Up-and-coming Orthodox rabbi ‘said reporting child sex abusers was a sin’


An up-and-coming member of the rabbinate of the Stamford Hill-based Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations has described reporting suspected child abusers to the secular authorities as a “severe sin”, according to The Times. Dayan Paltiel Schwarcz, in a rabbinic paper in Hebrew written in spring, argued that there were almost no circumstances when an Jewish abuser could be reported to the police, the newspaper said. The story has appeared on the eve of tomorrow’s publication of a report into religious organisations by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Dayan Schwarcz was a “junior dayan” who was “exceptionally clever,” a source in the Charedi community told the JC. But his paper appeared to be at odds with evidence given to the IICSA on behalf of the Union by Rabbi Yehudah Baumgarten. Asked by the IICSA about mesirah — the prohibition against informing on a fellow-Jew to the secular authorities — Rabbi Baumgarten said that “mesirah does not apply where the person being reported is causing harm to others… The rabbinate is absolutely clear.”

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