A leading Modern Orthodox rabbi is taken away in handcuffs by police Oct. 14 on criminal charges of voyeurism, more precisely for installing and maintaining an electronic device to secretly record “female complainants using a bathroom or restroom or totally or partially undressed or changing clothes.” In court the next day, the rabbi denies these charges of deviant acts of seeking out women with a hidden video camera in the mikvah of his own congregation– Kesher Israel in Washington, D.C.
O Rabbi Barry Freundel! If indeed you did this deed, how could you?
This is the stuff of an Isaac Bashevis Singer story conjuring up the demonic side of shtetl life. Not the schoolboy prank where Yentl the Yeshiva Boy is approached by her bad-boy classmates to join them in spying on naked women in the bathhouse. No. This is something deeper, darker, if indeed true. It is the kind of unnatural tale that in I.B. Singer’s hands could terminate in damnation. In our modern demonic world, the damage seems to be spreading beyond the soul of the alleged perpetrator.
The higher the status, the more tragic the fall.