Prominent rebbetzin attacks abuse victim on Erev Yom Kippur
The Australian Jewish News
3 October 2014
YESHIVA Sydney’s most prominent rebbetzin has told child-sexual-abuse victim Manny Waks that most people consider him a “lowlife” on the eve of the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
“I haven’t met a person yet with one nice word to say about you. Most people consider you a lowlife,” Rebbetzin Pnina Feldman said in an email to Waks on Friday morning.
She sent the extraordinary email at the same time that many Jews around the world were asking for repentance ahead of Yom Kippur.
Rebbetzin Feldman said that Waks needs “counselling” and that his “blame-game”, as she calls it, is “unjust, unwarranted, undeserved and wicked”.
“There is something very ugly and personal about your anti Yeshiva campaign. Just because a security guard molested you don’t blame Yeshiva,” Rebbetzin Feldman said referring to David Cyprys, who was found guilty of abusing Waks at Yeshivah in Melbourne.
“The person you hurt most by that is yourself and your own psyche and spiritual and emotional wellbeing.”
When Rebbetzin Feldman was contacted by The AJN she did not apologise and said the she would not comment publicly about the email because it was sent on a private basis. ” If Manny has decided to publicise this email then that is his choice,” she said.
“If the media deems this matter newsworthy, I would expect that they print the email in its entirety, so that that individual quotes should not be taken out of context.”I wish Manny Waks and his entire family only blessings and a happy and healthy sweet new year.”
Waks, who contacted The AJN on Friday, said it was one of the most “vile” and “bewildering” emails he has ever received.
“While nothing really surprises me, I was left speechless after this email,” he said.
“I’m truly shocked and horrified that Rebbetzin Feldman has deliberately chosen the eve of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar, to launch an unprovoked, vile and offensive tirade against me.
The full email is below.
More to follow after Yom Kippur.
The email in full:
Why do you keep highlighting Yeshiva?! Before the pedophile issues you went running to The Age re BER issues. There’s always something with you and Yeshiva. Get over it already- whatever it is that makes you think that attacking Yeshiva justifies your not being frum. There is something very ugly and personal about your antiYeshiva campaign. Just because a security guard molested you don’t blame Yeshiva!
(Sentence relating to an allegation of abuse removed for legal reasons)
Get over it! You need counselling! I haven’t met a person yet with one nice word to say about you. Most people consider you a lowlife- not because of any molestation,which wasn’t your fault, but because of your malicious blame game which is unjust, unwarranted, undeserved and wicked. The person you hurt most by that is yourself and your own psyche and spiritual and emotional wellbeing. I realise you may go on hate campaign against me now, but like yourself, I have no fear in saying it as it is when I feel passionate about something.
Erev Yom Kippur. Get the pedophiles. That’s fine. But get the hate out of your heart or at least try to control it. That hate is very bad for you personally as it doesn’t allow you peace of mind or any form of internal harmony or happiness.
Words from the heart.
A Gmar Tov to you and yours,
Rebzn Pnina Feldman