Why I’m Not Shutting Up About Chaim Walder

Why I’m Not Shutting Up About Chaim Walder

I hate controversy, and some very upset people are demanding I take down my Chaim Walder posts. But I WILL NOT because of something I experienced Purim a decade ago.
[For those who can’t access the video, scroll down to see a written summary]

The story I tell in the video is that 10 years ago in the midst of the Nachlaot pedophile crisis, I attended a megila reading at the home of an elderly rabbi who had written a letter saying the whole “crisis” was fiction. I had been attending this megilla reading for a decade or more, and while I was upset about this rabbi’s letter, I still decided to attend his megila reading since it was more convenient. But when I noticed that the women were silent when the rabbi read Haman’s name (this is the minhag in some communities) I realized that I didn’t want to be silent when they said the name of this person who had tried to annihalate the Jewish people. And from then on I attended megila readings where the listeners groggered out Haman’s name. And my tradition became to say “No!” in response. No to Haman. No to the Nachlaot child molesters. No to Chaim Walder. And No to his defenders who are shaming and silencing all victims of sexual abuse by saying that the complaints of the 22 victims verified by a Charedi beit din are just lashon hara and halbanat panim. I will keep saying “No!” I won’t be silent, then or now.]

17 comments

  1. Thank you for speaking up. It is upsetting to hear people are telling you not to. I admire your courage.

  2. Wow. Thank you for your powerful words shared with conviction and strength. May we all know shalom but know when to stand up and bravely say no! Thank you for your powerful example.

  3. You are 100% right. Thank you for standing up and being a ROLE MODEL for us all!

  4. If it’s not too much of a bother, can you please summarize what happened a decade ago? I can’t watch the video.
    There’s no need to be silent about facts. But I think we should focus on the toelet of the facts (ie: increasing awareness to prevent abuse in the future)

  5. I can’t see the video either, and I’m curious what happened to make you determined not to keep silent. As the mother of a victim (different perpetrator) I think it is important to keep awareness, but I’m confused about how to handle this particular situation according to halacha.

  6. your No spoke straight to my soul. only tears.

  7. Ruchel Pollak

    I second that. Thank you for being the voice of truth for shouting NO. I hear it wasnt easy and you had to move away from your area due to the harassment but you still chose to defend those victims and in this way defending all the pained victims of abuse. May hashem give you continued strength. Gut shabbos

  8. I’m a long time reader of your blog and I’m often impressed by your videos and articles. Today I am in awe of your courage and fortitude. Keep it up Chana Jenny, you inspire us all.

  9. I think Chaim Walder would have been the first person to agree with you because he was very against all forms of abuse.

    The only reason people are silent and don’t know what to say was because a person is innocent until proven guilty. Chaim Walder was not given a fair chance to prove these accusations incorrect.

    He accused the court of lying and seeking to destroy him. I think nobody knows enough yet.

    So yes to saying NOOO even to “Chaim Walder” if to you, that name signifies abuse, but be open to allowing a clearer truth to also come forth.

    • for this specific type of crime one is obligated to warn others and not be quiet due to fears of loshan hara against the accused. [in any event, our understanding is that beis din investigated and concluded, with the accused declining to present a defense]. imagine if this were an unknown creepy man who moved into one’s neighborhood, chas vshalom, and his name and photo distributed, even if “just” based on beis din’s conclusion, and 22 accusers, would it be appropriate to worry about loshan hara or rather to protect one’s children? now replace the “unknown man” with someone extremely well-known and respected who inspired so many people. what changes? absolutely nothing.

  10. thank you Rachel! No one here, i am sure, would ever consider Gf forbid to take the side of an abuser! Chaim Wilder was given a media lynch. we should and cannot judge a person by “facts” one reads over the internet! It is so dangerous!

    • Actually my understanding is that Chaim Walder was convicted on overwhelming evidence by a Beth Din which he refused to attend, although he was given the chance to defend himself (my reading of this was that he knew he couldn’t because he was guilty). That is not reading facts over the internet. We do trust a Beth Din to deliver a judgement fairly.

  11. Applaud your courage, thank you!

  12. Sharon Lazenga

    What Chaim Walder did was horrendous!!
    He was a sexual predator !
    He abused his position of Authority and trust!
    He used the position he had as a Therapist, a Rabbi , educator, teacher, a Moral compass, ( of which he certainly was Not!) The stories in his books were about his clients many he had abused,
    He made all his victims sign a Non Disclosure agreement !
    He was a Sociopath, He had No Moral scruples, He was an adulterer, he destroyed thousands of young lives and many marriages!
    He was a Serial Rapist!

    He was a Coward! He took his own life rather than face his Victims!
    They have no satisfaction of some kind of justice!
    As long they live they can not find trust or inner peace!
    There is no end to their suffering!
    Being Silent is Not an option!
    His books need to be openly burnt!
    So no one who suffered at his hand ,can see those books on any shelf , whether privately or in a public place, not a book shop a library or Shul! Their personal lives ( not the atrocities that were forced upon them by him) are written in those books!
    No more victims should feel that their lives don’t Matter, & his life and what he did was OK!
    It was Despicable
    His name needs to be made that of constant disgust !
    His victims and their families compensated and given as much help as humanly possible to come through this within the realms of actuality !
    For unfortunately it will always be a part of them!
    The trauma will never ever disappear !
    It may dissipate somewhat, but there will always be triggers that will bring those horrific episodes of their lives to the forefront causing them to relive it!
    There needs to be further education and new extensive testing for teachers , Heads of Schools , Doctors ,Dentists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Counsellors, Rabbi’s ,
    Anyone in authority,or entrusted to another!
    To try and prevent the Chaim Walder of this world who incidentally are not Just men, from able to be in a position of hurting and destroying young peoples lives and old alike, for their own self gratification !
    Due in part, to the fact that some. Rabbonim and others who are more scared of what they say , could be construed as Lashon Hora —evil tattling there has been at least 1 if not 2 of his victims who have since committed suicide!
    This is not Lashon Hora!
    Quite the opposite !! This needs to be discussed in an open forum!
    It just might help others to come forward in various situations, & prevent more suffering !!

    This cannot be brushed under the Carpet, so to speak, a new world stringent government psychological testing system needs to be created and put in place , so that even the cleverest predators will be spotted before they can do harm!

    Bullying in schools needs to be taken more seriously, as this too can and does destroy lives!
    It is a way of controlling others! ! I can and I do!
    I can get away with hurting others and belittling them!!
    !There has to be zero tolerance to bullying and the bully needs to get help , not just the victim!

    Parents need to be educated to recognise any changes in their child’s behaviour , as possible warning signs that something may be wrong!
    If their child suddenly becomes surly , silent, ,
    Enclosed within themselves,
    Acting out!
    Don’t put it down to Teenagers!!
    It might be!
    But then it might be something much more sinister!!!
    Parents need to learn how to be totally approachable no matter what!
    That the child feels or Young adult feels that no matter what anyone has previously told them,
    That their parents will believe them and be supportive!
    That they can always always come to their parents and not be afraid to do so!!

  13. What Chaim Walder did was horrendous!!
    He was a sexual predator !
    He abused his position of Authority and trust!
    He used the position he had as a Therapist, a Rabbi , educator, teacher, a Moral compass, ( of which he certainly was Not!) The stories in his books were about his clients many he had abused,
    He made all his victims sign a Non Disclosure agreement !
    He was a Sociopath, He had No Moral scruples, He was an adulterer, he destroyed thousands of young lives and many marriages!
    He was a Serial Rapist!

    He was a Coward! He took his own life rather than face his Victims!
    They have no satisfaction of some kind of justice!
    As long they live they can not find trust or inner peace!
    There is no end to their suffering!
    Being Silent is Not an option!
    His books need to be openly burnt!
    So no one who suffered at his hand ,can see those books on any shelf , whether privately or in a public place, not a book shop a library or Shul! Their personal lives ( not the atrocities that were forced upon them by him) are written in those books!
    No more victims should feel that their lives don’t Matter, & his life and what he did was OK!
    It was Despicable
    His name needs to be made that of constant disgust !
    His victims and their families compensated and given as much help as humanly possible to come through this within the realms of actuality !
    For unfortunately it will always be a part of them!
    The trauma will never ever disappear !
    It may dissipate somewhat, but there will always be triggers that will bring those horrific episodes of their lives to the forefront causing them to relive it!
    There needs to be further education and new extensive testing for teachers , Heads of Schools , Doctors ,Dentists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Counsellors, Rabbi’s ,
    Anyone in authority,or entrusted to another!
    To try and prevent the Chaim Walder of this world who incidentally are not Just men, from able to be in a position of hurting and destroying young peoples lives and old alike, for their own self gratification !
    Due in part, to the fact that some. Rabbonim and others who are more scared of what they say , could be construed as Lashon Hora —evil tattling there has been at least 1 if not 2 of his victims who have since committed suicide!
    This is not Lashon Hora!
    Quite the opposite !! This needs to be discussed in an open forum!
    It just might help others to come forward in various situations, & prevent more suffering !!

    This cannot be brushed under the Carpet, so to speak, a new world stringent government psychological testing system needs to be created and put in place , so that even the cleverest predators will be spotted before they can do harm!

    Bullying in schools needs to be taken more seriously, as this too can and does destroy lives!
    It is a way of controlling others! ! I can and I do!
    I can get away with hurting others and belittling them!!
    !There has to be zero tolerance to bullying and the bully needs to get help , not just the victim!

    Parents need to be educated to recognise any changes in their child’s behaviour , as possible warning signs that something may be wrong!
    If their child suddenly becomes surly , silent, ,
    Enclosed within themselves,
    Acting out!
    Don’t put it down to Teenagers!!
    It might be!
    But then it might be something much more sinister!!!
    Parents need to learn how to be totally approachable no matter what!
    That the child feels or Young adult feels that no matter what anyone has previously told them,
    That their parents will believe them and be supportive!
    That they can always always come to their parents and not be afraid to do so!!
    No one should be allowed to hurt another and get away with it!

  14. Sharon Lazenga

    What most people don’t even consider is that Chaim Walder’s wife and his Children are also victims!!!
    They too may have been abused by him!
    But either way, they are certainly victims of his actions now!!!

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