Chaim Walder's books removed from Osher Ad, Eichler's over rape allegations

The popular author's weekly column in Yated Ne'eman has been suspended, and his talk show on Kol Chai radio has been taken off the air.

 Chaim Walder in his office with a copy of his bestselling book Kids Speak (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Chaim Walder in his office with a copy of his bestselling book Kids Speak
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Popular Jewish retailer Eichler's will no longer carry the books of Israeli haredi (ultra-Orthodox) author Chaim Walder following accusations made against him of rape and sexual assault of minors, its CEO Mordy Getz announced over Twitter.

His books will also be removed from the ultra-Orthodox supermarket chain Osher Ad, and his weekly column in the haredi newspaper Yated Ne'eman and his talk show on Kol Chai radio are both being stopped, Haaretz reported.

Walder's books will no longer be available in their store, or online at

"This decision was not made lightly, and will no doubt come at a heavy financial cost, as these books were bestsellers," Getz wrote, "but as a business that cares deeply about our community, we cannot ignore the pleas we have received on behalf of the alleged victims."

This wasn't just a means of disassociating with an author facing accusations, but a step to ensure the safety of the community.

"Given that the access to alleged victims was largely by way of the author's books and works, we believe that this decision is an essential step in protecting our children and building a safer, healthier community," Getz said.

Eichler's is a well-known retailer based in Borough Park, Brooklyn, that sells books, Judaica and gifts. Similarly named stores are located in Flatbush and Jerusalem, and Walder's books are still available at least in Flatbush at the time of writing.

Retailers are not the only ones moving to get rid of Walder's books.

In a halachic statement posted on Facebook, Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu noted that while these allegations have yet to reach the court, they are still serious, and one should not keep Walder's books in their homes or schools.

He did not say to burn them, but advocated keeping them in a warehouse somewhere.

Keeping his books in schools while he faces these accusations makes Walder "a character who has legitimacy, and it is an educational disaster," Eliyahu noted.

"The Torah wants us to treat rape with the greatest severity there is and tells us that rape is considered murder. It is impossible to keep books at home by someone suspected of sexually abusing so many women," he said, stressing the need to make it clear that his actions have "no shred of legitimacy."

"I hope for his sake that the accusations against him aren't true," Eliyahu concluded. "But meanwhile, there are many women who testify that he has harmed them, and their voices cannot be ignored."

Walder, who lives in Bnei Brak, is a well-known author publishing literature for children and young adults in the ultra-Orthodox world, with his series Kids Speak (in Hebrew - Yeladim Mesaprim Al Atzmam - Kids Speak about Themselves) selling over two million copies of his books in haredi communities across Israel and the Diaspora. The first book in the series became one of the top five best-selling books in Israel of all time.

He has written over 50 books and is seen as having revolutionized haredi literature for children, as his books allow the child to speak their thoughts and emotions aloud, and focus on difficult and sensitive topics. He also heads the Center for Child and Family run by the Bnei Brak Municipality, and is a certified counselor, working with children and young adults suffering from trauma and abuse.

However, he has been accused of allegedly engaging in sexual activities with minors, two girls aged 12 and 15, with a third testimony accusing him of regularly raping a 20-year-old woman, his therapy patient.

Walder has denied these allegations against him, and his lawyers have accused them of being a "virtual blood libel" with "no connection to reality."