A hassidic man convicted of attempting to buy the silence of a victim of sexual abuse was given a hero’s welcome by the Satmar rabbi, the Failed Messiah blog reported.
Abraham Rubin, 50, a member of the Satmar hassidic (ultra-Orthodox) sect in Brooklyn, offered over half-a-million dollars to buy the silence of the unnamed victim. The minor’s testimony regarding repeated instances of sexual abuse helped secure the conviction of unlicensed therapist Nehemia Weberman.
The girl’s parents had sent her to Weberman for therapy sessions at the recommendation of her school.
According to the New York Daily News, the girl was referred to him for not meeting her sect’s strict modesty guidelines regarding dress code and for asking questions about the existence of God.
Released from jail just over a week ago, Rubin served two-and-a-half months of his four-month sentence and was welcomed with great fanfare, according to Failed Messiah author Shmarya Rosenberg.
Rosenberg, a former Chabad hassid known for his critical take on the Orthodox world, posted pictures on his website showing Rubin being greeted warmly by Grand Rabbi Aharon Teitelbaum, the leader of the Aharonite faction of the Satmar Hassidim.
After coming forward, the victim and her family were allegedly subjected to a campaign of intimidation by members of the closed community.
Rubin’s actions were part of what critics have dubbed a coordinated campaign by members of the Satmar community to silence the victim, now 19 and married.
Her husband Boorie Deutsch’s restaurant was defaced and the couple has faced communal ostracism, with the victim being booed out of a Williamsburg synagogue on Rosh Hashana. In March, posters in Yiddish calling for a boycott of the victim’s father’s business were plastered around Williamsburg.
During his trial, one Satmar congregation called for prayers for Rubin, terming him a “great community activist.”
The Satmar support for Rubin continued after his release, according to Rosenberg.
“Not only was he welcomed with singing, dancing and a festive meal, he was also an honored guest in the home of his rebbe,” Rosenberg wrote on his blog.
A sign, bearing the logo of Teitelbaum’s Yetev Lev D’Satmar synagogue, was uploaded to Failed Messiah.
It compared Rubin, who it called praiseworthy, to the patriarch Abraham.
The text on the sign cited Mishnaic text: “Abraham our father, of blessed memory, was tested with 10 tests and he withstood them all... to show how great the love of Avraham Avinu was.”
In a post on Facebook, Deutsch reacted harshly to Rubin’s welcome.
“In Satmar there is no mercy on victims of any kind of abuse, but the perpetrators of the abuse are ‘heroes’ in the community, they get full support from the community, they are honored for the crimes they have committed on innocent children, sexually violated them day after day for so many years,” he wrote.
“At the Rose Castle Hall in Williamsburg the Satmer community came together to show support for Abe Rubin for trying to bribe us into letting a monster roam the streets and kill more innocent children’s lives,” he wrote, comparing Satmar Hassidim to Palestinians raising their children to be suicide bombers.
JTA contributed to this report.