Takana powerless as Elon returns to teaching... online

Forum remains adamant in demand that rabbi keep away from public.

By JONAH MANDEL
May 6, 2010 21:38
2 minute read.
Rabbi Mordechai Elon.

Rabbi Mordechai Elon 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )

 
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The recent launch of a Web site containing broadcasts of Rabbi Mordechai Elon giving Torah lessons was chaperoned into public awareness by quotes of unnamed sources in the Takana Forum speaking out against further involvement in the affair, but the official stance of the forum has not changed, Takana chairwoman Yehudit Shilat told The Jerusalem Post, and remains as it appears on its Web site
.
In February, the forum posted an announcement demanding that Elon step down from all rabbinical, teaching and community responsibilities and saying he was a threat to the public in light of his failure to keep commitments that he made after allegations reached the forum of “sexual exploitation by a religious authority.”

The forum asked Elon to refrain from intimate, personal and private meetings with people seeking his advice or religious counsel. The statement said Takana had made the decision to go public with the allegations “because they saw no other way to protect the public from possible harm in the future.”

“There are no disagreements or disputes within the forum,” Shilat stressed. “All decisions are reached unanimously.”

Regarding the rabbis cited as saying that Elon ought to be able to return to his teaching regime, Shilat speculated that “these might be the off-the-record musings of some individuals, used to promote an agenda, but are certainly not Takana’s official voice.”

When asked where things stand as far as police opening an investigation into the affair or deciding against one, Shilat said, “The police made no official announcement on the matter.


“However,” she continued, “it doesn’t matter what the police decide, since we acted based on the knowledge that the victims didn’t want to file complaints,” without which the police would not be able to launch an investigation.

“We are not police or a court that can enforce; our task is to warn the public,” Shilat said.

Roni Rimon, Elon’s media adviser, would only say that “many students and great rabbis put great pressure on Rabbi Motti Elon to conduct joint study sessions ahead of Shavuot, and the rabbi acquiesced. A few days later, the students decided of their volition to post the joint-study sessions on the Web site.”

Sources close to Elon told the Post that he is keeping his “noble silence” on the issue, to prevent desecration of God’s name and hurting people. Elon will speak on the topic at a time of his own choosing, the sources added.

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