J.J. Goldberg

Leading Israeli Rabbi Accused of Molestation

By J.J. Goldberg

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Israel’s national-religious/Modern Orthodox community is in an uproar this week following a published report accusing the charismatic, widely respected Rabbi Mordechai “Moti” Elon of sexually molesting teenage boys.

The accusation was made public Monday, February 15, by an organization that seeks to fight sexual abuse by rabbinic authority figures. The organization, Takana, said that it had confronted Elon four years ago and pressured him to withdraw from educational or pastoral work. Israel’s attorney general agreed at the time to let the matter be kept out of the courts and handled privately within the rabbinic community. Takana spokesmen say the accusations were made public this week because the organization learned that Elon had returned to teaching and spiritual counseling, in violation of the agreement.

Takana is a public forum whose members include some top rabbinic leaders of Israeli modern Orthodoxy, including Rabbi Yuval Sherlow and Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein.

Elon is one of Israel’s best-known rabbis, a popular lecturer, writer, former dean of the renowned Yeshivat Ha-Kotel and host of his own weekly television program, often touted as a future chief rabbi. He is as famous for his family lineage as for his own work: His father, Menachem, is a former deputy chief justice of Israel’s supreme court. One brother, Rabbi Benny Alon, is a former Knesset leader of the pro-settler National Union party and a minister in Ariel Sharon’s cabinet. Another brother, Ari Elon, teaches and writes on progressive Jewish religious thought.

Elon has publicly denied any wrongdoing, calling it a “blood libel,” and many of his former students and colleagues have rallied to his support since the charges were made public. However, the Takana organization claims that Elon confessed to the allegations when he was first confronted four years ago.

Takana also reported this week that additional alleged victims have come forward since the affair broke and complained to the Takana organization of past abuse by Elon.

Coincidentally, a group of prominent Israeli Orthodox rabbis published an open letter this week declaring that the biblical ban on homosexual behavior does not justify intolerant treatment of individual gays and urging more open attitudes toward gays within the religious community.



Comments
Lina Zerbarini Thu. Feb 18, 2010

The final paragraph:

Coincidentally, a group of prominent Israeli Orthodox rabbis published an open letter this week declaring that the biblical ban on homosexual behavior does not justify intolerant treatment of individual gays and urging more open attitudes toward gays within the religious community.

does not belong in this article. There is no coincidence. Child sexual abuse is no more related to homosexuality or the acceptance of gay people than it is to heterosexuality or the acceptance of straight people. If Elon had been accused of abusing girls, would you find a letter from the rabbanut about shiduchim or marriage coincidental? I think not. There is no coincidence here, either.

moe Thu. Feb 18, 2010

Orthodox convert and pundit David Klinghoffer defends Rabbi Elon, as he did the financial shenanigans of Jack Abramoff's 'spiritual adviser' Rabbi Daniel Lapin.

janis jivin Thu. Feb 18, 2010

Why are we talking about being more tolerant and open about homosexuality in an article about child abuse? As though being gay has caused this person to commit child abuse. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pedophilia is certainly not more common within the gay community, in fact, it has been found to occur more frequently in heterosexuals. Are we to assume that the rabbi's sexuality was suppressed so he was somehow driven to sexually abuse children? No, this is not the case. Pedophilia is a mental disorder, it is a crime. Being gay is neither.

William Dwek Fri. Feb 19, 2010

When ‘dayanim’ and ‘rabbis’ use the Torah for their own power and commercial profit, this is the behaviour of a swine i.e. a Pig.

No other ‘rabbi’ will ever act against another ‘rabbi’ - even when he knows his colleague is clearly desecrating the Torah. Each rabbi is only worried about losing his own position.

Therefore, the ‘rabbi’ and ‘dayan’ will never effect justice. And he will never truly stand for the Torah or the Honour of Hashem. His pocket will always prevail.

The Torah must never be used for commercial gain and profit. Am Yisrael can only be lead by those who have the necessary love and respect of Hashem and the Torah.

William Dwek Fri. Feb 19, 2010

1. The ‘dayan’ and ‘rabbi’ may use lies. They turn the innocent into the guilty, and the guilty, become the innocent. They will not hesitate to tell lies in the Synagogue.

2. The ‘dayan’ and ‘rabbi’ may steal. They steal and siphon off money for themselves, from the community and individuals.

3. The ‘dayan’ and ‘rabbi’ may shame a Jew in public, even repeatedly. This is one of the most vile acts of murder in Jewish law – and they know this.

4. The ‘dayan’ and ‘rabbi’ will not hesitate to use Lashon Hara - the ‘Evil Tongue’ - to suit his own ends. Slander and gossip. This too, is one of the worst acts of murder in Jewish Law. Their slander is never challenged by the community, because they hold positions of power. And the slander may begin with the Rebbetzin herself.

5. The ‘dayanim’ and ‘rabbis’ worship idols and other gods. Their only god is Money. Especially the ‘Dayanim’ – the ‘Judges’ who sit on a Beit Din. They only care about their high incomes and retirement packages. They have little or no love for the Torah or Hashem.

In the case of Lubavitch/Chabad, all their rabbis are carrying out a form of Avodah Zarah – strange worship. They are using mediation and intercession. This is completely forbidden, and against the Torah. We are only allowed to pray to Hashem, directly ourselves.

6. When the NAME of Hashem has been taken in Vain – repeatedly - by reshaim, the ‘rabbi’ will turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the

CHILLUL HASHEM.

This is the abhorrent behaviour of a Pig.

This is an extremely severe and dangerous situation.

There is NO forgiveness for this evil sin and aveirah.

7. The ‘dayan’ and ‘rabbi’ may also offer large bribes, tell lies and bring False Witnesses – when he in fact has committed the crime. These are heinous acts of the most despicable kind. This is especially vile when the ‘dayan’ is sitting on a ‘Bet Din.’

8. The ‘rabbi’ may commit adultery. And when he gets divorced, he may spread slander about his own ex-wife, blackening her name – when in fact he was at fault.

9. The ‘dayan’ and ‘rabbi’ may also desecrate Shabbat – if it suits him. He will use physical violence to assault another Jew or Jewess at any time. This evil and venomous behaviour is 100% against the Torah.

William Dwek Fri. Feb 19, 2010

The Swine Flu is common in PIGS.

This is a clear indication that it is the Dayanim – ‘Judges’ - and ‘Rabbis’ of today who are the PIGS and swines.

They twist and use the Torah for their own power and commercial benefit.

They are corrupt. And they are interested in only one thing:

MONEY.

Not the Torah.

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