The Barry Freundel Case 101

By now we all think we know most of the story.

Rabbi Barry Freundel, longtime spiritual leader of the Modern Orthodox synagogue Kesher Israel in Washington, D.C., has been arrested on charges of voyeurism for having spied upon—and recorded—women undressing and dressing at the mikvah next door to the shul.

Some of the women were preparing to immerse in the ritual bath to mark the end of their menstrual cycle, some as part of the final step in conversion to Judaism, some for reasons of their own accounting perhaps. For all who have used that mikvah in recent months, there’s uneasiness about whose images are on the recording device that Freundel secreted in a digital clock in a mikvah dressing room. But the anxiety—and anger—spread well beyond those who might have been affected directly by the sordid crime of which Freundel is accused.

In brief, and not ranked in order of heinousness, are some of the themes drawn into the web of violations this particular accusation of spying on naked women entails.