Employment of the term “Ultra-Orthodox” in the context of the molestation crisis in Orthodox quarters may connote that the extreme of Jewish traditionalism itself is at fault for the proliferation of molestation. That would insinuate the lie (and the perversion of Torah Law) that the problem here is the prohibition of ‘mesira’ (improper reporting to authorities).
The truth is the opposite. Torah Law often requires prosecution and punishment of such dangerous people beyond what American law would require. To illustrate: if the Torah imperative of “Makkin v’on’shin she’lo min ha’din” would be permitted by US law, we’d see, in clear relief, just how backward the tortuously-slow, perp-lenient, current US legal system is, in contrast to authentic Torah Law, in decisively cleaning up society.
The primary relevance here of “mesira,” is the distortion thereof, including its intentional misrepresentation by a TINY but powerful element within Orthodox communities (for ulterior motives). A very few, well-placed individuals are sometimes able to hoodwink the trusting masses into actually believing that someone they know (in fact a dangerous perpetrator) has been falsely accused and wrongly persecuted.
Our religion should not be blamed for the distortions of those who pervert it for their own purposes.
Rabbi Noson Leiter
Torah Jews For Decency, Executive Director