Pacific Jewish Center rabbi Eliyahu Fink argues in this Facebook thread that pedophiles should be allowed to daven in a shul so long as they are watched.
Here are a selection of Rabbi Fink’s posts in this heated discussion: “Why can’t he go to shul until he is locked up?”
“Don’t give him any honors or anything. And keep an eye on him at all times.”
“He doesn’t rape people on the bima. Seriously.”
“You can put a tail on him.”
“I’ve never been to a shul where it’s impossible to keep an eye on someone.”
“The message I send is that if he wants to pray he is entitled. If you go near a child I’ll cut your yatzmach off.”
“It’s a great teaching opportunity. That is a horrible man. Stay away from him.”
“He’s a known entity. He comes in, you watch him.”
“It’s in our control to make sure nothing happens.”
“Just because there are some people who are not serious about sex abuse doesn’t mean we all need to turn into vigilantes.”
“I monitor everyone the entire Shabbos morning.”
“If a person we have a concern about makes a move we have plenty of people watching.”
Mark Horowitz: “Rabbi fink, the notion of keeping an eye on someone in shul is ridiculous. Abuse does not happen during davening. The prob is that children seen a man in shul who looks frum, children start to trust that person. Then one day while walking home from school they see this guy on the street, they recognize him from shul.”
Eliyahu Fink: “Turner showed up at my father’s shul in Monsey. 200 people daven there. He had 400 eyes on him. We were quite safe.”
“Mark Horowitz: I told my son (he was 7 at the time) stay away from that man because he is a terrible person.”
“Pedophiles are people too.”
“Cherem is only as strong as the people enforcing. It’s a voluntary construct.”
“To my modify and clarify my position:
“If it’s possible that the person in question has abused other people in the shul previously, I think that he should not be allowed in under any circumstance.
“If it’s impossible that the person abused anyone in the shul and there are no children, let him pray.
“If there are children and he can be monitored, let him pray and monitor his every move.
“If he cannot be monitored and there are children he should not be allowed in the shul at all.”
“I know more about abuse than anyone should ever have to know.”
“Few things bother me more than the people who think that everyone who has the same data is required to reach the same conclusions.”