Rabbi Mordechai Elon 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Rabbi Mordechai Elon denied all five counts made against him of indecent assault
and indecent assault by force in the Jerusalem District Court on
Elon, who was a leader in the national-religious community and
former dean of Yeshivat Hakotel in Jerusalem, was charged in October with
inappropriately touching, kissing and stroking a 17-year old student in 2003
after a friend of his, who had also been a student of Elon’s, was killed in a
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In a separate incident in 2005, another 17-year old who
came to Elon’s office for advice during a family crisis alleges that the rabbi
sat him on his lap and touched him inappropriately.
In his response to
the indictment, Elon said that he did not remember the 2005 incident as he has
sat and consulted with many students over the years and could not remember this
specific incident. The rabbi said that it was possible that he hugged and
caressed the student since he has many times comforted and encouraged those who
have sought his advice in the past in this way.
He stressed however that
any contact was in no way for the purposes of sexual
Regarding the incident in 2003, Elon acknowledged that he
had met with the complainant but denies having forcefully sat him on his knees.
He said again that he may have hugged and caressed him, and also kissed him on
the neck, but not in any sexual manner.
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A close aide to Elon told The
that anyone who knows him would recognize that this is how the
rabbi has acted with thousands of people who have sought his advice and
“Everyone who knows Rabbi Elon and his body language and
reads the accusations thinks its ridiculous,” the aide, a rabbi and teacher,
said. “He hugged me at my wedding under the huppa. He is very warm and this is
how he expresses it.”
Speaking to the Post
, Elon’s attorney, Baruch
Rupin, said that out of the hundreds and thousands of people the rabbi has met
and sat with, the indictment lists only two complainants. Rupin emphasized that
while Elon does not deny having had physical contact with the complainants, “he
did so without any sexual connotation whatsoever.
Elon rejected a plea
bargain offered to him by the prosecution in October, saying he would not admit
to crimes he did not commit. Elon was offered a deal in which he would have had
to enter a guilty plea, but would not have been subject to a custodial
“I never, heaven forbid, carried out any acts with sexual
intent toward any of my students,” Elon stated at a press conference in November
following his indictment.
He accused the Takana Forum, which initially
brought the allegations to light, as having conducted a court martial against
“What has been done to me was undemocratic, against Halacha, against
the Torah and against humanity,” he said.
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