Jewish Neighbor Beating His Child
Earlier today, I saw one of my neighbors, an orthodox Jew who I have seen around but don’t know his name, repeatedly beating one of his sons as punishment for something that is unclear what. I filmed part of the beating from my apartment window, but the film is not clear enough to ascertain what was going on. What this father was doing looked so bad, I felt like calling 911. But I was uncertain if I should call the civil authorities on my fellow Jew. I also didn’t know if the police would consider this a crime or not because parents do have the legal right to spank their children. Regardless, I thought this treatment of his son went too far for what would be reasonable punishment. I have 4 children of my own and I would never do that to any of them, no matter how badly they behaved. I don’t believe what my neighbor was doing would fix any behavioral issues. I also wasn’t sure if reporting this is considered Lashon Hara.
What a terrible thing to have to have witnessed and how awful for the child to have to live in such an abusive environment. I hope and pray that what you saw was not as bad as it looked, although I fear that it was.
I think that the best thing to do is to try and find out which community the father belongs to, and then approach the Rabbi of his Shul. It might be possible that the Rabbi will be able to take care of the issue without going through the civil authorities. Otherwise, I am sure that he will tell you to go to the authorities and tell them about what you have seen.
Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team