The Feldman Chronicles…. Letter to Follow…
Is it Possible to fix a Skewed and Ethically Challenged Moral Compass? – LM COMMENTS
Lost Messiah, July 25, 2016, Updated 3:16pm
These comments will be followed by another Letter we received from Yosef Feldman. We are assuming it to be the real Yosef Feldman but the reality is, it could be anyone. The narrative is the same.
We at Lost Messiah promised Mr. Feldman that we would print what he writes: Letters to the Editor, etc. In that vein, we are so doing. We make a few preliminary comments, an open letter to Mr. Feldman, of sorts:
He has been asked if he still acts as a Rabbi or rather stripped of his title “Rabbi” and to date has not answered that question.
He has been asked who is running the smicha program, giving smicha, etc. He has to the moment of this edit, not responded to that question.
He has been asked to comment on his understanding of the differences between “covering up” and rectifying mistakes of the past. To date that question has not been answered; but by our minds strategically avoided.
He has been asked to comment on the “ongoing harassment of victims, their families and supporters in Yeshiva Centre Melbourne.” To date, we have not heard any comment on this except to say that there is “change” going on and that it should be discussed privately. As we see it, this should be part of the public narrative, the moral imperative. Mr. Feldman seems to be speaking as a representative of that narrative, perhaps he should comment publicly.
He has been asked whether “all of the elements of Tschuvah [should] be fulfilled by the offending parties towards the victims.” Again, Mr. Feldman offered no direct comment in response. We feel that since we at LM are being accused by Mr. Feldman of allegedly misrepresenting his statements, or allegedly misinterpreting him or allegedly printing what has been proven untrue, we are entitled to a response.
He has been asked what he has done to benefit the community and if he can show evidence of such activities. To date, he has claimed to assist his community but we have not been provided with evidence to enforce or dispute his contention of altruism. Please provide.
He has claimed that newspapers which have settled have admitted wrongdoing and apologised. We note that we are not arriving at the same takeaway from those newspapers and their comments.
It is our opinion that they are printing legalese intended to simply say, “without admitting or denying the material aspects of the claim, we are prepared to say that it is possible that we mischaracterized what was said and if that is the case, we apologise for so doing.”
That is a shallow win for Mr. Feldman but in no way is a victory and in no way, in our opinion, does it touch the merits of his cases, namely that he was defamed/slandered, we are not sure what.
As we see it, if Mr. Feldman had the best interests of abuse victims, children, the future generations of victims at heart, he would not be instituting litigation after litigation. He would not be expending so much money. And, if he were still intent upon so doing, he would set up a fund for victims and their families – some small gesture of kindness and decency to children and families have suffered.
He claims that he has not expended money, that his cases are being handled pro bono. That is not actually true, according to him. He pays out a percentage of his spoils. That is a contingency suit (contingent upon the victory) and not pro bono (altruistic regardless of the victory). The pro bono litigator is acting as attorney because he is trying to do the right thing, as a general rule. The contingency fee litigator is hoping for a quick win or alternatively a big one and ultimately quick settlements are easy cash. They are working for anything but altruistic reasons, except in very rare cases (like poisoned water in an entire neighborhood of people who cannot afford legal representation – representing victims).
Again, we assume for the purposes of our comments and the following letter that we are printing something from the real Yosef Feldman. For the purposes of our comments, however, he could be the proverbial John Doe. It would not matter.
We cannot emphasize enough the way in which sexual abuse ravages the lives of victims, their families and the generations that follow. Abuse survivors are forever plagued and they share that plague with their families, their friends, their offspring. It is the nature of the beast.
For the Chabad Community and our Mr. Feldman, whomever he may be, it is our contention that each and every time you make the narrative about yourself or the community – Chabad, you further abuse the victims and perpetuate the crimes and the ease with which they are committed. You become a co-conspirator. I say this in no uncertain terms: Mr. Feldman, your lawsuits may be giving you some misguided sense of vindication but they are adding insult to injury for each and every abuse victim and they are writing a chapter for future generations. Namely, you will continue to be abused because we really don’t care about anything but our “good name” and “reputation.” We use those terms loosely.
Mr. Feldman, you lawsuits, your comments to this blog and your letters reflect, in our view, an ethically challenged and morally skewed sense of right and wrong. That is a shanda of epic proportions.