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Taliban grow in Brooklyn

OK, OK, the Orthodox, but you know what I mean:

The Brooklyn shopkeeper was already home for the night when her phone rang: a man who said he was from a neighborhood “modesty committee” was concerned that the mannequins in her store’s window, used to display women’s clothing, might inadvertently arouse passing men and boys.

The groups have long been a part of daily life in the ultra-Orthodox communities that dot Brooklyn and other corners of the Jewish world. But they sprang into public view with the trial of Nechemya Weberman, a prominent member of the Satmar Hasidim in Brooklyn, who last week was sentenced to 103 years in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing a young girl sent to him for counseling.

Mr. Weberman, an unlicensed therapist, testified during his trial that boys and girls — though not his accuser — were regularly referred to him by a Hasidic modesty committee concerned about what it viewed as inappropriate attire and behavior.

The details were startling: a witness for Mr. Weberman’s defense, Baila Gluck, testified that masked men representing a modesty committee in the Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel, N.Y., 50 miles northwest of New York City, broke into her bedroom about seven years ago and confiscated her cellphone.

The Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, who prosecuted the Weberman case, has now received allegations that members of a modesty committee forced their way into a home in the borough, confiscating an iPad and computer equipment deemed inappropriate for Orthodox children, officials say. Allegations have also surfaced that a modesty committee threatened to publicly shame a married man who was having an affair unless he paid the members money for what they described as therapy.

“They operate like the Mafia,” said Rabbi Allan Nadler, director of the Jewish studies program at Drew University in Madison, N.J.

Assholes. And I love it that the head of the whole "modesty" operation is a child molester. That just rings so true.

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Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

... that grow out of this backward community -- Modesty Vigilante/Child Molester -- have been getting a lot of press recently because of the child-molesting convictions of the "counselor" (unlicensed therapist) in the story, and a brewing scandal that the Brooklyn DA's Office has for too long refused to bring these cases for fear of alienating on of his powerful allies (the Borough Park bloc, basically).

Submitted by lambert on

There seem to be rather a lot of them about these days...

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

Use and propagate in good health!

They're ubiquitous because that is the structure of Kleptocracy, so its creatures (exemplars) embody that same structure.

Card-carrying_Buddhist's picture
Submitted by Card-carrying_B... on

The world's a multi-cultural festival of misogyny, is it not?

Reporter to Mahatma Gandhi: What do you think of Western Civilization?
Gandhi to reporter: I think it would be a good idea.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

... the analog of the Orthodox Jewish communities' Modesty Patrols in the God's Work crowd is the loud philanthropy that results in hospitals, universities, parks, medical research projects, professorships getting named after the godly givers ...

Meanwhile I was taught that virtue is its own reward; sheesh!