Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky was asked on video by a relative of a victim if he must go to a Beit Din (Jewish Court) before reporting the abuse to the police. Rabbi Kanievsky replied that it is logical that he can go straight to the police because he will be saving others.
Labeled by many as the greatest Charedi (ultra-orthodox) Rabbi alive today, Rabbi Kanievsky’s psak (Rabbinic ruling) reflects a large positive step towards combating Child Sexual Abuse in our community and represents a turning point in the way abuse is being handled, even in the most religious sectors of the Frum community.
“I have, nebach (unfortunately), a cousin in America who someone ‘fiddled’ with – a scenario of sexual abuse. What should one do to him? He wants me to check out the matter. He wants to go to the police.”
Rabbi Kanievsky: “What is the question?”
“A child, a child of 11 years old. A disgusting person sexually abused him. The person wants to know if he can go to the police or not?”
Rabbi Kanievsky: “Presumably, yes! He will be saving others. saving others! Yes!”
“And he doesn’t need to get permission from a Jewish court or anything?”
Rabbi Kanievsky: “It’s logical.”
“It’s logical that one doesn’t ask first? Can one act like this?”
Rabbi Kanievsky: “It’s logical because one is saving others.”
This video follows a recent declaration by Rabbi Zecharia Greenwald, in which he shared a discussion he had with the late leading Halachic authority, Rav Elyashiv. He too had ruled that those with knowledge of abuse MUST report it to authorities.
You can watch that video here.
Click here to watch an excerpt from Rabbi Simon Jacobson’s series on the effects of abuse and the healthy way to heal.