Congratulate com. for ejecting sexual abuse rabbis - Safed chief rabbbi

Eliyahu has been involved in efforts to have all three of these rabbis ejected from the religious-Zionist community.

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September 3, 2019 02:38
1 minute read.
Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Chief Rabbi of Safed Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu said on Monday that the religious-Zionist community should be congratulated for ejecting rabbis from its midst who have committed sexual abuse or harassment.

Eliyahu was speaking in reference to at least three incidents in recent years in which prominent religious-Zionist rabbis have either been criminally convicted of sexual assault or accused of sexual impropriety.

Rabbi Moti Elon, a former superstar of the religious-Zionist community, was convicted of two counts of indecent assault in 2013, and has subsequently been accused of further such offenses.

Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg, another charismatic figure from the religious-Zionist community, was convicted in 2018 of sexual assault and other crimes against eight women.

And yeshiva dean Rabbi Shmuel Tal of Yad Binyamin, also from the religious-Zionist community, has been accused of conducting inappropriate relationships with several women, including one whom he convinced to divorce her husband.
Eliyahu has been involved in efforts to have all three of these rabbis ejected from the religious-Zionist community.

Asked at a conference of the Srugim news website whether or not these incidents have damaged the standing of rabbis in the community, Eliyahu dodged the question, and answered instead that the community should be praised for having cast out these rabbis.

“The religious-Zionist community should be congratulated for having ejected people who act against the law,” said Eliyahu.

The rabbi juxtaposed this situation to that of the Shuvu Banim community of the Breslov hassidim, who have continued to support disgraced leader Rabbi Eliezer Berland even though he was convicted of sexual assault in 2016.

Despite Eliyahu’s efforts, not everyone in the leadership of the religious-Zionist community has acted in this manner.

Senior leader of the community Rabbi Haim Druckman gave backing to Elon after he was convicted and cast doubt on his conviction, even inviting Elon to give Torah lessons at his institutions.


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