Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein and Child Sexual Abuse

According to Luke Ford, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, a haredi, LA-based rabbi and polemicist, has this to say about blogs and abuse:

“Halakhicly, you should not read blogs. It is not our business to punish people. Vengeance is not a Jewish idea except for in a court of law.”

“In some cases, a cover-up is not the worst thing.”

“Discretion is not the worst thing.”

“Cities should put together a special law court, beit din, for issues of abuse. Chicago put together a special beit din for issues of abuse. I guess there will be such a thing in Los Angeles.”

“Journalistic exposure is a last resort. The zeal to go after an accused abuser [often leads to bad results].”

While it is true Adlerstein dismisses the idea that halakha forbids going to police or warning others about abusers, his "solution" to the abuse problem is foolish at best. This type of "solution" is what gave us 40 years of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko’s abuse, and Kolko is not a lone example.

But one piece of Rabbi Adlerstein’s advice is good. He holds blogs should not be read. I suggest you all take him up on that by refusing to read the blog he and his fellow abuse coverup expert Avi Shafran write for.



Filed under Crime, Haredim, Mikva Abuse

6 responses to “Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein and Child Sexual Abuse

  1. Ichabod Chrain

    Shamarya, some friendly advice. Sometimes maybe you go a little too far.

    Do you really want to go on record as advocating boycotting a blog just because of one of the people who writes for it? I seldom read Cross Currents, but it serves a purpose for some. Even those who don’t agree with the points of view expressed in it can read it to learn what prominent people in the Orthodox community are advocating, so those things can be addressed, either positively or negatively.

    BTW, I hold no brief for Kolko if the allegations are true, but he’s still presumed innocent until proven guilty. So better you should have said “alleged abuse”

  2. george


    You’re an asshole!

  3. 1. There are dozens of valid reasons not to read CC. Adlerstein is only the most recent.

    2. Kolko has abused kids for 40 years. There are dozens of cases on record, many independent from each other, all sharing the same facts. The evidence against this man is overwhelming. I have a friend, very well-connected in the haredi world. When the Kolko story broke, he asked several trustworthy people who had attended Torah Temimah over a span of many years. Each one knew of the allegations when he was a student. Each one knew a student who had been molested by Kolko. Each one remembered adults talking about “hot Yidi” and the problem. At least two haredi rabbis named on rabbichildabuse.com have confirmed the complaints of abuse and the process surrounding them going back almost 40 years. In short, halakha mandates we view him as a real and present danger to children, not an “alleged” real and present danger.

  4. Ari

    On top of it, Aslerstein’s remarks are incomplete to the point of being misleading (whether intentionally or out of ignorance).

    I know the incident to which he refers when he reports that Chicago has set of a Beis Din to deal with the abuse issue as I was personally affected by it. The Beis Din set up as more of an ad-hoc body in order to deal with the COMMUNITY issues surrounding the incident. This was AFTER the police and Department of Children and Family Services had been involved by the school and a few rabbonim who had the courage to stand up in the face of the majority of area rabbis who wanted to cover-up and protect the perpetrator.

    The Beis Din set up in that case was NOT an alternative to legal action.

  5. Rifka

    Did you listen to the recording of R’ Adlerstein’s shiur that Luke Ford posted to determine if the presentation was accurately reported? Please listen. Otherwise, I think you have done the rav an injustice.

  6. I listened. What Luke wrote is accurate.

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