Israel - Rabbis Coming Out In Public to Denounce Rabbi Motti Elon as Dangerous, Others Flock to Support Him
Israel - A rabbinical forum dedicated to preventing sexual harassment within the national-religious sector issued an announcement Monday warning the public of prominent national-religious Rabbi Mordechai (Motti) Elon, who allegedly committed “acts in contradiction to the values of sanctity and morals.”
According to Takana, after receiving complaints about Elon’s implicit sexual misconduct, the forum demanded of Elon to end all public activity, step down from any educational and managerial positions and cease conducting one-on-one counseling.
The forum, composed of prominent national-religious rabbis and legal experts, refrained from making the affair pubic till this point in time in order to preserve the dignity of the complainants and the alleged perpetrator, the announcement said.
The rabbi had relocated from Jerusalem to the northern Moshava Migdal some four years ago, citing health reasons as the reason for the unexpected move.
However, the forum recently learned that Elon didn’t uphold all of the terms he committed to, the announcement said, and therefore was forced to air the story in order to “safeguard the public and prevent transgression.”
The announcement shocked the national-religious public. On Monday night, some of Elon’s former students flocked to the rabbis home in the North in a show of support. Elon himself reportedly flatly denied all of the allegations, and explained that one “seriously disturbed” student was behind the charge. “This is a blood libel, but I am happy that the truth is beginning to emerge,” he reportedly said.
Speaking on Army Radio this morning, Elon’s brother, former MK Rabbi Benny Elon, slammed the forum and questioned its self-proclaimed quasi-legal status. If crimes were committed, they would have been investigated, he ascertained.
Also dozens of supporters from around the country, including well-known rabbis and students, have been flowing into the northern town of Migdal in a show of support for Rabbi Elon. They all speak of two earth-shattering issues, “both from the perspective of Rabbi Elon, who is considered among the most important rabbis in Religious Zionism and from the perspective of the well-known rabbis who are members of the forum and signed the document.”
The rabbi entered the house of study on Tuesday and was received with warm welcomes and hugs from his supporters all around.
Rabbi Elon, surrounded by his students, will give an open lesson to the media representatives later today. He will not answer journalists’ questions, but is slated to present his students with his interpretation of the suspicions raised against him by the Takana forum rabbis.
Alongside him are his family members, including Rabbi Benny Elon and Rabbi Emunah Elon.
Among the rabbis who came to show their support was the son of Israel’s chief rabbi. Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu said, “We are like a family that needs to be reconnected. We must not let the rabbi be alone right now. We can come out stronger, or we can be crushed. I felt last night like my flesh was being cut.”
“Rabbi Motty is a rabbi full of love and warmth. Every part of him wants to give to others, and this is why the crisis is so large – from this perspective and from the perspectives of those rabbis. They are well-known rabbis and leaders for all of us,” said Yerucham Shimovitz, who came all the way from Herzliya.
“From my acquaintance with the rabbi, I have no doubt that he did not do the things ascribed to him. I can say as a teacher that it is very easy to smear a teacher with having done things of a sexual nature, in all manner of contact, pats on the back. When a student has a problem, you give a fatherly hug. And this is precisely what Rabbi Elon did,” his student continued.
Rabbi Elon’s childhood friend who came from the Jerusalem area said with eyes red from tears that he did not sleep all night: “I am not a child. I know that life is complex; it is hard and painful. If, Heaven forbid, it is true, I say this is a disease. I very much hope that it is not true, but it is hard for me to ignore the rabbinical figures who signed the document. I am ripped apart inside. Friendship is measured at a time a difficulty, and if it is true, I will remain his friend.”
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