Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Don't Agree With Everything UOJ says!

An Interested Observer Comments

I have been following the postings and comments on this blog for some
time and I am surprised by the almost laughable objections to what UOJ
is doing. These same objectors, who may be very well meaning, would
cringe at the silliness of their claims, had they been made by the
pope and some archbishops about the abusive priests. If you have been
reading or commenting for a while, I suggest you carefully evaluate my
points. If you disagree with them, please try to find fault with the
points I make, and not vilify me just for supporting such a rasha.

There have been several recurring themes in the objections to UOJ. I
will address them one by one. Perhaps the most prevalent is that
because UOJ has said nasty things about so many holy people, he has no
credibility and it is in fact a mitzvah to bring him down. Another
popular objection is that this is simply not the correct forum to
address these claims. Those who make this objection usually compare
this case to Lanners and claim that it would be alright to name him if
he was found guilty, like Lanner was, but he hasn't been found guilty.
They throw in some peons to Megan's law, so that they seem credible,
but then say that until anyone is found guilty, it is wrong to act in

A third theme is that UOJ has some vendetta against Lipa, and since we
can prove that he hates him, it must be that this is his way of
bringing him down. Additionally, we have seen some people who claim
that UOJ has posted on Shabbos and has a potty mouth, thereby
nullifying any credibility that any of his claims might have. Another
objection is that since no victims have posted their names, how do we
know that he isn't just shooting now and asking later? Finally, there
have been some peripheral criticisms, that all the commenters are
really UOJ, or that the lawyer likes to sue people. If I have missed
any major points, please let me know and I will address those as well.

As far as the first claim goes, that he says bad things about
tzadikim, I have a hard time defending him. As anyone intelligent
knows, not every godol is perfect, but they aren't all bad either. He
has, in some cases, unfortunately made a one strike and they are out
rule, as far as his respect for gedolim goes. Nevertheless, that has
nothing whatsoever to do with the actual statements he is making. The
claims about abuse have nothing to do with his personal views. They
are about facts that may or may not have happened. His qualification
system for rabbonim may be half-assed, but those were opinions, as he
makes clear. However, the claims about Kolko are based on fact. You
may not have the same facts at your disposal, but that doesn't change
the fact that this objection mixes up two distinct types of claims
that he has made.

The second critique is perhaps the most insidious, since it seems so
logical on the face of it. Who could argue with someone who also hates
molesters, but just wants them to have their day in court? However,
people need to look at history. Do you know why Lanner, whom most of
you now agree is a bad man, has been convicted in a court of law? It
is NOT because beis din found him guilty and people made claims in the
appropriate forums and a criminal investigation was then launched. It
IS because the Jewish Week ran stories about it BEFORE he was ever
investigated and found guilty. I was one of the many who got very
angry with Gary Rosenblatt for speaking motzi shem rah and making the
frum world look bad. Well, he was convinced, even though many others,
like myself, who didn't know what he knew and felt that his was the
wrong way to go about it. In the end, we were proven wrong. These
claims against Lanner were circulating for over 20 years, and nothing
happened until it was made public.

You have no idea what UOJ knows. (Unless you are Lipa)You have no
right to judge him and say that he can only name names after someone
is found guilty. The only reason why there WILL be a criminal
investigation and why pretty soon, Kolko will no longer be around
children, is because UOJ let the victims know that they weren't alone
and that they could do something about this rasha.

The third objection, that UOJ just hates Lipa, again says nothing
about the actual issues at hand. Without having investigated his
claims yourself, how can you say that you know for certain that his
hatred impeded his investigation of the molestations? In fact, at
some point in the future, we should say Hallel to hashem for his
hatred of Lipa, because without it, many of the victims would not have
come forward. Does he hate Lipa? Yes. Is that a proof that Kolko is
innocent? Absolutely not.

With regard to the claim that UOJ blogged on shabbos, we are once
again faced with obfuscation from the issues. Did he in fact? No one
knows. He may have posted from Israel, and there may have been a time
stamp issue, or, he may indeed have posted on shabbos. Well,
regardless of what actually happened, this is not a defense. It simply
does not address the claims. If there was a court case about this, and
one of the victims who testify, is no longer shomer shabbos, would
that nullify their credibility? (That happened in the Lanner case) It
wouldn't even nullify their credibility in beis din, unless there was

While it would certainly help out his credibility if someone, maybe
someone who is no longer frum, came forward in public, it is not
essential, nor is the lack of one, suggestive that the claims are
fraudulent. The frum world is very close knit, and its history is
littered with victims who were trod upon after coming forward with
allegations. We have seen the smear machine working their magic
against UOJ, trying to out him and threatening violence, why would any
victim in their right mind, want to come forward into such a ruckus?
The other peripheral claims just cloud the issue further, once again
ignoring the issues.

At the end of the day, there are only two sorts of people who can
speak knowledgably on this subject. Those who know for certain that
the allegations are true and those who know for certain that they are
false. To know they are true, we only need to rely on the first hand
accounts. To know they are false, one must have been watching Kolko at
every minute of every single day for the last 35 years. It seems to me
that UOJ knows for certain. If you don't know either way, then I
recommend that you keep your eyes wide open in the next few months.
One way or another, someone will have a lot of apologizing to do. I
suggest that UOJ announce that he will flog himself publicly if he is
wrong, then those who demand his apology might quit whining.

Interested Observer


Anonymous said...

the frightening here is that someone can accuse a well respected member of the community without disclosing any proof, not naming any of the accusers, and insist on his own anonymity. how can we accept this? if we accept anonymous charcter assasination via blogs,leeters etc who remains safe? could "interested observer" you be next?

Anonymous said...

when there is smoke there is fire!!!!!

Anonymous said...

really? the gemara insanhedrin has 6 blatt talking about kabalas eidus and in shulchan aruch there are 30 simonim talking about it.
lets just toss it out and simplify all justice to "where theres smoke theres fire"

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I am not here to debate whether the accustaions are true--that is something that hopefully a besi din or court can decide. I am questioning the accuser's means of publicizing the situation, and ultimately his motives. He claims that his motive is simply to have the accused resign from his position and not be around children. Yet it is several weeks after the letter was sent out and the accused is still employed around children. If the motive is strictly to remove him from being around children, why not report the accusations to the board of education, who will surely launch a complete investigation, during which time the accused will surely be placed on leave and not be allowed to be around children. This would have yielded the desired results that the accuser set out to accomplish. There are obviously some alterior motives here.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that by "David"'s story and "Intersted Observer"'s post, it says afterwards "posted by Unorthodox Jew"? He probably has something against Kolko, concocts a story to bury him, and "backs" it up by faking stories from "victims", and bolsters his own cause by having "Interested Observer"s - himself - commenting in support of him. The general flavor of his whole blog is bury anyone he has a chip on shoulder against. Those claims he makes should not be listened to, because, yes, the source of a heinous claim is testimony as to whether it should be countenanced - because the aim is not necessarily to literally put him in jail, if only to bury him in the court of public opinion.