In recent months, Rabbi Avremi Zippel, Shliach in Salt Lake City, Utah has been on a mission to bring the issue of child abuse to the forefront of discussion in the Chabad community.
This mission has been inspired by his own experience with abuse as a child, a story he only shared recently.
Recently, he was asked to come on a podcast hosted by a fellow Shliach, Rabbi Peretz Chein, to discuss his experience with abuse, but even Rabbi Zippel was not ready for the bombshell revelation that was to come.
What follows, is a description of that moment, from a profile article by Desert News.
..Then, all of a sudden Rabbi Chein falls silent. For several minutes, all that can be heard is the soft hiss of his breathing as he toys with his beard, seemingly lost in reflection.
“I want to do something I’ve never done before,” he said, his voice wavering. “When I was 11 years old I was abused in a very serious way. … And the reason I’m sharing this publicly now is because the power that it has to inspire others to be able to overcome it, by being able to face it straight on, is important. You’ve inspired me to do that … I’m sharing it because it’s something that there shouldn’t be shame associated with it, and shame, and guilt, is more devastating than the act itself, because you carry it with you … it dominates you, all the time.”