Rape:

    1. the unlawful compelling of a woman through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
    2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
    3. statutory rape.
    4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
    5. Archaic. the act of seizing and carrying off by force.
    –verb (used with object) 6. to force to have sexual intercourse.
    7. to plunder (a place); despoil.
    8. to seize, take, or carry off by force.
    –verb (used without object) 9. to commit rape.

    [Origin: 1250–1300; (v.) ME rapen

  31. TM

    Oops, that was me above with the rape definitions.

  32. Ahavah bat Sarah

    I agree, Treif, but you should have asked that guy:

    So, do cheredi men avoid going to museums, in case they “lose control” and try to “do” a sculpture or painting? Or do yourself in front of it? How about billboards? Do you routinely get arrested for trying to do an advertisement in public? No? If not, the whole argument that how a woman looks causes them to blow a fuse is completely bogus.

    He used you because that’s his opinion of women, not because of your clothes or how you dress. And someone who treats a modernly dressed woman that way is also going to treat their frum wife or frum mistress that way. It all springs from that attitude that they are the superior beings and our job is just to service them – with food, sex, money or whatever.

  33. Yochanan Lavie

    Not that anyone asked, I agree with Neo. Guys: Hands off, period. But Jewish women shouldn’t dress like “hoes” (not that that excuses boorish male behavior).

  34. anon

    That is why the rabbis outlawed swimming for women. I understand that Vishnitz has a dress code for all woman swims and that Lakewood has a dress code for its all women workouts.

  35. Lawrence M. Reisman

    “That is why the rabbis outlawed swimming for women.” Huh? My daughter goes swimming twice a week (separate of course) at a Brooklyn school during the winter, and every day all summer at Camp
    Bais Yaakov. I have never heard of Rabbis outlawing swimming for women.

  36. I’m having trouble figuring what the ‘sanhedrin’s point was?

  37. wrex

    Pretty typical of jews. No wonder everyone despises you people.

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