|Ask Rabbi Simmons|
What does the Torah and Judaism teach about child physical, sexual and emotional abuse?
I am a victim myself of the most horrible childhood physical abuse - literally physically beaten with belts, switches and wooden rods. I also had pornographic pictures taken of me. I was locked in closets, beat into submission for sexual purposes and so forth. My life was a living hell.
Fortunately, today Ii see a psychologist once a week. I want to know what we as Jews are taught about these things and why it is wrong? What does the Torah and Judaism say about people who commit these crimes? Does being a Jew matter?
I am sorry to hear of the difficulties you had to endure.
From the moment of infancy and beyond, the way a parent acts toward their child forms in the childs consciousness a paradigm for how God relates to us. The primary role of a parent, therefore, is to communicate to the child: You are loved and cherished. You are unique and special, creative and talented. You are cared for and protected. You are never alone.
If a parent is untrustworthy and uncaring, it subconsciously sets into
the child's mind that God must somehow be the same. This is an emotional handicap
that can be difficult to overcome later in life.
With blessings from Jerusalem,
Rabbi Shraga Simmons