|Rabbi Meir Kahane|
I am getting used to the idea that rabbonim in positions of trust and authority can abuse that trust and authority, including to sexually exploit their congregants, students, or other vulnerable parties.
Yes, each time, I am shocked, horrified, but I am no longer particularly surprised. My emotions are knocked each time, but my brain tells me it makes sense.
However, (even) I am surprised and shocked by a letter reportedly sent out to his alumni by Rabbi Meir Kahane, Minahel/Director of Chedvas seminary in Israel and a member of Aish Hatorah's faculty.
This letter brings to light a whole world of Orwellian thought-control and double-speak which is apparently endemic in seminaries - and has unfortunately been used to manipulate and take advantage of the girls.
The full letter is below and it's so (frankly) demented, it's hard to know where to start in analyzing it.
Here's a few examples:
1. Rabbi Kahane's opener, that he's "inspired to write to you a letter" - is against a background that the titular head of that seminary, Rabbi Meisels, has been found by the Chicago Beit Din to have molested female students. As a result, the institution's erstwhile good name is in tatters, and the seminary itself is now under threat of closure. "Inspired", indeed.
2. He then starts blathering about the soldier hostage Gilad Shalit and the three murdered boys.
He takes as a given that by encouraging girls to increased levels of modesty by wearing lower length skirts, this had succeeded in saving Gilad Shalit from the hands of Hamas.
However, the same (mad) defence strategy had somehow failed to save the three murdered boys, because God willed it.
3. Adding to this weird train of thought, Kahane refers to the alumini as "my army". "My"? "Army"? Which had "saved Gilad".
The perverse illogic is that because it's really the army who deal with Israel's security (and which Rav Kahane's world has its own anti - he doesn't "rely on the IDF") and Kahane is claiming the girls skirt lengths are the true power that protects Israel from Hamas attacks, then the girls must really be an "army".
And who is the Chief of Staff? - R.Kahane, of course.
Thus "my army".
If it is an army, and it belongs to someone, of course the actual leader was "General" Meisels.
And this rant is promoting the use of long skirts.
The same long skirts which, allegedly, proved no obstacle for R.Meisels "unwanted sexual contact" with these girls.
4. R.Kahane then raises and dismisses the idea of doing a Kinnus (assembly) to promote modesty (rejected due to the logistic impracticality). At which point he gets to the point.
Loshen hara - gossip.
Yesterday's military defense of Israel was girls wearing long skirts. Today's is apparently preventing pointless gossip. If Chedvas girls were stopped from pointlessly gossiping, Hamas will stop firing rockets at Israel's population centers.
5. Although Rabbi Kahane doesn't spell it out, the gossip he's referring to is the revelations by the young female victims of R.Meisels to the Chicago Beit Din.
And who knows what further pending revelations are scaring R.Kahane into an incoherent frenzy.
So, for goodness sake, girls, just shut up, will you.
6. The loshen hoara project (ie shut up any whistle blowers) is still apparently in planning phase, but it will include the use of "buddies" - ie peer monitors, or field officers. The implied threat is that these other alumini will inform on any girls breaking ranks, to General Kahane. These monitors will also be in a position to exert peer pressure and intimidation on any whistle blowers, to shut them up.
In the word where shiduchim are more important to these than any degree, this threat carries some weight.
7. The incentive being offered to drive this whole scheme, is that it will bring moshiach/Messiah.
If this had been written by a drunk, or the writer has been professionally certified with a serious personality disorder and is off his meds, then I would not be surprised by this gibbering nonsense.
However, Rabbi Meir Kahane is a respected teacher and is responsible for hundreds of female students.
This demented mind-set is considered acceptable, even honourable and admirable in respectable circles.
This letter only reinforces the Chicago Beit Din's findings that all of Rabbi Meisels' seminaries are currently unsafe for students. And it seriously undermines the Israeli ad-hoc Beit Din, under Rav Shafran, that these seminaries are run by "illustrious educators" who can be "fully entrusted" with their students well-being and safety.
The lunatics are running the mental asylum.
Worse, they're running our girls schools.