Elyashiv: Alleged yeshiva misdeeds damaging to haredim

Leading Ashkenazi rabbi uses harsh halachic term, ‘din rodef,’ in response to fraud case.

November 23, 2010 04:36
1 minute read.

Elyashiv. (photo credit: Beit Hanassi)

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the most respected halachic authority in the Ashkenazi haredi world, spoke out in the most harsh terms against the possibility that three haredi educational institutions defrauded the state of dozens of millions of shekels.

“If the story turns out to be true, then the thieves should be considered pursuers [Din Rodef],” the venerable rabbi was quoted as saying Sunday night, explaining that their alleged deeds were unacceptable and would cause irreversible damage to haredim everywhere. Din Rodef is a term in the halachic literature for someone who can be killed to save another person, usually a fetus with a medical condition that can endanger its mother. The rabbi was not, however, implying that violence was an acceptable course of action for handling the affair. Rather, he was using a extremely strong term to voice his outrage at the alleged behavior of the suspects.
The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Monday extended the remand of the six suspects arrested in a Sunday raid by four more days. The men, who manage yeshivot, are suspected of producing fraudulent identity cards to create the appearance of greater numbers of students in their institutions, which receive financial support on a per capita basis from the Education Ministry.

Four additional men who were detained for questioning were released on bail.

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