“They became dead-enders, lost souls, outcasts,” he told me.

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In exchange for political support, Brooklyn politicians give Hasidim latitude to police themselves.

They have their own emergency medical corps, a security patrol, and a rabbinic court system, which often handles criminal allegations.

Sam Kellner’s reputation in the Hasidic community of Borough Park, Brooklyn, began to suffer in 2008, when his teen-age son told him that he had been molested by a man who had prayed at their synagogue.

Kellner’s first instinct was to run the man over with his van, but he didn’t know if his anger was justified.

Molestation was rarely discussed in the community, and it didn’t seem to Kellner that any of the prohibitions in the Ten Commandments explicitly related to it.

The most relevant sins—adultery and coveting a neighbor’s belongings—didn’t capture the depth of the violation.Kellner couldn’t pinpoint what was lost when a child was sexually abused, since the person looked the same afterward.But he sensed that molestation was damaging, because he knew a few victims, and they had gone off the , or religious way.In a community where non-procreative sex is considered shameful, molestation tends to be regarded in roughly the same light as having an affair.When children complain about being molested, the council almost never notifies the police.Instead, it devises its own punishments for offenders: sometimes they are compelled to apologize, pay restitution, or move to Israel.