Second woman claims Rabbi Thau raped her as police investigation begins

Nechama Teena claimed that Rabbi Tzvi Thau sexually abused her in a Facebook statement in August and was joined by Dorit on Sunday.

 Rabbi Zvi Thau attends the "Yeshivot March" to call for the strengthening of Jewish identity in the State of Israel against the Conversion Law and Kashrut Law on January 30, 2022 in Jerusalem. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Rabbi Zvi Thau attends the "Yeshivot March" to call for the strengthening of Jewish identity in the State of Israel against the Conversion Law and Kashrut Law on January 30, 2022 in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

The Israel Police will establish a special investigation team to look into the rape allegations against Rabbi Zvi Thau after a second woman accused him on Sunday of raping her when she was young. Thau is a prominent religious Zionist rabbi who heads the Har Hamor Yeshiva and is the spiritual leader of the far-Right and homophobic political party Noam.

Kann reported that the first rabbi to be questioned in the investigation is Rabbi Avraham Stav who teaches at the Mahanayim yeshiva and works on research for Tzohar.

The new complaint came from a woman Dorit who said that Thau raped her decades ago when she was a young woman and after she had moved to Israel from Switzerland. She said that Thau preyed on other women who moved to Israel alone without their families and that his wife, Hana, was aware of the assualt.

The special police team took over the investigation which was opened on Thursday three months after a first woman, Nechama Teena, posted her accusation on Facebook.

The 38-year-old mother of three wrote that she had gained the courage to tell her story after seeing how prominent rabbis believed the rape claims made against writer Chaim Walder and condemned him. Walder later committed suicide.

“Rabbi Thau sexually assaulted me as a minor,” Teena wrote, adding that he threatened her when she tried to speak out about it.

 Israel Police officer in a police car (credit: FLASH90) Israel Police officer in a police car (credit: FLASH90)

Initially, after she made the post in August, the media did not report on the claim. Last week, however, Tzohar Rabbinic organization leaders, rabbis Yuval Cherlow and David Stav, wrote that every sexual abuse claim should be taken seriously and investigated. On Saturday evening, Teena posted on Facebook once again to clarify a few points in response to claims that the statute of limitations had passed on the attacks she had reported.

“In the last 15 years, I had more than one time where the rabbi severely sexually assaulted and even raped me,” she wrote. “The law says that rape passes the statute of limitations after 15 years.”

Another woman comes forward

The police decided to appoint a full team to investigate the matter after another woman named Dorit came forward to accuse Thau of raping her when she was younger.

“After the incident, I was scared of every shidduch [orthodox matchmaking],” she told KAN TV. “Boys left me when I told them what happened. I got married after many years and had three miscarriages because I was no longer young.”

"Boys left me when I told them what happened."

Dorit

In a press conference on Sunday, Teena praised Dorit for coming forward.

"I want to tell dear Dorit who spoke out today  - I love you," she said. "I only think about the suffering you've been carrying for years, and my heart goes out to you. You are not alone - we are with you and we believe you."

Teena's relatives also revealed at the conference that they knew of six more victims.

"Dorit knows another two victims, and we have been talking to a very dear woman who knows another two," they said. "Furthermore, there are another two therapists who shared that they each have a patient who was a victim of Thau."

Since her Facebook post in August, Teena has regularly protested outside the Knesset in an effort to have her claims examined.

Zvika Klein contributed to this report.