By January 13, 2019 Read More →

Rav Druckman’s non-apology in the Elon case, by Rabbi Brovsky

R. Chaim Druckman’s Non-Apology:

Last week, in response to mounting criticism against R. Chaim Druckman (Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Etzion Yeshiva and head of Bnei Akiva Yeshivot) for supporting R. Motti Alon, published a brief letter, released today in English as well. Here is an interview from 2004 in which he presents his position (…/ART2/536/417.html).

R. Druckman does not accept responsibility for ignoring the conclusions of Forum Takana, including to testimony of R. Aharon Lichtenstein and R. Yaakov Ariel. He does not admit that he was mistaken in enabling Motti Alon to continue teaching, nor does he imply that he has learned anything about sexual abuse, and abusers, from his mistakes.

The Rambam (Hillkhot Teshuva 1:1) describes the proper way to confess one’s sins and repent:

“If a person transgresses any of the mitzvot of the Torah, whether a positive command or a negative command – whether willingly or inadvertently – when he repents, and returns from his sin, he must confess before God … How does one confess: He states: “I implore You, God, I sinned, I transgressed, I committed iniquity before You by doing the following. Behold, I regret and am embarrassed for my deeds. I promise never to repeat this act again.” These are the essential elements of the confessional prayer. Whoever confesses profusely and elaborates on these matters is worthy of praise.”

Viduy in particular, and teshuva in general, entails admitting one’s mistake, expressing regret, and promising not to repeat one’s behavior.

I see no reason to accept R. Druckman’s leadership on any issue, nor do I see any justification for educational organizations and institutions honoring him, and seeking his leadership, until he apologizes to Forum Takana and to those abused by Motti Alon since his behavior came to light, and until he admits his serious error in judgement and acknowledges that mental health professionals are far more qualified to determine whether or not someone is likely to continue molesting young men and children than a rabbi.

Kol HaKavod to Daniel Goldman and others for demanding that R. Druckman accept responsibility for his decisions, and more importantly, for demanding that our leaders ensure that our communities and schools are safe.

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