Footage of unknown individuals burning books written by Chaim Walder near the disgraced author's Petach Tikva grave surfaced on Tuesday, a month after Walder killed himself following rape and sexual abuse allegations, Israeli media reported.
Walder, a haredi (ultra-Orthodox) man, allegedly engaged in sex with minors, two girls aged 12 and 15, according to an investigation published in Haaretz in November.
He was accused of raping minors and young adults, all of whom he met in his line of work as a therapist and children’s author
אלמוני/ם שרפ/ו את ספריו של חיים ולדר סמוך למצבתו pic.twitter.com/Y1f5FpafNy— Real News IL (@RealNewsIL) January 25, 2022
Walder was 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) selling over two million copies of his books in ultra-Orthodox communities across Israel and the Diaspora.
Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who had been presiding over a beit din (rabbinical court) regarding the alleged sexual abuse suffered by victims at the hands of Walder, released a statement following the news of Walder's death.
“It is too bad he chose this path. We had offered him the option to fix what he had broken, to apologize to his victims, to change his ways, to ensure that no more women would be harmed. We send strength to the many victims in these difficult times. Their lives precede his life.”
Shira Silkoff contributed to this report.