Child Abuse

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    To preface the question- I don’t mean to be insensitive, I don’t mean to mitigate the seriousness of such actions, and I am in no way trying to imply that child abuse is “not that bad.” However, from a purely intellectual and halachic standpoint:

    Is child abuse a sin? What is the issur? How do we even know that the Torah (and Hashem) even disapprove of such behavior?

    (I guess one can ask a similar question about rape, but even though it’s difficult to find the issur for rape, we at least have the story of Dinah and Shechem [and the response of Benei Yaakov] to show that the Torah seriously disapproves of such actions.)


    What makes you think abuse of a child has less Issurim than abuse of an adult?


    Define “child abuse”?

    The frei Jews include things such as Bris Milah and encouraging children to learn Torah to be child abuse. Do you include not letting kids use the internet or watch television, or making them wear long and unfashionable clothes which would look ridiculous in a “good” neighborhood?

    Do you mean the sort of stuff we can’t discuss on YWN involving a child (which the frei Jews like to accuse frum Jews of, but never seem to be able to find any solid evidence which is why many of us compare these to witchcraft accusations)? Those accusation usually involve offenses that would be capital by halacha, which I’m sure you know (you can check humash if you have any doubts).

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Even in cases where there’s no technical issur of arayos, it’s still assur.

    Harming someone is assur under the klal of v’ohavta l’reiacha, and probably knows d’vorim (which, correct me if I’m wrong, is not limited to literal verbal abuse).

    The worse the harm, the worse the aveirah, so it’s a really bad one.


    A smart person would never post such a thread or ask such a question unless they were not sure if they should stay quiet about something a)you are suspecting someone of child abuse,or afraid someone might commit such an act and needs help to prevent themselves from abusing others or b)someone you know was/might have been abused and you are not sure how to handle either scenario.Speak to a Rav experienced in these matters or a Frum psychologist or social worker who can guide you.


    Re akuperma’s first comment: you obviously do not want to have a serious discussion about child abuse, as you have raised all sorts of straw-man issues in defining child abuse. It does have to be defined, but you have made some foolish proposals and insulted non-observant fellow Jews. Where is your ahavas yisrael? And are you suggesting that there is some vagueness in the Torah about child abuse? Can an adult Jewish therapist (or any other adult Jew) engage in sexual acts with a child that would be permissible between a husband and wife? Is the Torah not clear to you on that subject? I think the Torah is clear to you, but, as I said, you do not want to have a serious discussion about this matter.

    Child abuse can be broken down into two broad categories: sexual child abuse, and all other child abuse. The Torah makes it pretty easy to figure out what would be sexually abusive to a child: whatever is prohibited between unmarried adults would also be prohibited between an adult and a child. I would like to hear from someone who can explain at what age a person can consent to marriage, and whether it matters if one partner to the marriage is substantially older than the other.


    Why would it be different than abusing an adult, as Haleivi asks?

    Also, do you mean molesting? You aren’t sure that is assur?


    I don’t know why you think he raised straw man issues.

    Child abuse is not just sexual abuse and the many accusations are not just sexual abuse. And he is right that in this crazy society there are those who would consider abuse in inane situations.

    He also gave very specific response about sexual abuse. He said they involve capital crimes.


    well lets see,do you think its a sin to make yoru kids feel like dirt? To swear at them and when you lift your arm up for your child to jump up in fright? to cause a child to hate their parents so much because how they cause them to feel? why do you doubt it,do you believe in hitting kids to “help” discipline them?

    Let me tell you,you cacht more bees with honey then vineger! Im right now bawling my eyes out 2 min to shabbos,a parent of mine is having my otd sibling do mutkzah on shabbos and when i try to say somethign another siblings says to drop it,it wont make a diffrence. Its all a sin,its all assur!!!! and it all should stop!!!!!!!!!!!


    Depends how you define abuse. Corporal punishment is not inherently abusive, despite what the social workers and shrinks want you to think.

    ???????? ????????, ??????? ?????; ?????????, ???????? ??????


    any person that takes advantage of another for his own self gratification; be it power, kavod, or sadistic pleasure is guilty of abuse. also, when an adult abuses a child – in any way they are literally killing him and that is assur and they are robbing him of his dignity & self respect which is assur and they are destroying the child for life – which is assur.

    abuse is a sin and it needs to stop

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Rd, it seemed to me that the OP was referring to inappropriate touching.

    The little I know


    “Depends how you define abuse. Corporal punishment is not inherently abusive, despite what the social workers and shrinks want you to think.”

    ???????? ????????, ??????? ?????; ?????????, ???????? ??????

    This posuk is abused grossly by many who have not actually sat down to study it. ???? ???? was beyond brilliant in this statement (as if he needs haskomoh from me). He specifically NEVER stated that hitting is advised or recommended. If you look closely at the posuk, it is clear that the “rod” is a last resort. True chinuch is based on transmitting the ?????? of Torah. It is only when these methods are ineffective (and we know that there are no health issues, learning disorders, etc. that are responsible for the observed difficulties) that there is a valid reason to examine other alternatives, such as ???? ????. The true mechanech is the one that loves his talmid, and fulfills the second half of the posuk which is a clear directive – ?????? ???? ????. It is disturbing to see the proponents of corporal punishment consider this a choice method of education.

    We are gifted with a growing array of reputable ????? on chinuch, either authored by well experienced mechanchim, or with haskomos from Gedolei Yisroel. Visit your favorite seforim store, buy a few of these, and look through the opinions of Gedolei Yisroel about the use of hitting. It is not non-existent, as some of the “modern” thinkers are accused of saying. Just pure Torah based direction. Without a question, it is a last resort, and I say this al pi Gedolei Yisroel.

    Meanwhile, in clear refuting of the many statements of Gedolei Yisroel and master Torah mechanchim, it is common that the use of petch by a frustrated and angry rebbe is accepted, while the effect is usually negative. These are the ones who abuse the posuk of ???? ????.


    Why look to Mishlei when you can see from the Gemara that corporal punishment is mutar?

    The Gemara accepts corporal punishment to the extent that a rabbi or father who accidentally kills his son/pupil through corporal punishment is not even sent to an ir miklat. (Makkos 8a, Rambam Rotzeach 5:2). However, this is true only when the person giving corporal punishment is doing so for the sake of educational or character improvement – it is not a license for physical abuse, and this line can often become blurry.

    In modern times, our thoughts about corporal punishment as a whole have changed. Today, we must follow the judgment of batei din based on their assessment of the needs of society (Aruch HaShulchan, 424:17).

    All credit goes to my husband for the above.

    Oh Shreck!

    There’s a lot on this subject, Little You Know, words of the Great Master of Wisdom cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand or with one cursory post. I’d rather buy Shlomo HaMelch’s advice than the “growing array of reputable ????? on chinuch” available at your favorite seforim store. He certainly knew what he was writing. And he didn’t need any of the modern day “professionals” to be mefarsh (read:twist) his words.

    Gemarah says there’s a mitzvah to hit even a son who is on the right path, so that he may grow better. Sholom HaMelech was writing from experience, he was whipped (physically) by his mother – and he thanked her for it profusely, that’s the tribute of ??? ???. He felt, he experienced and therefore recognized it’s great importance.

    Of course it has to be delivered with a sense of love, in a manner that even the child understands it’s being utilized for his/her benefit, out of love and concern for him/her. This is the art so lacking today. Any blow out of anger will not only not achieve the desired outcome, it’s in itself detrimental on many levels. It brings outs and shows the dark, mean, cruel, enraged, untamed, animalistic side of the parent. It slowly shows the child how to act when angry. It gives the child a doubt if he’s loved, wanted, accepted. No – that’s not when or how to use the potch.

    But modern day society has nothing, nothing to show or brag about for their achievements regarding “children’s rights”. Well, of course they saved youngsters from real live monsters, ones who had no business being parents or educators to begin with. But pumping up a child to such a degree that he knows, he just knows he’s in control, nobody will be allowed to touch him, lift a finger to him, is THE REASON they act the way they do. Again – of course there has to be a balance, but a child (at least in the beginning – as per Gemarah) must fear the rod.

    A true mechanech knows how to instill fear WITH LOVE. A true mechanech does not strike out of any personal bias. So the child knows it’s all for his benefit. And one who does not know how, one who cannot have the child’s best interest in mind, cannot and will not be able to instill a love for Yiddishkeit, or the ?????, if he cannot truly connect with his pupil.

    Shlomo HaMelech, understood mankind, he knew what makes them tick. Way, way before modern “professionals” came to distort and create havoc on the educational system.

    Forgot to mention, Shlomo HaMelech was from the Gedolei Yisroel.


    It doesn’t anywhere say in the ???? an issur mefurash for ????. (It will not be worse than a ???? ?? ????? which is a ?????? ???????, although I think ??”? midrabanan assur).

    You may have ????? ???? ???, and the same issur that there is to be ???? ??????.


    The upcomning RCA convention will have a resolution against child abuse.


    theres a special place in gehenim for child abusers….

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    ZD, until now they were in favor?


    The RCA has gotten bitten recently because of the actions of a Rabbi who is a member. Thats why it went into the front burner.


    DY, no, but now it is the “in thing”, so they want to appear with the times.

    On a halachic level, fondling falls into the same issurim and aveiros as beating someone. And if it is involuntary, it makes no difference whether it is a child or adult.

    The little I know

    Oh Shreck:

    Firstly, we seem to be in agreement on ???? ?????. In today’s world, use of corporal punishment which can be academically explained is hardly or rarely permitted since our rebbes or teachers have not established the loving relationship in which the potch would be educational.

    Secondly, we seem to have some disagreement on a quite important matter. Nothing I said should have been taken as a dismissal of the wise words of Shlomo Hamelech. Quite the contrary. I only expect his words to be recognized as a statement about last resort. Why? Because his words were carefully chosen. He never instructed one to use physical force to teach. Such a statement would not have been worded in the negative (?????). I make my point to challenge those who are so eager to justify smacking children that they simply anticipate the opportunity and grab it when it comes. That is NOT chinuch. That is utter abuse of a posuk, as well as of a child.

    So I am not waving off a posuk, but rather striving to understand it so that it can be utilized with the intent in which it was written. This is not liberal hogwash. It is simply examination of the holy words of a posuk in Mishlei and the interpretation that is obvious once it is read in context.


    rav wolbe was known to be opposed to hitting children.

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