Manhattan Rabbi Cleared of Rape Charges on Eve of Yom Kippur

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Ironic: a Manhttan Rabbi, accused of a crime he didn't commit, is cleared of it on the eve of the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. It can't be easy to ask for forgiveness from a higher power after your reputation's been permanently smeared for no reason whatsoever. Who knows if Bryan Bramly of Manhttan's Temple Beth Shalom will, in fact, go this route, especially after Beth Shalom asked him to resign in light of the (now-dismissed) charges moved forward in March of this year.

James King of our sister-paper the Phoenix New Times spoke with Bramley about the ordeal:

"Honestly, of course I'm bitter," he says. "My family will never be the same, my life will never be the same, my career will never be the same. [Being a rabbi] is my calling." Bramly was arrested -- at gunpoint, while at Temple Beth Shalom, the temple at which he serves -- in March of this year for an alleged rape that occurred in New York City in 2000. He was shocked. The Manhattan District Attorney's Office received the complaint about Bramly in August 2009 but never bothered to contact Bramly, or his temple.

That said, Jewish law notes that God doesn't grant forgiveness to people until they've obtained forgiveness from the people they've wronged, so, really, Jewish law actually obliges him to forgive these people. And while he may be able to forgive the temple, his accuser, and the Manhattan DA, if his reputation is in fact irreparably smeared, that forgiveness might not apply to a civil suit. Good Yantif, indeed.

Rabbi Cleared of Rape Charges Speaks Out About Ordeal [Phoenix New Times]

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]

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