Hush was first written under the pseudonym Eshes Chayil (woman of valor) because Judy Brown had well founded fears of retribution. After reading the book, one gains a deep understanding of why Judy was so fearful and what her community was capable of…. regarding both the abuse and the silence. Judy received death threats for publishing this book, before she publicized her real name. Despite this, she decided to take a brave stance and allow her name to be used because of the horrific abduction and murder of Lieby Kletzky. She said, “I refuse to continue to allow that fear to force me into hiding over a book that should have been written long ago. I no longer want to be known only as Eishes Chayil when my name is Judy Brown. I must find the courage to stand with the victims who carry the burden of our silence for the rest of their lives.”
Hushing might be what the Orthodox Jewish Community does when one of its own sexually abuses children. As has been evident in the news lately, however, they are not alone and it can and does happen in other settings too. The community feels threatened and tainted when this happens in their midst. So the option of least resistance, often, is to sweep it under the rug and hope that it will go away. But we know that it never will go away.
These topics, along with the disturbing story that Hush tells, led to a deep and enlightening discussion, at our meeting this month. Although this was a book we were discussing, the real and serious issues that it brought to light, were not taken lightly. We commend Judy Brown for taking the step into the light and for doing what ever she can to try and prevent this from continuing to happen… no matter in what community it occurs.