Leading haredi rabbis and politicians testified as character witnesses during sentencing for convicted haredi child killer…
Among these "holy" men is Rabbi Meir Porush, a Member of Knesset and haredi leaders chosen candidate for Jerusalem mayor.
Here is what Rabbi Porush had to say in Valas' defense:
"The defendant is a good man, I can't say a bad word about him," said Porush, adding that he was "marked for great things" within the ultra-Orthodox community.
Porush told the court that he has been acquainted with Valas and his family for six years, and that Valas was one of the "finest yeshiva boys" he had ever encountered.
Porush's father, former MK Rabbi Menachem Porush, also testified for Valas as did former MK Israel Eichler. Here is what Eichler had to say:
[Eichler] testified he has been helping the family since the young patriarch's arrest, and warned that should [Valas] face prison time, it might "bring about the home's destruction and bring about a destruction of the Second Temple."
You may recall that Rabbi Yaakov Menken and his fellow CrossCurrents bloggers spilled much electronic ink last year "proving" Valas' "innocence."
Like the Porushes and Eichler, Menken and his spinmeisters were acting under the direction of leading haredi rabbis who declared Valas "innocent" before the trial, and whose followers rioted when Valas was initially arrested.
In April 2006, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the preeminent haredi leader, not only declared Valas "innocent" – Elyashiv and two other prominent haredi rabbis issued a "legal ruling" calling the charges against Valas a "blood libel":
…A halakhic ruling issued before the weekend by rabbinical sages of the ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem exonerates a yeshiva student, 19, charged with the killing of his three-months-old baby.
The ruling, issued by rabbis Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Shmuel Auerbach and Chaim Kniyevski was delivered to Jerusalem Police Chief Maj. Gen. Ilan Franco on Friday.
The halakhic ruling threatens to renew the violent demonstrations held ten days ago in the Me'ah Shearim ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. The ruling describes the charge sheet against Vales as "blood libel." …
Valas was initially charged with two counts of abuse and causing serious injury to his son. The state moved to increase the charge to manslaughter after the baby died of his injuries.
Valas told police why he killed his son:
…Vales gave interrogators three reasons for the abuse: the baby's ceaseless crying, anger at his wife for working nights at a clothing store and disgust at his son's congenital muscular torticollis, a deformity of the neck.
Vales detailed the abuse in a written police statement made public on Monday on Channel 10 news. He admitted to bashing the baby against the wall, punching and slapping him, pinching his neck and chest, and biting him on the neck.
Vales said he began abusing the baby about two weeks before the final incident. He denied any abuse of his wife, but admitted that he slapped her occasionally.…
Yitzchok Shmuel Valas was three months old.
[Hat Tip: LR.]