Pedophiles in Ninveh

Pedophiles in Ninveh

Batya’s got hepatitis C, and I’ve got pedophiles.

But we’re both living in Ninveh.

Confused? Let me explain…

As most of you know, this past August I discovered that my seemingly quiet, idyllic, safe-and-secure Jerusalem street was actually the epicenter of what Maariv newspaper is calling the largest pedophilia case in Israel’s history.

And how do I feel about that, you might ask?

Well…for starters I feel profoundly outraged and upset by everything that’s happened and the ongoing lack of justice that I’m still witnessing…Some mornings I am so freaking out that I abandon my zealously guarded morning blogging hours in order to head off for a few hours of sanity-returning thinking and reading and journaling about faith on Burgers Bar napkins followed by a brief but intense heart-to-heart with Hashem at the Kotel.

This morning, while on yet another Old City regain-my-sanity outing, I came across the newly-released book The View from Ninveh: Surviving a Medical Tsunami with Courage, Faith…and Wit by Batya Ruddell, and I could not put it down. I felt sort of like this woman I never met wrote a book just for me and everything I’m going through.

This wonderful book is an extremely honest, real (and surprisingly entertaining) page-turner of a diary kept by a JewishMOM who found out two years ago that she had hepatitis C, a potentially deadly form of liver-destroying hepatitis that can only be cured by 48 weeks of a treatment that doctors consider more difficult to endure than chemotherapy. In fact, the hepatitis C treatment is so devastating on a physical and emotional level that it has been occasionally known to push patients to suicide.

This treatment changes the book’s heroine, Batya, from being a vivacious and (self-described) hyperactive nurse/writer/horse-riding mother-of-four to being a nauseous, lifeless lump on her living room sofa.

Of course, before Batya takes that first dose of medicine, she is filled with bitterness and frustration, kicking and screaming as she approaches this whopper of a nisayon that she must endure in order to save her life…

And then Batya has an insight that manages to magically transform and uplift the coming year spent as a lump on her living room sofa…

Batya explains, “With Yom Kippur just over, the story of Yonah is really on my mind a lot these days. I feel as if Hashem is sending me to a place where I don’t want to go—to the city of Ninveh, and all I want to do is hop on a boat and go somewhere else…Oh, and I am sooooo seasick already! But I guess I need to go to Ninveh, don’t I.”

In other words, just like God sent Yonah kicking and screaming on his mission to Ninveh, God was sending Batya kicking and screaming to her weekly injections of the medicine she nicknames “pesticide.”

And reading this, I realized that God has sent me kicking and screaming to Ninveh too. I’m kicking and screaming every time I must leave the safe haven of my four walls and confront my neighborhood as it appears with my blinders torn off so suddenly and brutally, flesh and all.

But yesterday, after a morning spent reading Batya’s story, I returned home to Nachlaot and for the first time I managed to see these streets differently.

After Batya hears her grim prognosis, Batya receives some unforgettable advice from her rabbi, who tells her that she must see her illness as a mission. “Imagine the worst case scenario,” he told her, “and figure out how you would serve Hashem in that situation…”

And that, I guess, is what I would like to start doing as well.

God, for some reason, has chosen to send me to this Ninveh. I didn’t want to come here. In fact, I have arrived here kicking and screaming. But now that I have arrived, please help me Hashem to serve You in this place…To take this worst case scenario that is Nachlaot 2011 and turn it into something positive and constructive and holy.

To transform it from a nightmare into a mission, with Your help.

Click here to make your donation to the Nachlaot Pedophile Crisis Fund

Click here to read the EXTREMELY GRAPHIC Haaretz feature article on the Nachlaot pedophile crisis


  1. This reminds me of a beautiful thought my husband shared over y”t. He read it in a hesped to a rav – I believe DL – who was Hungarian, I can’t remember the name.
    He said he was in the camps and asked a rav who was there, what will be? What will be with my dreams?
    And the rav asked this then young man, what are your dreams? I can’t remember what he answered, but the rav said, and what is the purpose of your goals? To serve Hashem. Then you can live your dreams here and serve Hashem as much as you are capable.

    I’m not sure if I really gave this over well but I think the thought is fairly clear.


  2. Bracha Goetz

    Yes, I too, had my blinders suddenly and brutally ripped off, over four years ago, and I was kicking and screaming about it too. Now finally my Let’s Stay Safe children’s book has emerged from the abyss of pain. Thank G-d, there was a transformation into a mission, and your mission is already beginning to be fulfilled as well. You are increasing many Jewish moms’ awareness about this extremely important issue, B’H.

  3. I read about this tragedy when you first posted about the initial arrest. Now as I read the link you posted I am filled with rage and disgust and deep sadness, all the way from NJ. I cannot imagine how it must feel for all of you there. May Hashem help all of you mothers. I hope there is some way for you to convey to these B”H healing children that the Imahot of klal yisrael will be davening for them and a refuah shleimah of their innocent nishamas until geula, bimhera yamenu…..

    • thanks Ima2Seven, this email really touched my heart and made me feel less alone in this whole story…

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