They were coming to tell their holy leader something horrifying that required his immediate intervention: Recently, after a long period of being clearly troubled, their son had related to them that their neighbor, Moshe Menachem Taubenfeld, a 55-year-old father of 20, and a highly respected teacher of Torah and Talmud to adult men in the community, had been sexually molesting him for five years. He said, ‘Don’t tell anybody; it’s between you and me.’” But when Laiby’s parents finally were able to haltingly explain why they had come, Twersky exclaimed in Yiddish, “Ich veis nisht, in ich gleib nisht! ”) “He looked genuinely shocked [at the accusation],” recounted Avrumi Stern, Laiby’s older brother, who accompanied the parents.
As Laiby, now 21, explained to me during a recent interview, “He [Taubenfeld] took me into a room, made me pull down my pants, and started touching me in inappropriate places. The family left the Rebbe’s office as they had entered: sad, scared, and with no idea what to do next.
But before she could address “bad touching,” she thought it only right to tell us kids – we were five and six at the time – about how good touching worked.
Each parent should figure out what works for their family, but I hope hearing about how we handled this gave you one less thing to worry about! I’m a senior college student with a secular family and a very religious sister.
I’ve been sending JITC episodes to my dad and aunt to help them better understand my sister’s Jewish decision.
I want you to know that you are making a difference not only in the lives of Jews, but in the lives of gentiles as well. It has sincerely strengthened the relationship between me and my mother. Its been difficult to explain to my parents why I love Judaism & why I choose to follow certain laws now, however, JITC has been a great medium of explaining the Jewish faith that we never truly understood. You made it acceptable for me to become frum and I am now happily married with 2 beautiful kids.
I cover my hair all the time, something I never thought I would do.
To them, he is a revered tzadik, a higher spiritual being endowed with saintly wisdom.