My Own, Personal Avodah Zara

My Own, Personal Avodah Zara

Last Tuesday a pedophile threatened my life.

Even a week later, I am still too shaken up to go into the details of what took place.

But I would like to share with you what I have been going through this past week…

In terms of what we’ve done on a practical level, we met with our excellent neighborhood policeman who warned the pedophile and his family that if they speak to us again or even “stick out their tongues at us” they are going to jail. Knowing that we have one of Jerusalem’s best policemen on our side and determined to protect us against this criminal and his family is somewhat comforting.

I also had a long talk with my rabbi who gave me some excellent advice. He instructed me to start working seriously on my emuna and, at the same time, he instructed me regarding some serious steps I need to take to protect myself and my family.

But what I really want to write about is why this is happening to me. Because I think I am quite certain why Hashem has sent me, Chana Jenny Weisberg, this specific, insane nisayon.

Like most people, being well-liked is important to me. But I think that, unlike most people, being well-liked is OVERLY important to me.

Throughout my adult life I have avoided confrontation, conflict, and controversy with fear and trembling. Even at times when I should have spoken up, when I should have protested wrongdoing or injustice, I have bitten my tongue time and time again because, more than anything else, I have lived in fear that if I did really speak my mind, then somebody might get angry at me.

In fact, I now understand that I have elevated my desire to be well-liked into my own personal Avoda Zara, placing my own popularity ABOVE my own conscious as well as above Hashem’s will.

So Hashem’s present to me for my 40th birthday was a death threat.

Hashem decided that the time has finally come to put Chana Jenny Weisberg face to face with a person whose crimes against children are so heinous, so utterly unforgivable, that I would be forced to take a strong stand against him publicly.

And for the past week, I have been facing my worst fears. A neighbor hates me, detests me, and believes that I have ruined his life by complaining to the police about suspicious behavior I witnessed.

And while this has definitely been one of the scariest weeks of my life, I know that Hashem, in his tremendous kindness, is simply giving me something that is quite possibly one of the greatest gifts I have ever received…

Hashem has given me the understanding that sometimes we have no choice but to speak loud and clear against evil.

And if somebody is going to hate me, detest me, and be convinced that I have destroyed his life for the rest of his life for that, so be it.

Donate to the Nachlaot Crisis Legal Fund
Donate with WePay

Image courtesy of Flickr.com user Itinerant Tightwad

Related posts:

When I was 10 Years Old...
Oprah Discusses Love and Intimacy with Chassidic Women (6 Short Videos)
Try this Next Time you are Feeling Bad (8-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

26 comments

  1. Amanda Elkohen

    Wooo-ooow. Next time you see me, ask me about my personal protection device. I’ll gladly get you one also, if you think it would be useful to you. (it’s safe enough to have around children, unlike sprays, tazers, knives, etc)
    Thank you for sharing. May Hashem help you to build your Emuna and to keep you safe from all harm.

  2. Where does this man live?

    Also, I was told that you are running the tzedaka for the victims. Can you give me more details about it?

    • this person lives in nachlaot. Until he is indicted, it’s illegal for me to post his name or exact address.

      There are various tsedaka funds. There is a fund for therapy for the kids, a fund for trips and activities for the kids and their mothers, and a fund for the legal etc. costs. At present, the most pressing need is to cover the legal etc costs. Which fund were you interested in donating to?

  3. Chana Jenny, that is sooooooooooo scary. May Hashem protect you and your family in the merit of how brave you have been!
    I am davening for you!

  4. I totally relate cj… I dont want to sound too horoscopic, I already mentioned that I am a fellow capricorn and I feel like you speak my language both spiritually and physically…but the need to be accepted, nonconfrontational etc etc ..you just put it over the top…and I had the same nisayon just about a year ago around birthday time as well…and I spoke out…i wrote this person how I felt and at first it was so antagonizing and hard for me to feel ok or semi ok especially since it was in my neighborhood as well …with time I can honeatly say that I look at it as a Huge accomplishment on my part …to stop letting things that are NOT ok with me get by…you are just proof to us all that we need to stand up for whats right and also for whats wrong…you continue to be an inspiration and a voice for us all…i am proud of you and if this person was really innocent he wouldnt need to go out of his way to prove otherwise.

  5. Stand STRONG and own your voice! Kol HaKavod!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Wow! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Are the funds being used properly? Do any of them have the tax-exempt status for Israel tax purposes?
    All things being equal, I’d donate to the legal if thats the most pressing, but if the therapy fund is tax exempt and the legal isn’t, I’d give to that one as well, b/c then I can give more since the Israeli government returns some of the money.
    Out of curiosity, what are the legal costs for? Isn’t the prosecutor handling it (he asked ignorantly)?

    • the community is hiring a top private lawyer to represent them, and this costs a huge amount of money. These donations will be tax deductible in Israel and the US. Though we still don’t have the details, IY”H, I will be posting the details about how to make tax deductible donations to the legal etc. fund in the near future.

  8. I want to take a hammer to this mans face so he wont be able to open his mouth forget about sticking out his tongue

  9. Well I should suspect that his “death” threat to you is all the more reason to believe his guilt! Geez. Otherwise he would just calmly & rationally defend himself and try to seek peace. I will daven that all people involved in this nightmare will find peace. And I daven for the pedophiles, that they should recognize their ills and make tshuva, preferably in jail.

  10. Chana Jenny, I am really proud to be counted among your friends.

    Your description of overly needing to be liked as an avodah zarah is so honest — and many of us can definitely relate. You are certainly not alone in that “machla.”

    I recently had an experience where I tried to stand up for what is right, in defending someone who I think is innocent who is being falsely accused. At the end of the conversation, the person I was trying to get through to implied that he suspected I was behaving inappropriately with the person I was defending, that is why I was defending him.

    That is not a threat to kill me but it is a threat to spread false and damaging rumors about me.

    I hope I can hold on to my determination to continue to do what is right.

    I love you, Chana Jenny Weisberg, soul sister!

    • dear rishe, I have to say that when I think of a person who doesn’t have this machala, it’s Rishe Deitsch. You seem like a person who stands up for what is right and just, without fear! When I grow up, I want to be like YOU!

      (sorry about this terrible story you are going through, that is so repulsive!!!)

  11. keep strong and may hashem protect you and your family and friends in the neighborhood.

  12. Sharon Saunders

    Jenny, please know that everyone I know who knows you, loves you. Including Ruthie &
    I suggest you take a pocket-sized spray bottle with Tabasco & water. It’s a really good defense.
    I read the new info that was blogged and can’t sleep.
    May we see the end of this immediately and justice both done & shown to be done. Hashem protect our little village.

  13. Can you request police protection? This is what is important to stand up for what is right and fight against what is wrong. Courage doesn’t mean not having fear, it means having fear but doing what needs to be done anyway!

  14. I relate to this on many levels. Like you, I like to be liked. Well-liked. But when it comes to injustice, I do not shut up. I get noisy. I think of all the injustices that happen when people are silent. You can do this. Stay strong. There is an amazing lesson in this.

    In the meantime, stay safe.

  15. B”H you and others are showing everyone how to fight these pedophiles. One committed suicide, on left Israel. We have to keep up the pressure. Nachlaot has become a light to the rest of the nation in dealing with pedophilia. With behaviour like this more people will seek help and co-operate with the police in stamping out pedophilia

  16. Sorry to say, I am not at all surprised. The pedophiles and pedophile protectors I unfortunately know are skilled at threats of all kinds. I once received an anonymous phone call threatening to kick my family out of town. My husband was tracked down at his yeshiva and warned that if we continue fighting the abuse, they will burn our house down. These threats only touch the tip of the iceberg… these people won’t stop at ANYTHING.
    Be strong, have faith in Hashem, b/c one day all will be known and they won’t be able to get away with it anymore.

  17. Any details on the therapy fund?

  18. You have the strength to do the right thing. We are all behind you. I am one of the few people who have been trying to fight this stuff for over twenty years. B”H more people are realizing that it is the abusers, not the victims and their supporters who are crazy. Hashem has given you what you need to fight this. Yashar Kochech for not backing down. kol hakavod lach!

  19. Maybe you should turn the tables: How about going to the police as a neighborhood collective and say that if something drastic does not take place soon (like placing the suspects in police custody for “their own protection”) you will not be held responsible for taking matters into your own hands for your safety and the safety of your children ….. would they DARE arrest a group of desperate and terrorised parents when they don’t arrest child molesters??!!!! Let them try.

    May Hashem give you strength to keep fighting and standing up for what you believe in!

    p.s. the original thread of this post, the need to be liked, seems to have been overlooked in the drama of your experience, but it took a lot of courage just to say that out loud. I think there are over 10,000 women who like you even more now!!!

  20. “policeman who warned the pedophile and his family that if they speak to us again or even “stick out their tongues at us” they are going to jail. Knowing that we have one of Jerusalem’s best policemen on our side and determined to protect us against this criminal and his family is somewhat comforting ”

    does that mean everyone – even the police – knows he is one of the pedophiles and he doesn’t get arrested?!?
    or can’t there – yet – no proof be found and you just suspect?

    may Hashem give you a lot of strength!

  21. Sorry.
    I just read your comment to Ruben – and there is the answer.

    I am a capricorn too and when I was young I spoke out loud when I felt there was injustice. people didn’t like that, so I shut my mouth and became more diplomatic over the years. and today – to quote you – “I bite my tongue time and time again because, more than anything else, I live in fear that if I really speak my mind, then somebody might get angry at me”. I am shy of conflicts, I try to solve problems differently. Is this typically capricorn? ( I am not so much into “mazalim”).
    Somehow I believe Hashem made me learn to act differently, BECAUSE I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.
    Elu ve-elu divrei Elokim hayyim!

    Shabbat shalom,

    Raizel

  22. ruth cohen

    i am jenny’s neighbour. and we could not be more different. i find this to be an outstanding article. a true heshbon nefesh, that is far harder than writing about perverts.
    when i met jenny a few years ago, we used to chat and i always found her to be the typical no lashon hara religious woman. so when i found out about skippy being arrested in september and went straight over to jenny obviously, no lashon hara, knowing she would not lie to me.and when she said it was true i fell down in shock. jenny not hiding behind lashon hara. wow.
    jenny, my words to you are this, in south africa we were attacked by a mafia and given death threats and there were no police to turn to, and for that matter no one at all as my own family are not interested if i live or die. i did this alone, sent the girls to my mother, my ex fled the house in fear to save his own life and i was all alone waiting to die. the first night is sheer hell, the second less so and now as you know i dont fear anything or anyone

    as for our neighbour, hmm dont worry baby, he wont bother you.just proves that he is guilty dont it. swine.

    my life jenny has only been violence,rejection,danger and tons of humiliation. and you have had another life different. and yet we have joined together to get the perverts. is that not what unity is. using our own experiences and resources to get the bastards.

    you have the good name,acceptability by the community,contacts that i dont have. and i have the could not give a damn attitude that breeds courage in others.

    you are right about doing hesbon nefesh,but so few do it and not publically. wow i am impressed. and remember our neighbour aint coming around to me to threaten me, they are all dead scared of shmuel the hot tempered moroccan, who also happens to be a leo and he is getting into this story now, and remembers that he fought in 5 wars.

    and remember when you lie low i roar – and when i lie low you type sweet strong words. its all the same . we get the message out,you me, a mother in israel, and our friend who has no computer who is the bravest of all us who fights in the haradi world to educate and save the children daily.

    so shabbat shalom to all of us and your family and never fear we have a lion in shirizly, he was sleeping for a while but now he is activated and you really want him on your side. he used to sing ruth makes elephants crazy now its (mondrowitz picture i put up) ruth makes ashkenazim crazy. and …. making death threats crazy the next version.

Leave a Reply