Monday, 3 June 2013

Relevant letters ex The Australian Magazine June 1 - 2 2013

Relevant letters ex The Australian Magazine June 1 - 2 2013
Breaking the silence
The sexual abuse of children is a crime that transcends religion and cultures ("The shunned" May 18-19). I was moved to tears at what Zephaniah and Manny Waks have gone through. Fanaticism and "tradition" have meant more to this community than being loving and supportive.
Justine BrindleDrummoyne, NSW
Firstly let me congratulate you on your article. However, I would like to clarify a statement attributed to me that is misleading. The article gives the impression I am of the view that 95 per cent of the rabbinate believe that child sexual abuse should be dealt with in-house. In fact I believe that the vast majority of rabbis in Australia firmly support the immediate reporting of child abuse to the police. This was always the official stance of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australia. This misinterpretation may have arisen because my abhorrence of child sexual abuse is such that when I am interviewed about it I become emotional, and as a result my expression may not be as clear and precise as it should be.
David Freilich OAMChief Rabbi, Perth Hebrew Congregation
Manny Waks, you have my utmost admiration for speaking out against sexual predators. All power to you and your dad for standing up for what's right.
Liz BrownForrestfield, WA
I was moved by the courage of Manny Waks in coming forward on his experiences of abuse. Child abuse is not the only area in which the Jewish rabbinate have let down their congregants. Specifically, the process of a Jewish divorce is heavily biased and open to emotional and religious pressure for the two parties to settle in the Jewish way. Given that the rabbis are all males this seems out of touch in today's age, regardless of tradition. Sometimes tradition just gets it wrong.
Allen BolaffiAdelaide, SA

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