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Israel - Jerusalem Rabbinical Court Rocked By Allegations Of Bribery

Published on: July 19, 2015 11:34 AM
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A Jewish ultra orthodox man stands outside the Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem on March 01, 2011. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90 A Jewish ultra orthodox man stands outside the Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem on March 01, 2011. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90
Israel - Two Jerusalem Rabbinical Court officials, identified as Yaakov Sebag and Rabbi Saar Mizrachi, are being investigated for “brokering bribes, fraudulently obtaining benefits, and obstruction of justice” in connection with a divorce proceeding before the court, Times of Israel reports (http://bit.ly/1DoEhTR).

A father, who was desperate to keep custody of his children, said he was approached by Rabbi Mizrachi during his divorce proceeding and was told money could help sway the court’s decision.

In late 2014, the unnamed father, now a state’s witness, went to police after recording his conversations with Sebag wherein he said he would intervene with the presiding judge, Rabbi Eliyahu Abergel, in exchange for a bribe. Sebag can be heard in the recordings discussing the amounts of money he wanted.

The father recounted his initial conversation with Mizrachi, which took place in the court’s hallway. “I was sitting in the court’s hallway,” the father said, “and all of a sudden Rabbi Saar Mizrachi walks up to me. I knew him from before. He saw I was in despair and asked how he could help.”

“I told him about the difficulties I was experiencing with the court and how my children were in danger. I told him I felt the court was biased against me and won’t allow me or my rabbinical advocate to even make our claims properly. He went in to talk to the judges panel’s secretary, Yaakov Sebag, and after a while he came back and led me to understand that money would help, and that if I wanted things to start being in my favor, I had no choice but to bribe. Without much of a choice, I gave him a thousand shekels in cash on the spot. I went home devastated. I committed grave acts to get the most basic justice.”

The father continued, “After I gave him a bribe for the first time, a game of ping-pong started,” he says. “I put the money, a decision in my favor is made, suddenly something changes and Rabbi Saar is asking for more money. It continued this way for a time. In total, I gave him close to ten thousand shekels. At this point I didn’t know where the money was going and I didn’t care very much. I was in the midst of a fight for my children. The fight over the property did not bother me as much as the fight for custody over the children.”

Last week, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court extended the remand of Sebag saying it concurred with police that “a reasonable suspicion arises that Sebag received bribes in order to change [rabbinical] court decisions.” Sebag’s attorney, Elimelech Kurzweil, refuted that statement, saying, “There is no basis for the claim that there was even an attempt to influence court proceedings, and in any case, we completely deny the matter.”

According to Mizrachi attorney Shai Weiselberg, his client “was questioned by police and cooperated fully. He claims that he did not pocket any money. Even according to the police, his role in this affair was minor, and therefore the court decided to release him under house arrest.”

The Anti-Fraud Unit of the Jerusalem Police is now investigating the case. No judges have been charged in connection with the case.


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Read Comments (23)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 19, 2015 at 11:47 AM Anonymous Says:

The frum world is riddled with financial crimes. There is a total disconnect between Torah and honestly. It's sickening.

2

 Jul 19, 2015 at 12:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

The frum world is riddled with financial crimes. There is a total disconnect between Torah and honestly. It's sickening.

Is it any wonder why Moshiach has not arrived yet??

3

 Jul 19, 2015 at 12:04 PM InsideOne Says:

This explains why there is so much pressure in the frum world to go to beis din and not to secular courts - so that rabbonim can line their pockets! Feh! Secular courts are the way to go.

4

 Jul 19, 2015 at 01:10 PM Anonymous Says:

War for hate. There is no excuse.

Scary for anyone and a deterrent for the righteous.

Mitzvahs for the enemy.

Never Again.

5

 Jul 19, 2015 at 01:12 PM fat36 Says:

I know one thing every morning I wake up I know today I have to do what I have to do to be a good Jew because I love god and that's the right thing to do.other than that I have 00 respect for anybody today guilty until proven innocent that's the way I see it the whole system is corrupt and dirty i'm not shocked by it but just discussed every time They pull another rat out of The whole

6

 Jul 19, 2015 at 01:14 PM hashomer Says:

From the movie Casablanca, 'I'm shocked, shocked, that there's gambling going on in this establishment!' Poster 1 is so correct, it makes me brech and stay OTD.

7

 Jul 19, 2015 at 01:18 PM savtat Says:

Shiyn zayt men ohss. Nebach.

8

 Jul 19, 2015 at 01:31 PM Thoughtful Says:

I just hope It's not true....

9

 Jul 19, 2015 at 01:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Bribery and corruption at the Jerusalem Rabbinate Court has been ongoing for years. It's nothing new and it will continue.

10

 Jul 19, 2015 at 02:56 PM Stand Up For Your Rights Says:

The problem is everyone has been bullied into not standing up for their rights. Everyone is afraid to speak up lest their kids get thrown out of school, shunned for shidduchim, etc., or worse (like Nochum Rosenberg who got physically attacked with bleach in his eyes for speaking up about pedophilia).

If everyone would be more like the family that spoke up against Lev Bais Yaakov, this would not happen.

And everyone who bullies people to go to Bais Din rather than secular court, take note. This is not the only religious court that is corrupt. The problem is pervasive. So stop bullying people on this issue.

11

 Jul 19, 2015 at 03:23 PM What Frum world? Says:

This is the Zionist Rabbanute, what do you expect of them? Why should they be different than the secular justice system which being uncovered more and more to be a corrupt racket similar to Bolivia.

12

 Jul 19, 2015 at 03:29 PM Hotveggie Says:

They should be removed from the beis din , and have their payos and beard cut off. They aren't religious, and they shouldn't go around pretending that they are. People like them are the reason why so many secular Jews hate the chareidim.

13

 Jul 19, 2015 at 06:31 PM hashomer Says:

The charedi world is ready for some serious reform, some broom-sweep cleaning. Oh, it happened already. It's called AMERICA.

14

 Jul 19, 2015 at 05:33 PM Pops Says:

The last time I looked, the Torah prohibited accepting (and giving) bribes.

15

 Jul 19, 2015 at 05:40 PM Anonymous Says:

The rabbinate Beit Din should be named for what it is -Beit Makom HaResha. It's always been known to be on the take -from the the administrative office to the false judges. The bribery is high enough in that corrupt circle for the rabbinate to pay further bribes for the investigation to be called off.

16

 Jul 19, 2015 at 11:43 PM REALIST Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

War for hate. There is no excuse.

Scary for anyone and a deterrent for the righteous.

Mitzvahs for the enemy.

Never Again.

I love your random rants. I would love to discuss your (obviously) troubled childhood.
If anyone has a clue what this poster consistently rambles on about, please let the rest of us know.

17

 Jul 19, 2015 at 11:59 PM lazerx Says:

Since all of the religious world seems to be descending into external appearances and lacks any real desire to cling to G-d, it is only normal to see corruption by the 'rabbis' of today, how much more so from those who are the rabbis' clerks.

When kovod is given to political sharksters like Deri and Porush, to name only a few creeps, then kovod for those who serve HaShem is taken away and we only respect the externality of religion, in this case MONEY!

18

 Jul 20, 2015 at 12:56 AM BarryLS1 Says:

Reply to #11  
What Frum world? Says:

This is the Zionist Rabbanute, what do you expect of them? Why should they be different than the secular justice system which being uncovered more and more to be a corrupt racket similar to Bolivia.

There you go again, blaming it on "The evil Zionists."

These "r"abbonim are Chareidi. Before we criticize anyone else, fix our own problems and stop being an enabler. When we make excuses for bad behavior, we enable that behavior to continue. Make excuses for it, you too are to blame.

19

 Jul 20, 2015 at 09:46 AM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #11  
What Frum world? Says:

This is the Zionist Rabbanute, what do you expect of them? Why should they be different than the secular justice system which being uncovered more and more to be a corrupt racket similar to Bolivia.

Look brains...the same sort of problems surface on New York...you going to blame the Zionists for that? And your comments about civil courts is just plain stupid and ignorant. But...chas v'shalom a Yid turns to those secular courts! Our leadership has constructed for us a perfect system of injustice.

20

 Jul 20, 2015 at 12:21 PM REALIST Says:

Reply to #12  
Hotveggie Says:

They should be removed from the beis din , and have their payos and beard cut off. They aren't religious, and they shouldn't go around pretending that they are. People like them are the reason why so many secular Jews hate the chareidim.

Sorry Veggie. Get ur facts str8. It's not a chareidi Baus Din. It's the Bais Din Horabanut!
But of course for those looking to bash Chareidim, their beards, and peyos, don't confuse them with facts!!

21

 Jul 20, 2015 at 12:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
hashomer Says:

From the movie Casablanca, 'I'm shocked, shocked, that there's gambling going on in this establishment!' Poster 1 is so correct, it makes me brech and stay OTD.

Nothing anyone else does should make u stay OTD. that's an excuse and justification for your own choice to do the wrong thing. Your own relationship with Hashem has nothing (and should have nothing) to do with others and what they do or don't do. Their test is not your test. Two wrongs don't make a right. Hashem is pure good and justice, and don't judge our religion by those who sin.

22

 Jul 20, 2015 at 12:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
lazerx Says:

Since all of the religious world seems to be descending into external appearances and lacks any real desire to cling to G-d, it is only normal to see corruption by the 'rabbis' of today, how much more so from those who are the rabbis' clerks.

When kovod is given to political sharksters like Deri and Porush, to name only a few creeps, then kovod for those who serve HaShem is taken away and we only respect the externality of religion, in this case MONEY!

"ALL OF THE RELIGIOUS world seems to be descending?" What kind of idiot makes a hateful generalization like this against his own people?! Self haters are dangerous not only to themselves but to others as well. Everyone has nisyonos, some prevail, so a fail c'v. Do not judge all religious people by the negative actions of some.

23

 Jul 20, 2015 at 06:35 PM ActualJew Says:

I want to vomit.

24

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