A message from Sydney rabbis

February 13, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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Members of Sydney rabbinical community have recorded a message to victims of child sex abuse and their families.


22 Responses to “A message from Sydney rabbis”
  1. Robina JHIM says:

    I am a high school student who is currently in year 12 and have been given a assignment that requires us to investigate Rabbi Abraham Geiger and was hoping you’d be able to help me out. Would you have information regarding Geiger such as his contribution to the development of Judaism or his contribution to the expression of Judaism.
    I’d like to thank you in advanced for your time and effort.

  2. Liat Nagar says:

    I think it both irresponsible and dangerous for so much focus to be on homosexuality in discussion of this issue, given the relatively short time that homosexual people have been able to be more relaxed in society about their sexuality. To infer a common link with paedophilia is ignorant and ridiculous. I agree with Shirlee Finn’s summation on the subject.

    Lizzie Moore, you cannot extrapolate statistics from the Roman Catholic Church to Australia as a whole and assume the same results due to all the different circumstances that inform the issue. Insofar as Catholic Priests are concerned, they’re hardly in a position to target girls are they – I mean there aren’t any girls around! Also performing anal sex on a girl does not in any way imply or mean homosexuality. Perhaps take more care with this subject. We’re talking about the sexual abuse of children whatever the gender. That the Jewish victims heard at the Royal Commission are male and the abusers are male doesn’t mean we should go off at a tangent in regard to a person’s sexuality. Again, no girls at the yeshiva – not allowed. Oh, and some people are bi-sexual, too; we should throw that in as well.

    Rape is a crime of violent assault that involves sex, more related to power than sexual gratification. Although the Catholic Priests might need different consideration here due to the abnormal human restrictions their religion places on them. In this regard they cannot be equated with Jewish men.

  3. Shirlee Finn says:

    OK. OK. SYDNEY CHABAD RABBIS, enough, you make matters worse, you say..

    “The Sydney Jewish Community is hurting at the shocking revelations of child sexual abuse and its mishandling at the hands of some of our leaders”


    It’s not our LAY leaders, it’s the Chabad Rabbonim at fault here.

    Stand up and take some responsibility and stop passing the buck. Had our LAY LEADERS been aware of this, I am sure, I know, they would not have silently sat silently by as you have done .


    OTTO for once in your life shtei shtum and stop making excuses for them.

    For the first, and likely only time in my life, I agree with Michael Barnett.

    Child sexual predators, aka paedophiles, are statistically shown to be heterosexual, not homosexual. In fact quite the reverse. Any suggestion otherwise is a disgrace.

    • Lizzie Moore says:

      Shirlee: “Child sexual predators, aka paedophiles, are statistically shown to be heterosexual, not homosexual. In fact quite the reverse. Any suggestion otherwise is a disgrace.”

      That certainly is not the case, vis a vis discourse coming out of the Roman Catholic world. In this corner, it is being openly acknowledged that 85% [the estimates vary but only slightly] of sexual clerical crimes committed against children, have been male-homosexual in nature. It was also well noted by psychiatrists and psych counsellors in our rural region of Australia, that in a most nationally notorious rape case in Vic by a Roman Catholic priest, the two rape victims [two little girls] were used over years, in the way that a male homosexual would use a boy. Current theorists within the Roman Catholic faith, that is to say, those who believe they have alighted upon The Solution, advocate for priests being allowed to have their sexual partners living in their presbyteries, as is permitted by the Anglican church in our region. This proposal has yet to be received with any enthusiasm by the Vatican.

      I do believe its true to say, that probably 99.9% of educated Australians – perhaps we could categorise those, as Aussies with an undergraduate degree or higher? – believe that only a very tiny minority of male homosexuals are “into children” or “into underage boys.” We need to be mindful however, that in Irish Catholic culture which has had a very significant problem with clerical indulgence in the underaged, reference has often been made to the ancient Greeks’ attitude to indulgence in young boys, with Plato’s ‘Symposium’ as the textbook. Robert Micken, The Catholic Tablet London’s Vatican correspondent, was on telly very recently, relating conversations with senior Vatican priests [ie monsignors] as late as 2012, where their attitude was “that it has always been this way; where you get all male societies as in the Vatican, of course there is going to be an elevated level of homosexual activity; it does not hurt the boys, they move on with their lives later”, etc.

      As to the Laity speaking up [for example when two 8 year old boys were cultivated by a senior cleric], well that may be happening in Judaism but in one Catholic diocese I am very au fait with, it didn’t happen and isn’t happening. Apply that to a great deal of Australia and one is likely looking at the collapse of the Catholic church at parish level, coast to coast. Look at what has happened in the States. Scholars are now positing that there would now be 110 million Roman Catholic Stateside but for the clerical scandals – but its down to 65 million and only sitting there because of the inpouring of devout Catholic Latinos from Latin America. When revelations of the German Jesuit sexual scandals involving Jesuit priests and boys, broke not long back, 300,000 pious German Catholics left the church within a year and 80,000 in Austria.

      A statistic, that virtually all those into the underaged [commonly termed paedophiles] are heterosexual, I fear is going to prove cold comfort to the Catholic dioceses which are collapsing right now, due to the male on male activity which has occurred within them and often over decades. There are some who argue that the perpetrators have been caught in a terrible net: for decades It was ok, then suddenly societal norms changed in Australia and Bango, It was an horrific crime.

      I feel the amet, is that the sheer scale of male on male predation on the underaged in Australia [for example in the Catholic community] has been a major tragedy for the homosexual community. One can argue otherwise of course but one is mindful that Denial is the Detour to Nowhere.

      Cypris: he molested girls, as well as boys? [I am still copying all of Manny Waks’ evidence, page by page, from the Royal Comm’s website PDF]

      • Shirlee Finn says:

        From what I’ve read I do not agree with you.

        Child molestation is not the norm when it comes to homosexuals.

        Catholic priests who molested children were no necessarily homosexual. It was a case of them not leading a normal life and looking elsewhere for sexual gratification. That doesn’t make them homosexual.

        In Muslim countries where women are not available outside marriage for sexual gratification, male to male copulation is quite the norm as it is in male gaols. That doesn’t make them homosexual.

        • Lizzie Moore says:

          Shirlee Finn says:

          “Child molestation is not the norm, when it comes to homosexuals.”
          This has been established for some 20 years, surely?

          “Catholic priests who molested children were not necessarily homosexual”.

          Not so in our region of Australia, sad to say. All those known to have been involved with the underaged [one of the cultivated boys in our region, tragically went to gaol for paedophilia himself and arguably has had his entire life wrecked by his original cultivation, ie is now on the sex offenders’ register]…have identified as homosexual, in fact one, a senior priest, proclaimed it from the ambo [pulpit place] as a thing he “cherished.”

          Within Irish Catholic culture, which has always been the boss Catholic culture in Australia, the process of cultivation is known as “befriendment” and from theological contact I have had with conscience-stricken nuns, this terminology goes back to before 1950.

          The issue in our region is NOT that it ever happened – the issue, is to ensure the full details never emerge. To that end, one finds people living with permanent police protection until a certain cleric dies, electronic gates, mastiff-type guard dogs which one hears baying at night for a kilometre, threats of burning alive and gang rape, extensive property damage [say to 30 or 40 thousand dollars worth], attempted homicides, threats of acid thrown into one’s face and far too many shotguns. Plus the firing and bombing of a hotel, which led to its complete destruction and the near death of the publican, who was asleep alone at the time. These are the fates of those who “know too much for their own good.” Indeed, these phenomena, which have proven continually tiresome to superintendents of police, have most definitely contributed to the arrival of the Royal Commission.

          “It was a case of them not leading a normal life and looking elsewhere for sexual gratification. That doesn’t make them homosexual.”

          In every case in our region, the perpetrators have been homosexual and well known to be so, within the priesthood. The percentage of homosexual priests in our local diocese is now running at one seventh but that is only due to recent sudden deaths and horrendous diseases. It used to be double that. Our initially 10 year old son, was groomed in a parish school by one of them, for 2 years. Hard as it may be to accept, all the priests we have knowledge of, were originally immersed in a homosexual atmosphere in Catholic boarding houses, within Catholic boarding schools – the Marist brothers and the Jesuits tend to feature, both here and in New Zealand. There has also been a strong homosexual culture within the Irish Christian brothers order [now thankfully dying out], which relates to the Ballarat Vic tragedies.

          By “a normal life”, you mean compelling these guys to be married to women? This being a commonly touted “cure.” Til the recent past, the homosexual cultures within our Australian Catholic seminaries has been significant; hence one major one was closed in the 70s for this reason, then closed in its new location in the late noughts after certain facts came to light and moved on yet again. Within 10 years, fewer than 15% of Catholic clergy in Australia shall have any Irish descent. The atmosphere of our state seminary is now very different, due to the influx of Indian, Philippino and Vietnamese seminarians who are from cultures which emphasise self control and religiosity. Seminarians now also have to complete a Masters in theology degree, which is very different to the old days, when any dunderhead was accepted. The most tormented homosexual Roman cleric we know of, was actually traded to the Marist brothers: free boarding and school fees but the child was obliged to become a priest at the end of it, around 1949. The homosexual Catholic Push in our local Catholic diocese is now collapsing and fast because all the involved guys are starting to die off, or are being retired when nudging 80.

          I believe its commonly conceded that the chance of curing a homosexual Catholic seminarian, by causing him to be married to a woman, [surely merely a form of torture], thus effecting a “total cure” for his homosexuality, is virtually zero.

          “In Muslim countries where women are not available outside marriage for sexual gratification, male to male copulation is quite the norm as it is in male gaols. That doesn’t make them homosexual.”

          I doubt one can extrapolate from this, to the Australian situation. These are extreme cases. I can tell you, as a Tanach theologian, that the notion of homosexual Catholic priests being cured of their homosexuality through marriage to women, is regarded with hilarity by those we know and know of. The solution they seek, is an end to clerical celibacy, which would enable those in homosexual unions to live together, as in the Anglican church. This is unlikely to happen. The reason we no longer have cultivation of boys in our region, is because those who made it an art form, accompanied by regular visits to Pattaya Thailand on the way home from Roman visits, are yesterday’s creatures in their 70s and 80s and overwhelmingly, preparing to meet their Maker.

          The younger ones? They get to attempt to clean up the mess left behind and hold together a church which is surely doomed in Australia, a doom signified by Cardinal Pell’s quick trip up the alabaster staircase and abandonment of this sunbrowned country.


          • Michael Barnett says:

            Are you suggesting that David Cyprys, presently married to a woman and who has children from a previous relationship with a woman, is homosexual?

            • Otto Waldmann says:

              Caro Michele, yep !!!

              • Michael Barnett says:

                On that basis if you have a wife and children then I guess I could claim you were homosexual too. You can’t have it both ways.

                • Otto Waldmann says:

                  Michael, please….explain why some family residences do have built in closets. You are not being realistic and genuine here and you know it.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Shirlee, love, I am proud of you standing up for our lay leaders while getting stuck into the geezers famous for listening to and being freightened by broyges ladies….
      As about me and the idea of stumm………………what on earth do you mean !!!
      I know someone at ECAJ mighty grateful for your support and nuts to have a cuppa withya .

  4. Lizzie Moore says:

    Of course one is aware Michael, that the overwhelming majority of male homosexuals are not paedophiles. Your comment made me wonder about Cypris, who as we all now know, was a significant offender in Melbourne. Cypris was married we understand, presumably at a fairly young age, given that he had been to a Chabad school and synagogue. So would he be categorised as homosexual, given that his crimes had a homosexual component – a homosexual who was ‘still in the closet’? Or was he just a straight down the line, predator and criminal? These are questions that many are asking…you know, they are saying: “how should I be thinking about this?”

    • Michael Barnett says:

      I knew him personally and unfortunately. He is a sexual predator. No one was safe from him. He was not ‘homosexual’ as such.

  5. ben gershon says:

    what i see are chabbad rabbis in the main.where were they till now . can they be trusted now to keep to their word

    please explain


    p.s. like most of the community i am angry and upset

  6. Otto Waldmann says:

    Michael, what about all those blokes Hayman, Cypris et.co, what are their sexual preferences !!! Not quite the right time/place to start throwing rocks, is it !!!

    • Michael Barnett says:

      Their “sexual preference” is “paedophile” and “predator”. It is not “homosexual”.

      • Dino Di Felice says:

        The difference here is ‘consent.’ It is worrying that grown men don’t understand that term and many many people suffer as a result

        • Otto Waldmann says:

          not so easy, guys, I am referring to the gender these men prefer to sexually engage with. Throw some light, will yourse !!!

          • Michael Barnett says:

            Adults who rape children are predominantly heterosexual. Your point?

          • Dino Di Felice says:

            What are you inferring?

            • Otto Waldmann says:

              C’mon Michael and DAI DINO, we are dealing in the cases in question strictly with men having been sexually involved with males ONLY. Your nominal qualitative “assessment” is completely irrelevant to all cases disclosed and you may not accuse me of being homophobic and I mean it !!!

  7. Michael Barnett says:

    What about the children who are hurt by these very rabbis for being told they are sinners for being homosexual? When will they address those attitudes in their communities, the ones that feed into self-harm, mental health issues and suicidal behaviour. If they really care they’ll pull their heads out of the sand and start asking the hard questions.

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