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Israel - Rabbis Coming Out In Public to Denounce Rabbi Motti Elon as Dangerous, Others Flock to Support Him

Published on: February 16, 2010 08:20 AM
By: Ynet /  Jpost
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Dozens of supporters, students, and rabbis from around country flood into northern town of Migdal to show support for Rabbi Mordechai Elon  Photo: Gili EliyahuDozens of supporters, students, and rabbis from around country flood into northern town of Migdal to show support for Rabbi Mordechai Elon Photo: Gili Eliyahu

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.

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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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Read Comments (38)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 16, 2010 at 08:24 AM Anonymous Says:

Wow! People look! They did the right thing! Maybe we can all learn a lesson about how to handle such cases. Our rug has way too many bumps already; let's stop this now!

2

 Feb 16, 2010 at 08:43 AM Anonymous Says:

Can you imagine if this would have happened by chareidim what would Mizrachi scream,& what would all these holier than thou hate chareidim(who are plain mad on judiasim) posters going to say now

3

 Feb 16, 2010 at 09:02 AM formally Says:

well it took them 4 years to figure out that just firing a guy and warning him does not stop such people.

you think they would have learned from the church how not to handle this matters. But they finally got it and that is a major step.

Now,only if the robonum back here can think like that, many abuses could have been prevented. But we all know that is not their major concern.


as far as the brothers comment, if it where true an investigation would have been done, is he for real, does he think people are stupid, we all know the frum do not go to the secular authorities

4

 Feb 16, 2010 at 09:06 AM Anonymous Says:

This is not transparency when he hides behind his talimidim and refuses to answer legitimate questions from the media. When he ran away several years ago to hide from these charges, no one followed him. In this day of open media and internet he will never be able to run fast enough to escape the spotlight until he comes clean and answer all the lingering questions.

5

 Feb 16, 2010 at 09:11 AM Anonymous Says:

I am a chasidishe yingerman I work in a yeshiva in boro park, recently one of my talmidim confessed to me that he had "done it" with the gaba of his shul, I know that gaba guy very well!!

People this is real!! The rannonim have to stop it! These people should be put behind bars!!!

And only the big leaders and rabbonim will be able to do it.

6

 Feb 16, 2010 at 09:13 AM Anonymous Says:

This is 100 percent Sheker! Rav Elon was a Rebbe of mine, and he had nothing but compassion and love for all his Talmidim. He knew when to draw the line and being Misbayesh such a Talmid Chacham is such a big Aveirah. When did it become okay to speak Lashon Hara about Gedolim like Rav Motti.

7

 Feb 16, 2010 at 09:35 AM Anonymous Says:

So The Modern Orthadox Are Not Perfect! What A Surprise

8

 Feb 16, 2010 at 09:45 AM Anonymous Says:

As an American "chutznik", I have no clue who or what this rabbi is, nor do I have any reason to believe or disbelieve the accusations. What is important to keep in mind is that there are many people with rabbinical positions who are fine talmidei chachomim, great at transmitting Torah to their talmidim, and deserve all the accolades we can find. On the other hand, there are a few who are decrepid and embarrassing specimens who give the rest a bad name. Can someone accuse a rebbe of committing such lewd acts? The painful answer is, yes. Such crimes and aveiros do happen. Could this case be one of innocence and completely fabricated charges, also yes. But we American readers, without getting caught up in the frenzy of the situation, must realize that we have a chiyuv to do something substantial to regain the trust and faith in our leaders. Cases of guilt must be prosecuted severely, and the innocent must be similarly exonerated and restored their dignity.

9

 Feb 16, 2010 at 09:46 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

I am a chasidishe yingerman I work in a yeshiva in boro park, recently one of my talmidim confessed to me that he had "done it" with the gaba of his shul, I know that gaba guy very well!!

People this is real!! The rannonim have to stop it! These people should be put behind bars!!!

And only the big leaders and rabbonim will be able to do it.

Who should be put behind bars? Your talmid? Why do you blame one and not the other? It takes two to...

10

 Feb 16, 2010 at 09:58 AM Milhouse Says:

What a sloppy article. Not only is Emunah Elon called a rabbi, which shows that the writer has no idea who she is, but who are these accusers? They are not named, no hint is given as to who they might be, so why should the reader even entertain the possibility that the accusations might have some substance to them?

11

 Feb 16, 2010 at 10:02 AM pityu Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

This is 100 percent Sheker! Rav Elon was a Rebbe of mine, and he had nothing but compassion and love for all his Talmidim. He knew when to draw the line and being Misbayesh such a Talmid Chacham is such a big Aveirah. When did it become okay to speak Lashon Hara about Gedolim like Rav Motti.

youre not the one to judge his innocents or guilt because you dont or cant know a person since youre not g-d so dont write here like a fool

12

 Feb 16, 2010 at 10:05 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

I am a chasidishe yingerman I work in a yeshiva in boro park, recently one of my talmidim confessed to me that he had "done it" with the gaba of his shul, I know that gaba guy very well!!

People this is real!! The rannonim have to stop it! These people should be put behind bars!!!

And only the big leaders and rabbonim will be able to do it.

So what did you do with your newfound information? Post on VIN.

13

 Feb 16, 2010 at 10:09 AM Naive Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

This is 100 percent Sheker! Rav Elon was a Rebbe of mine, and he had nothing but compassion and love for all his Talmidim. He knew when to draw the line and being Misbayesh such a Talmid Chacham is such a big Aveirah. When did it become okay to speak Lashon Hara about Gedolim like Rav Motti.

Just because he was a Rebbi of yours doesnt meen he is perfect. People change over time and were you watching him 24/7 to make sure he wasnt doing anything wrong. Do you think any talmid would ever think that their rebbi did something wrong, Chas V'shalom. I am not saying he is guilty, all i am saying is that just bc Rav Elon was a Rebbi of yours and he had nothing but compassion and love for all his Talmidim does not mean he doesnt make mistakes. He is a person not G-d.

14

 Feb 16, 2010 at 10:20 AM Yankel Pipik Says:

Reply to #9  
Milhouse Says:

Who should be put behind bars? Your talmid? Why do you blame one and not the other? It takes two to...

Because you don't blame a youngster who is not a bar daas. He is a victim of someones predatory act. It takes 2 for a rape as well. Do we jail the victim?

15

 Feb 16, 2010 at 10:27 AM Richard Nixon Says:

Reply to #9  
Milhouse Says:

Who should be put behind bars? Your talmid? Why do you blame one and not the other? It takes two to...

He wrote that he heard it from a talmid, most likely under the age of consent. in which case it does not take two to anything. The adult is the only one responsible.

16

 Feb 16, 2010 at 10:31 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

This is 100 percent Sheker! Rav Elon was a Rebbe of mine, and he had nothing but compassion and love for all his Talmidim. He knew when to draw the line and being Misbayesh such a Talmid Chacham is such a big Aveirah. When did it become okay to speak Lashon Hara about Gedolim like Rav Motti.

absolutely not! every case of sexual allegation should be made public and taken serious, i dont think the group of rabbanim would have come out with the story had there not been evidence, you can live in denial but it should be made public. no ones doubting hes a kind man and knowledgeable but these are serious accusations

17

 Feb 16, 2010 at 10:38 AM Money and Power "Talks" all others walk Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

I am a chasidishe yingerman I work in a yeshiva in boro park, recently one of my talmidim confessed to me that he had "done it" with the gaba of his shul, I know that gaba guy very well!!

People this is real!! The rannonim have to stop it! These people should be put behind bars!!!

And only the big leaders and rabbonim will be able to do it.

Read the story about the "GABAI" problem on VIN news yesterday and you will understand why they make Isurim against concerts and against Internet and against drinking on purim whale their silence is deafening on the Abuse by supposedly frum looking people in a position of power such as Rav, Gabai Rabaein in the Yeshivos and the like.

18

 Feb 16, 2010 at 10:43 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Milhouse Says:

What a sloppy article. Not only is Emunah Elon called a rabbi, which shows that the writer has no idea who she is, but who are these accusers? They are not named, no hint is given as to who they might be, so why should the reader even entertain the possibility that the accusations might have some substance to them?

Not only is Emunah Elon called a rabbi, which shows that the writer has no idea who she is...
The writer obviously meant "Rebbitzen" Emnuah Elon. As to the identity of the accusers, they are entitled to remain anonymous given the nature of the alleged crimes committed. How dare you question their sincerity and veracity??

19

 Feb 16, 2010 at 11:46 AM Phoneix Says:

#5, what are YOU going to do to stop this. The information you have has now put you in a postition where you need to stick your neck out and do something. You have an achrayus to talk to this child's parents immediately and take action. If even one more innocent human being is molested by this so called "Gabbai" then you are guilty by association. The child who was molested needs medical/emotional attention immediately. how can you sleep at night?

20

 Feb 16, 2010 at 12:54 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #14  
Yankel Pipik Says:

Because you don't blame a youngster who is not a bar daas. He is a victim of someones predatory act. It takes 2 for a rape as well. Do we jail the victim?

If he's a bar mitzvah he's a bar daas. And there was nothing in the story to indicate rape, or even regret.

21

 Feb 16, 2010 at 12:54 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #15  
Richard Nixon Says:

He wrote that he heard it from a talmid, most likely under the age of consent. in which case it does not take two to anything. The adult is the only one responsible.

Where in halacha is there an "age of consent"?

22

 Feb 16, 2010 at 12:58 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #18  
Anonymous Says:

Not only is Emunah Elon called a rabbi, which shows that the writer has no idea who she is...
The writer obviously meant "Rebbitzen" Emnuah Elon. As to the identity of the accusers, they are entitled to remain anonymous given the nature of the alleged crimes committed. How dare you question their sincerity and veracity??

Nobody writes "rabbi" when they mean "rebbetzin". The writer obviously meant "rabbi" because he had no idea who she was. And why shouldn't I question the sincerity or veracity of anonymous accusers? What basis do you have for giving them any credibility in the first place? Without knowing who they are, what business does anyone have paying attention to them or their claims?

23

 Feb 16, 2010 at 01:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Phoneix Says:

#5, what are YOU going to do to stop this. The information you have has now put you in a postition where you need to stick your neck out and do something. You have an achrayus to talk to this child's parents immediately and take action. If even one more innocent human being is molested by this so called "Gabbai" then you are guilty by association. The child who was molested needs medical/emotional attention immediately. how can you sleep at night?

First to the person who said "it takes two" the boy I'm talking about is now 16 and was 14 at the time of offense.

And to you (if you are a mechanech)...

1) I really don't know where to go, I'm a lone person who has B"H gotten a job, I'm not a rabbi (yet) and I have no pull at all...

2) I don't want to let down this bucher and lose his trust by telling his father or any other "knaker".

3) the big rabbis need to put these people behind bars... And only the established rebbe's can do that not some small Rebbe that wants to gain popularity by coming out with this.

24

 Feb 16, 2010 at 01:32 PM Lawrence Doc Says:

these accusations are total sheker. First of all, no one has a clue of what Rav Elon is being accused of. There are no criminal charges, only moral misdeeds (whatever that means). He is not being accused by any court or police, but by a group of very resectable Rabbonim. There is a lot more to the story, I would advise all to hear it out before making wild accusations or destroying a great Tzadik's reputation.

25

 Feb 16, 2010 at 01:46 PM AmYisroelChai Says:

wow, this is very disturbing.. not the article, but the comments. The frum community needs to open their eyes and stop living in a bubble! Open your eyes everyone, do something about the situation instead of covering it up with excuses. I do not know if this rabbi did what he was accused of doing, but if he did he needs to be put in charim and than jail, for life! I cant believe we have come to sucha low level that when our rabbanim sexually molest our children we make up every excuse in the book why that cannot be true and name that child "confused" or "messed up" COMMON people take action and open your eyes!

26

 Feb 16, 2010 at 01:59 PM PHONEIX Says:

I beg of you, #23 to be strong. Please speak to this boy and ask him how you can help him. I am not a professional but I think what I would do in this case is ask the boy if he needs help and if he would like to talk to someone privately. Then maybe call ohel if he agrees? are there any porfessionals who can advise this young rebbe as to what to do to help this child? although he is 16, he is still suffering of that I am sure. No. 23, you are ready to point the finger at Rabbanim. What about you? I point my shaking finger at you and I yell at the top of my lungs " are you an Ish?" are you a man who is going to take responsibilty for a crime that happened right under your nose? these pedophiles don't stop until caught. Where is that gabbai right now? is he molesting another innocent boy at this very moment in a dark room in the shul?
STAND UP AND BE A MAN! don't be a "maalim Ayin".

27

 Feb 16, 2010 at 03:14 PM kol mevaser Says:

very sad... i know rav elon personally as i attended yeshivat hakotel, this is a disaster and i find it hard to believe true, this will be evident pretty soon... hopefully

28

 Feb 16, 2010 at 05:49 PM Godol HaDor Says:

Although I don't know Rav Motty personally, I did attend some of his shiurim wed nite at yeshurun years ago and learned thru his amazing Tcheles Mordechai. He is a rarely unique person who has been out of contact for a while. I have spoken to people close to him and they describe him as a very special apiritual sweet person. That he is very learned and talented is clear to see and hear.
Here is the issue.
Is it POSSIBLE that this odom godol fell down and did something very wrong? Yes. It is possible. But to make a vague statement in a public forum without much back up and thereby FOREVER ruining this talmid chochoms life is simply inexcusable.
If he did something to warrant this, then by all means call him to task but to be vague? Is wrong.
Let's assume he hugged or kissed a female student chas vsholom, that is morally wrong and below what such a talmid chochom should act, but it is way way different than qa more serious abusive act. Let the public judge.
I would wish that nothing of this sort come out publicly in a one sided way, but if it does we need to be fair to him and his family and the public and call it like it is.

30

 Feb 16, 2010 at 06:09 PM Richard Nixon Says:

Reply to #21  
Milhouse Says:

Where in halacha is there an "age of consent"?

Fifth cheilek of shulchan aruch. It has to do with common decency and common sense.

Nothing of any interest to you.

It is not worth explaining that 'it takes two to ...' has nothing to do with a fourteen year lod and an adult authority figure to someone who doesn't know it on his own would be a waste of time.

31

 Feb 16, 2010 at 06:16 PM Richard Nixon Says:

Reply to #14  
Yankel Pipik Says:

Because you don't blame a youngster who is not a bar daas. He is a victim of someones predatory act. It takes 2 for a rape as well. Do we jail the victim?

As a matter of fact, yes, in Millie's world the woman should be punished for causing the chaya ra'ah to rape her. All frum muslims believe it.

32

 Feb 16, 2010 at 09:45 PM Anonymous Says:

not for a second do i believe Rav Elon is guilty! not everyone has the ability to have their heads on straight, and i do believe that this one student who accused him may be someone with some issues. the fact that Rav Elon has hundreds of students and one person is accusing him... come one!! Taking time out to speak lashon hara does not make any of you better! we daven every day for moshiach but clearly you dont really care because if you did you would stop and realize that noones better because they are chareidi, or modern orthodox, we are all the children of Hashem and by you putting someone else down doesnt make you any better!

33

 Feb 16, 2010 at 11:54 PM leib Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

First to the person who said "it takes two" the boy I'm talking about is now 16 and was 14 at the time of offense.

And to you (if you are a mechanech)...

1) I really don't know where to go, I'm a lone person who has B"H gotten a job, I'm not a rabbi (yet) and I have no pull at all...

2) I don't want to let down this bucher and lose his trust by telling his father or any other "knaker".

3) the big rabbis need to put these people behind bars... And only the established rebbe's can do that not some small Rebbe that wants to gain popularity by coming out with this.

Im not G-d forbid calling you a liar, but............ you sure are irresponsible! Obviously this moshel isnt perfect, but if the same bochur told you he took drugs or committed a felony, you would keep it to yourself! He's a kid, if he doesn't trust you so be it. Do the right thing my friend! And he will definitely be pissed if he reads about it on vin.

34

 Feb 17, 2010 at 01:05 AM Z Says:

I was a student at Yeshivat Hakotel under Rav Elon. I travelled to Poland with Rav Elon as well. Rav Elon is probably one of the most special people on this earth. Rav Elon is the type of guy that is busy 24/7 with everything under the sun- from shiurim, to chinuch, to kiruv, to gov't affairs- but if you have a problem, he'll give you all the time in the world and make you feel like he is your father.

The reason he moved up north and retired from hakotel was because he was getting 2 hrs of sleep a night and it was killing him.

Rav Elon treats each and every one of his talmidim liek a son. I WISH that I had more time to spend with him. He is truly a special rav that no one could ever compare to- just ask anyone who's met him.

This article makes me so sad to even accuse Rav Elon of something so terrible.

I don't know the story behind it, but I do know the man. A man who, after being to poland dozens of times, still has tears streaming down his face as he walks into a forest where Jews were killed. A man who sits and talks to you about your problems. A man who would do anything in the world for another yid.

(Rav Elon runs a national kiruv orginazation called Mibereishit as well)

35

 Feb 17, 2010 at 08:43 AM Yankel erlicha investigator Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

I am a chasidishe yingerman I work in a yeshiva in boro park, recently one of my talmidim confessed to me that he had "done it" with the gaba of his shul, I know that gaba guy very well!!

People this is real!! The rannonim have to stop it! These people should be put behind bars!!!

And only the big leaders and rabbonim will be able to do it.

Well Mr melamed you left this message 9:11 am, well what r u doing by the computer?

36

 Feb 17, 2010 at 04:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

So The Modern Orthadox Are Not Perfect! What A Surprise

Are you defending the potential validity of this information by saying it is simply an imperfection in a long list of imperfections that happen to be characteristic or modern day modern orthodoxy?

37

 Feb 17, 2010 at 09:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #35  
Yankel erlicha investigator Says:

Well Mr melamed you left this message 9:11 am, well what r u doing by the computer?

be dan likaf zichut please maybe he was printing something out for the class he is teaching...

38

 Feb 17, 2010 at 11:44 PM Yerachmiel Lopin, FrumFollies blogger Says:

1. Great personalities and talmidei chachamim fall down at times in one or more areas. Enough of this perfect narishkeit.
2. In a system that covers up for leaders, the first act leads to many more, because they know that in its heart, the frum community does not care that much. If it did it would act.
3. Kol hakavod to the forum for taking on the unpleasant task which they would rather not have of condemning one of their own. This is achrayis.

39

 Jul 08, 2012 at 03:10 PM pjkl5 Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

I am a chasidishe yingerman I work in a yeshiva in boro park, recently one of my talmidim confessed to me that he had "done it" with the gaba of his shul, I know that gaba guy very well!!

People this is real!! The rannonim have to stop it! These people should be put behind bars!!!

And only the big leaders and rabbonim will be able to do it.

Did you report this abuse? That is the first step towards fighting the good fight. If no one reports what they actually know, they too become part of the problem. Much hatzlacha to you.

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