Tuesday, April 17, 2007

R' Gottlieb's Speech on Abuse

Thanks to Michael for sending me this link... here is the link to R' Dovid Gottlieb's speech on the last day of Pesach at Shomrei Emunah in Baltimore regarding abuse: Click.

R' Gottlieb writes at the top:

Below is an edited write-up of the drasha delivered after Mussaf on the last day of Pesach 5767 (4/10/07)..

Because so many of you who were away for Yom Tov have asked me for a copy of the speech I am presenting it here.

I gave the speech with very basic notes and therefore had to reconstruct it almost all from memory. I have done my best but undoubtedly this is not a “word-for-word” transcription.

It is my hope that the drasha will be read in the same spirit that it was given – as devarim ha-yotzim min ha-lev.
I want to talk with you this morning about the problem of sexual abuse in our community.

When I say “our community” I mean both the American Orthodox community and, specifically, the Baltimore Orthodox community.

I am sorry to have to speak about this topic at all and I am particularly sorry to have talk about it on Yom Tov. But I am doing so in advance of a letter that you should all be receiving later this week. The letter is a statement adopted by the Vaad HaRabbonim addressing the issue of abuse in our community.

As difficult as it may be, we feel it is important to address this topic openly and directly because ignorance and silence are two of the greatest allies of abusers. Hidden under the cloud of silence individual acts of abuse can become long-term abuse and small problems can grow into full-blown crisis. And the best antidote for a cloud is sunshine.
Read the whole thing.

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