Wednesday, September 10, 2008
According to published reports Dr. Ben-Zion Twerski has withdrawn from any public role in Dov Hikind's crusade against sexual abuse - a very noble cause indeed. He wrote a very long letter to VIN telling of verbal abuse and all kinds of threats he's received over the last days ever since he announced his involvement. In his own words: “I was prosecuted in the street for daring to join such a venture.” To protect myself, my family, and reputation, I decided to withdraw from this project,” he wrote in an e-mail. From this point, I am avoiding participation in any forms of public service. Public life is not for me.” I don't believe this has ever happened before, criminals threatening people who try and help the victims of terrible crimes - at least not in the frum world. It definitely has never happened to a Rebbishe Kind and a professional of Twerski's caliber. I doubt even Rabbi MD Tendler had to put up with this kind of harassment, even at the worst of times, so why does Twerski deserve this? I have a theory, tell me what you think.
We all know how the Twerskis are a shining example of yidden, chassidim, yerei shomayim who despite growing up "out-of-town" and attending prestigious colleges - often Catholic Colleges like Marquette - clung to their traditions to the last details, even some of the more ceremonial ones like the strukkes on the Bekishe. After two generations most of them came "back to the fold" in Boro Park and Flatbush and joined the thousands who live a very secluded lifestyle, a far cry from Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. Reb BenZion is one of those who moved to Boro Park and became a full-fledged member of Bobov. His children do not attend colleges and I doubt they're exposed to what their father was exposed to growing up. BenZion Twerski thought all was well - his Rebbishe credentials and professional background would surely of allow him at least to speak his mind and help those who were hurt by those who were supposed to educate them in the Torah's ways, right?
I guess what RBZT did not realize that our society is run by thugs who decide what goes and where. I don't speak of Rabbonim here, I doubt that Rabbonim sent out these thugs to threaten him and his children. I speak of the grandsons of the peasants of Hungary and Rumania and Galicia who somehow think that the fact that they grew up in Brooklyn makes them qualified to dictate policy. They think that they're the ones who decide what goes and who goes in our holy neighborhoods, not the edumacated Twerskis, despite all their edumacation. So what we have here - in my humble opinion - is a life's lesson that the Twerskis may be learning now. The lesson is that they may be Rebbishe kinder and all, and they may have very noble intentions, but they're "nisht kan heymishe." The inmates run the asylum we call Heimishe Mosdos and society and no "moderne mit a shtramel fim Milvokee" is gonna come and tell an all-American from Rikoshen, who's grandfather was a shlepper and an Am Ho'Oretz how to run chadorim and schools, he knows all there is to know....