The following is the essence of a story found in an excellent source book about gedolim By Rav Shlomo Lorenz published

by Feldheim 2007. It has major haskomas from Rav Eliashiv, Rav Wosner, Rav Chaim Koniefsky, Rav Lipkovitz, Rav Nissim Korlitz, and Rav Shmuel Auerbach. It is directly relevant to our question of letting the community handle the problem of child abuse or the secular social service/justice system. [Do not copy this translation without permission] Steipler Rav (Within the Domain of Gedolei Torah Vol 2 page 557-560): The rav of Komemiyus, Rav Binyamin Mendelson approached Rav Shlomo Lorenz about helping someone who had committed a crime in the past and had been placed on probation for a number of years. However the person committed the crime again. Rav Mendelson said that he knew this person and felt he deserved mercy - especially for his wife and children. He said it was obvious that being in jail with hardened criminals would not serve to rehabilitate him. Therefore Rav Mendelson asked him to testify as a character witness at the trial to try and stop the jail sentence. Rav Lorenz was worried about the chillul hashem that would result if the public represenative of the Torah world was not only seen as sympathizing with a criminal but also trying to help him . Therefore he said he would speak with the Steipler Rav before he did anything. Rav Mendelson agreed but requested that the Vishnitzer Rebbe also be consulted. When the Steipler heard the requested he screamed, "A Jew who sins and repeats that sin, it is better that he be punished in this world and not – G d forbid – in the World to Come." He explained, "The punishment in this world is minor compared to what happens in the World to Come. Furthermore if you succeed in stopping the jail sentence he will continue to repeatedly commit this crime. It is better that he receive his punishment and perhaps learn self restraint…In addition if I give you permission and you testify for his benefit it is obvious that every newspaper and all the public media will publicize the matter and it will also be a chilul HaShem when he sins again…" The Vishnitzer Rebbe replied, "There is no question that the Steipler Rav is correct in every detail and I absolutely agree with him. But there is also the concept of 'Going beyond the letter of the law.' There is also the attribute of mercy. Therefore I think there is reason to have mercy on his wife and children…However I only have one problem – the issue of chilul HaShem which the Steipler mentioned…. Therefore you need to find a way of testifying that won't cause chilul HaShem." Rav Lorenz told the Steipler Rav the words of the Vishnitzer Rebbe. He gave a long sigh and said, "It is possible to do as the Vishnitzer Rebbe requested, even though my opinion is that the person should be punished rather than be helped. However this can

only be done on the condition that the testimony is not public so that it won't –G d forbid – cause chilul HaShem." Rav Lorenz told the judge that Rav Mendelson had said that the criminal would not go unpunished. Rav Mendelson said that the rabbis would punish him according in the manner that was normal in these cases such as forty days of fasting and other such things. Rav Mendelson felt that this punishment would be more beneficial in rehabilitating the criminal than being sent to prison with hardened criminals. While the judge agreed with this he said he still had the major problem that freeing him was clearly against the law. Rav Lorenz told him that he was sure that the judge would figure out something – which he did. The criminal was again placed on probation. However as predicted the criminal was not able to withstand temptation and he committed the crime again. This time he was sent to jail where he died.

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