This interview with Rabbi Avremi Zippel, shaliach Chabad in Utah is extremely important for all to see.
In 1992, when Rabbi Avremi Zippel was almost one year old, he moved to Utah from Brooklyn, New York, with his parents, Rabbi Benny and Sharonne Zippel.
They were among 2,000 “emissary families”, shluchim at the time, sent out around the world by the late Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson to strengthen Jewish communities for Chabad Lubavitch.
The Zippels moved to Salt Lake City, their home was near the synagogue and from an early age, the boy acted as an “assistant rabbi” to his father in prayer services by helping congregants find page numbers.
His mother described him as "the perfect child,” and recalls him being able to read both English and Hebrew by age of four.
His father, recalls friends and family saying he was a “chip off the old block” who would surely become a rabbi like his father one day. Which he did…
The Zippels worked hard to keep their kids close to their Jewish heritage, and to protect the children from negative influences in the outside world. Sex and sexuality were taboo topics, except in Torah study lessons when the children learned that sex before marriage was sinful.
Because there was no Jewish school in Salt Lake City, Sharonne home-schooled the children in the mornings. In the afternoons, she watched the children with the help of a nanny, Alavina, a Tongan woman in her 40s who the family hired in 1998.
On Sept. 1, 1999, while watching a movie in the basement of the Zippels’ new house, Alavina sexually abused for the first time Avremi Zippel, he was eight years old.
Rabbi Zippel is now married and has two children, is a respected rabbi of his own community in Salt Lake City.
In this talk with me where he graciously opens up about his terrible experience, he talks with courage, strength, and faith. This conversation should be watched by all for the faith and power this man displays throughout his ordeal and how he eventually got help through therapy and is an incredible lesson in life.
For victims of sexual abuse, this is a must-see.
Why victims don't speak, why are they scared, what goes through their minds, it's them against the world, who will believe them, and why it is so important to seek therapy and talk about the abuse, report the abuser, and finally to be able to forgive for their own sake and to start again a new life free of pain. Rabbi Zippel sheds so much light and gives such clear answers as he agreed to share his incredible story, and how he became an inspirational speaker and a pillar of strength and support for victims of abuse.
Now more than ever we need to hear stories like this, and hope that this talk will help so many out there who are lost and suffering.