Rabbi Zvi Thau supported wife-abusing student, therapist testifies

Rabbi Thau has been accused by two women of sexual abusing them when they were young.

 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)

Therapist Nachum Pachenik testified against Rabbi Zvi Thau to Israel Police on Sunday Dec. 4, he wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.

Pachenik wrote that he testified to police that Thau had allegedly supported one of his yeshiva students who regularly abused his wife but said that he was not allowed to give any more details for now.

"Because of my close experience with this, I wasn't surprised when the brave Nehama Teena revealed her personal story."

Teena was the first woman to come forward accusing Rabbi Thau of sexually abusing her in a Facebook post she made in the summer. At the time, the story didn't get much media attention. Last month, however, the police opened an investigation after a second woman came forward with a similar accusation.

"Throughout most of the conversation with the detectives, I found myself explaining to them how a man can be both a big Zadik (righteous man) and a sexual predator," wrote Pachenik. "It doesn't sit well, and rightfully so. We want to live in a world that makes sense where evil is separate from good. Turns out life is more complicated than that.

 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. (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. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

"Most of the conversation was spent explaining how a man who is seen as an angel turns out to be such a devil. I hope I helped them."

Nachum Pachenik

Pachenik draws from his own experiences

Pachenik went on to discuss his past trauma with sexual abuse. He explained that his father, who studied together with Thau, was also considered a great righteous rabbi and sexually abused him when he was little. 

"At first, I went through years of shame, guilt and denial," he wrote. "It took me years until I dared to speak out."

When Pachenik did tell his family what he had gone through, he did not get the support he'd hoped for. The people he turned to accused him of lying, told him it was his imagination. They even tried to make him apologize to his father for saying such things about him.

"I envy Teena that she has that level of support from her family. It's amazing to me."

Israel Police has been investigating Thau for a month in which time multiple rabbis have agreed to testify against Thau.