Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Have you stopped beating your wife?

The title is one of those smart-arse questions you ask when someone says "ask me whatever you want, I don't mind". But in all seriousness, this is a subject that scares the living daylights out of me. I've seen that females often stay with guys who are bad for them, for all sorts of crazy reasons. I just can't imagine what it must be like to live in a home where your husband physically abuses you, beats you, smacks you and goodness knows what else.

As a teenager I once had to use "reasonable force" on a guy who felt it necessary to hit a girl. He tried to claim that she deserved it, but after twisting his arm around just a gentle amount (I'm not advocating violence, I'm a big pacifist softie but I felt it was justified here) I threateningly growled into his ear "don't you EVER hit a girl again". Yes, big bad TRK saves the day and rescues the damsel in distress. She ended up dating my best friend (a familiar tale).

Being a single guy who worships women, I can't have the perspective necessary to help people suffering from this. I wish I had the right words. I'll read over this in the future and with 20/20 hindsight kick myself for not writing something deep and meaningful. I'll stick with GET HELP. GET OUT. Talk to someone. Please. I don't believe there is one argument you can possibly make that can justify what he is doing to you.

As for the rest of us, keep an eye out. I might be naive in thinking it can't happen to anyone I know, but I will try and be more aware. We have to be open as a community. Do we need more shelters and trained psychologists, especially those who are sympathetic and understanding of the religious lifestyle? Let's get them. We must stand up and be counted, we cannot allow the communal leaders and Rabbis to sweep it under the carpet for "Sholom Bayit" or "Chillul Hashem" reasons. Support the woman and send the b******d to rot in jail. After taking away his money and giving it to her and the kids. If that doesn't happen I hereby volunteer to pay him a visit with my friend mr. baseball bat. And that coming from a pacifist softie. Anyone else willing to volunteer?



At 4/20/2005 9:06 AM, Anonymous C Bong said...

We have molestors, too.

At 4/20/2005 9:08 AM, Blogger yeshivadays said...

And yeshivas

At 4/20/2005 11:52 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

another post topic? we'll see

At 4/20/2005 12:18 PM, Blogger LostSpirit said...

I can never forget once in shul having this shmes (talk) about wife hitting, so one chasiddeshe guy (I guess the type yingele would call Frummer-Than-You) piped up, that it says in the mieri that when the wife is in the odd 2 weeks one is still allowed to hit her with a stick!!!!

Like it says that lo achbere gunev alo chore (the mice are not the thieves, it’s the hols they conceal it that are the thieves), I think that by pushing this kind of stuff under the carpet, the system is just as guilty as the ones that commit them.

At 4/20/2005 1:22 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...


I know you are angry with yeshivas, but as I posted on your blog, not all of them are bad. I have to have Hakarot Hatov, because otherwise I wouldn't be religious today, I'd be writing about a rebellious Rabbi's Kid who threw it all away for wine, women and fast living.


I've not heard of that Meiri. There are some worrying sources in the Gemara and Rishonim concerning wife-beating, racism and stuff. I'll have to see what kind of an answer I can formulate without smelling of apologetics.

I agree we mustn't hide these things. Those readers with access to the Rabbonim and leaders of the community have to make this clear to them.


At 4/20/2005 1:39 PM, Anonymous Chanandler Bong said...

Part of the problem is that sometimes it does seem like the right thing is to hide things because of structural constraints in the shidduch system.
Would you want your little girl marrying a boy (or vice versa) whose family has abusers in it, or who has experienced abuse? You-know-what-they-say, abuse is a cycle!
I think part of the problem is that the system is contrived in such a way that the mothers decide who their children date- and let's face it folks, especially when it comes to their children, Jewish mothers can be irrational and overprotective. Ask any Yeshivish mother this question: I have an amazing girl for you, she's absolutely perfect for your son, but both her parents, all her aunts and uncles and grandparents all died of cancer before age 45. Can I set it up?


It's the same thing.
People don't like putting their kids at risk, and if families with histories of abuse want their children to have a chance of finding a shidduch, they have to keep the skeletons closeted.

At 4/20/2005 2:04 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...


Valid point. I have much to rant and rave about (well, only rant really) concerning the shidduch system and will get to it in due course. But the more people who firmly declare we will not stand for this being swept under the carpet, the more pressure we put on people and the more we support these poor women, the society we create will be better for it.


At 4/20/2005 4:49 PM, Anonymous ClooJew said...


Is there a topic you DON'T intend to cover in the first sixty days of this blog?

After wife beating, homosexuality and child abuse, you've got slim pickins, lulei demistafina. Be careful or you'll run out of issues to discuss and wind up the Jerry Springer of Orthoblogs!

Aside to lotspirit: This is why the Torah commands, "Thou shalt not be a mousehole!"

At 4/20/2005 9:37 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...


I am the prophet of truth. I shan't be quietened. I'm actually not worried, I'm not trying to save anything, I think I've got a lot to say about a lot of stuff, don't worry. If I run out, maybe you can take over the mantle?

I plan on posting less over chol hamoed (davar haaved and all that) so I've put a few more bits up now for people to mull over should they choose to.


At 4/20/2005 10:23 PM, Blogger Safiyyah said...

Hmmm...this looks familiar. ;-) Glad some of my thoughts are reflected here. I guess domestic abuse crosses religious and ethnic lines, as many of the comments on my blog would demonstrate.

At 4/21/2005 12:24 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

Yes SAF, your blog was one of those that inspired me to write this. There are others though.

At 4/21/2005 9:07 PM, Blogger ClooJew said...

Rashei teivos for Prophet of Truth = POT!

hmmm....lulei demistafina

At 4/21/2005 11:38 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...


what are you trying to say? I don't think Yeshaya Ben Amotz had to put up with this sort of ridicule. Yeridat Hadorot at its worst hour.


At 5/12/2005 2:59 PM, Blogger brianna said...

CJ, do you really find it necessary to put "lulei demistafina" in every single comment? Come on, you're a fairly intelligent guy. Be creative.


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