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February 27, 2013

Half Of The Charges Against Rabbi Motti Elon Dropped After Alleged Victim Pressured

Rabbi Mordechai ElonThey pressured him. They threatened him. And they intimidated him. And as police and prosecutors stood by and did nothing to protect their witness, in mid-trial he refused to testify, causing prosecutors to drop half of the charges against one of the most prominent Zionist Orthodox rabbis ever charged with sexual abuse in Israel, Rabbi Motti Elon.

Rabbi Mordechai Elon
Rabbi Motti Elon

Originally published at 9:08 pm CST 2-26-2013

Half Of The Charges Against Rabbi Motti Elon Dropped After Alleged Victim Pressured
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

They pressured him. They threatened him. And they intimidated him. And as police and prosecutors stood by and did nothing to protect their witness, in mid-trial he refused to testify, causing prosecutors to drop half of the charges against one of the most prominent Zionist Orthodox rabbis ever charged with sexual abuse in Israel, Rabbi Motti Elon.

Elon – the son of late High Court justice Menachem Elon, and brother of former MK Benjamin (Benny) Elon and of Beersheba District Court judge Yosef Elon – was the rosh yeshiva (head) of Horev Yeshiva high school from 1987 until 2002, and the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Hakotel from 2002 to 2006 when he was forced to resign and leave Jerusalem after Takana, a modern Orthodox ethics committee headed by Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, heard evidence of Elon’s alleged seduction of a male student.

Elon allegedly promised to cease teaching and promised to leave public life, but within months he was reportedly teaching young men again.

When Takana confronted him, Elon refused to keep his agreement and claimed Takana had no authority over him. That started the process that eventually led to Elon’s arrest.

Elon was finally indicted in November 2011 on two counts of indecent and sexual assault allegedly committed against two 17-year-old male students between 2003 and 2005.

Elon’s supporters, who have been mercilessly pressuring the two alleged Elon victims who came forward, scored a partial success today when, the Times of Israel reported, one of those victims refused to take the witness stand. He reportedly told prosecutors that he backed down because of intense pressure from friends and family – some of whom are supporters of Elon – and because he was afraid to face his former teacher in court.

“Toward the end of the prosecution’s case against Rabbi Elon, and after an extended period during which we attempted to bring the complainant to court so he could testify, it became clear to the prosecution that the complainant had made up his mind not to testify. It was decided not to force him to appear [in court], and, as a result, the prosecution had to retract a second charge being pressed,” prosecutors reportedly said in a statement issued to Channel 10 News.

Elon allegedly kissed, hugged and massaged the alleged victims. One boy alleges that on two different occasions Elon hugged him, had him lie down on his stomach, and then kissed and caressed him. The other boy alleges that Elon put his foot between the victim’s legs and massaged the boy’s genitals with it. Elon also allegedly hugged and kissed the boy, including kissing his face.

Both boys claim that Elon recited the birkat kohanim (the priestly blessing) after he finished abusing them.

Elon denies the abuse took place. He claims not to remember the first victim at all, and says that while he may have kissed and hugged students, it was only done to console or encourage them and was never sexual.

Comments

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I used to look up to haredi rabbis and have respect for them. No more. It's not only the terrible abuse some rabbis inflict on children, but the way haredi rabbis vilify, threaten and encourage the haredi community to shun victims if they report the abuse to the police. These rabbis do NOTHING to change whatever it is about the haredi culture that causes the abuse. Zero leadership by the rabbis on this issue in the haredi community!

I have written that a study needs to be undertaken to determine if child abuse is more prevalent in the haredi community than in the non-haredi Jewish community. If the study shows that this is the case, action must be taken to protect these children.

Mafia with peyot. They're no better than that and they're protected by politicians for that very reason. Give 'em what they want and they deliver the votes.

This article is written with so much bias and preconceived judgement I don't understand how it qualifies as news. In the wild case that the rabbi is in fact innocent, a scenario much less juicy and one readers generally find less newsworthy, how do you suppose this would play out? Don't you think that the alleged victim(s) would become increasingly nervous and pressured as they began to realize the veracity of their claims? The textbook spinoff fr any prosecution would be to say that it was from social pressure, fear, etc. Or maybe his claim was bogus. Either way it's conjecture not news. The news is that a case that was shady to begin with and became shadier as it went on has just topped itself off with yet a whole new level of shady.

Runner

Then you should have no problem with Rabbi Alon.
He is identified with religious Zionist. Yeshivah hakotel where he was rosh yeshivah os one of the Hesder Yeshivot.

As to what at this point is a rant. Professional in the field have no reason to believe that sexual abuse is any more prevalent in the Charedei community then anywhere else.

If sex abuse turns out to be more prevalent than in most other communities (NB: I wrote "turns out to be" not "is") the chareidim will scream antisemitism and bloody murder if the state or anyone else tries to intervene. Look what happened with the MBP issue- a known serious health risk. They are hysterically claiming it's halacha Moshe m'Sinai (it's not) and that brit milah is being outlawed (again, not).

must be a posthumous reward to his recently deceased 'saintly' father.

Jake, You write: "Professionals in the field have no reason to believe that sexual abuse is any more prevalent in the Charedei community than anywhere else."

"Anywhere else" is not the right comparison group. The prevalence of child sexual abuse in the haredi community needs to be compare to that of the non-haredi Jewish community. That is the right comparison. I would postulate that the study by a sociologist at a university would find that this is the case.

Aside from the prevalence issue, there is another issue - how the victims and their families are treated. They are told not to go to the police, leaving the accused the opportunity to continue to abuse other children. If the victims and families do go to the police, they are vilified, threatened and shunned. WHAT KIND OF CULTURE WOULD DO THIS???? An aberrant one!
They bring disgrace to themselves, and deserve all of the criticism they get. They are not practicing Jewish values. Shame on the haredo rabbis who support this aspect of their culture. Quite frankly, I don't know how they can sleep at night, knowing the accused can continue to abuse other children.

-

Runner1983
Elon is sure not haredi.
If any bodyneeds a proof the dati-leumis are hardly any better than haredis in this context, u have it here (and in the cases of Lanner, Zahavi etc...).

Thank you, Yosef.

This is what happens when a community allows a sexual predator to roam free with impunity. The law of mesira was not constructed to silence the victim, it was meant to keep the anti-semites from wreaking vengeance on the community. Now it is used to silence the victim and give the perpetrator a free ride.

That being said, the ultra-orthodox community in every city is playing with fire. There will be a sexually based murder of a child by a highly placed community member. This will be the end of the law of mesira, as there will be no way to contain what is coming. We must all remember, that once a perpetrator gets away with it, they are emboldened just like Elon was when confronted by Takana. He believes that no one in the community will rat him out and when they did, the community rallied around him and victimized the victim.

Once this happens, expect fireworks, and worse.

Alter Kocker, the anti-Semites would have a field day......

I think I have had it with orthodoxy of any label or any affiliation. It's all the same.

One of the victims had falsely accused his grandparents of sexually abusing him!

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