Sex, Religion and Power

You’re On Mikvah Camera

The religious world, or at least a segment of it, was shaken recently by the news of Washington Rabbi Barry Freundel’s arrest on charges of voyeurism.

The Rabbi is alleged to have videotaped female congregants and others as they disrobed and used a ritual bath known as a “mikvah.”

Freundel, in addition to his religious duties, is a lawyer, professor and ethics specialist.




Rabbi Freundel has said that, “Pornography and its accessibility is wrecking marriages.”

He also said,“The lack of sexual morality that pervades this society is all over the place…”

If it is true that Rabbi Freundel videotaped bathing women was he creating pornography by sexualizing an act of religious purification?

Did the Rabbi think that his private sexual thoughts powered by the video imagery were somehow non-pornographic?

Would the rabbi be equally morally guilty if he had exactly the same thoughts without filming the bathing women?

Since man (and woman) are inherently fallible the “betrayal” of the flock is partially premised on their decision to place inordinate power (and trust) in the hands of a mere mortal.

If true, Fruendel’s gravest sin was the betrayal of trust, whatever the purpose, sexual or otherwise.








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