‘The Netflix documentary, One of Us, released in 2017 exposed what whistleblowers have been saying for years. Just as the Catholic Church maintained, protected, and allowed a pedophile ring of hundreds if not thousands of Catholic priests to rape and abuse children for decades, so too, has the Ultra-orthodox Jewish community in NY been accused of allowing 1 out of every 5 ultra-orthodox Jews to be abused without informing police.
Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg, 68, has been blowing the whistle for decades in what may have seemed to some as a futile attempt to bring awareness to sexual abuses taking place in New York’s Jewish community. In a 2013 interview with Vice, Rosenberg stated he witnessed firsthand the rape of a boy he believed to be around 7 years old when he visited an Orthodox Jewish ceremonial bath house (schvitz) in Israel. He described what he saw in 2005 with his own eyes. The following account is extremely graphic and the account may be a trigger for victims of child sexual abuse.
(Advisory warning: explicit description! Martin)
I opened a door that entered into a schvitz…and I see an old man, my age, long white beard, a holy-looking man, sitting in the vapors. On his lap, facing away from him, is a boy, maybe seven years old. And the old man is having anal sex with this boy…This boy was speared on the man like an animal, like a pig, and the boy was saying nothing. But on his face—fear. The old man [looked at me] without any fear, as if this was common practice. He didn’t stop. I was so angry, I confronted him. He removed the boy from his penis, and I took the boy aside. I told this man, ‘It’s a sin before God, a mishkovzucher. What are you doing to this boy’s soul? You’re destroying this boy!’ He had a sponge on a stick to clean his back, and he hit me across the face with it. ‘How dare you interrupt me!’ he said. I had heard of these things for a long time, but now I had seen.
Rosenberg’s recollection of events could have easily been explained away by labeling the Rabbi as a “conspiracy theorist”. However, years later, such anecdotal instances of child sexual abuse were recounted by survivors, all fundamentalist Jews, who were sexually abused by their religious leaders. The hush hush scandal burst into the mainstream with the 2017 Netflix release of One of Us, a film by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. A synopsis of arguably the most disturbing scenes of the documentary comes from Hasidic writer and critic of the film, Moshe Levy.’…
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