Zohar Rabbinical Organization issues call for immediate extradition of Malka Leifer

November 30, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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In a meeting with Dassi Ehrlich, Nicole Meyer and Elly Sapper, three sisters who have accused Malka Leifer of sexual abuse while the three were her students, Rabbi David Stav, Chairman and founder of Tzohar, expressed the organization’s full support for the sisters’ campaign to have Leifer extradited to Australia to stand trial for her alleged crimes.

Rabbi David Stav with Dassi Erlich and her sisters Elly Sapper and Nicole Meyer

Leifer is currently in an Israeli jail but is fighting extradition claiming she is mentally unable to stand trial.  A significant number of religious leaders, mainly from the charedi community in Australia and Israel, have attempted to shame the sisters for their efforts, saying that such issues should not be aired out in the public or adjudicated in secular courts.

Rabbi Stav completely rejected claims by some rabbis that airing the Liefer case was an issue of Chilul Hashem (a public desecration of God’s name).  “I don’t have the words to express my embarrassment for people who would use Torah to defend the actions of people who have acted in such a way,” he said. Comparing sexual abuse to a type of emotional murder, Rabbi Stav said, “Those who prohibit a man or woman to complain to the police are responsible for future cases.  They will not be able to say we didn’t know.  The blood of the future victims is screaming from the earth to say ‘you are responsible’”.

The sisters expressed their warm gratitude for Tzohar’s position saying it was the first time that such a strong message of public support had been heard from any recognized rabbinic leadership.  “Very few Orthodox rabbis have been willing to stand up for us and it’s very important to have your involvement. We hope we will hear the same expressions from others within the rabbinical community.”

Rabbi Stav made it wholly clear that Jewish law requires that such cases be tried in secular courts.  “In today’s day and age, we don’t have religious authorities that deal with criminal issues so they should be brought to the secular authorities – whether in Israel or elsewhere.  The halacha requires us to bring an end to these types of stories and someone who has committed sexual abuse deserves to be tried and punished to the full extent of the law.”

Rabbi Stav called upon the rabbinical colleagues, in Israel, Australia and across the Diaspora, to similarly express their public backing for the brave efforts of the sisters and other victims of sexual abuse.

Dassi Erlich wrote on her Facebook: “Today we sat with Rabbi Stav of Tzohar. It was enlightening to sit down with a Rabbi of his calibre and hear his passionate support for our #bringleiferback campaign.

We put to Rabbi Stav the backlash we have received over the course of our campaign – the idea we are desecrating God’s name or breaking Jewish Law by turning to secular authorities, and he vehemently opposed these ideas. We invite all Rabbis across the world to stand up with Rabbi Stav and support this campaign and all survivors of abuse in speaking up and ensuring justice.”

Malka Leifer faced extradition to face 74 charges of child sexual abuse at the time she served as the principal of the Adass Yisroel girls’ school in Melbourne. She fled in 2008 before the charges were processed.

Comments

2 Responses to “Zohar Rabbinical Organization issues call for immediate extradition of Malka Leifer”
  1. Des says:

    Shame on Adass for supporting such atrocities against young children. Why others have not been charged is beyond comprehension. If it was their own children, would these people in power have reacted differently?

    If Leifa is innocent, let’s put the evidence to the test and allow her to clear her name……..after all she claims to be innocent right.

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    You three ladies and Manny Waks should be nominated for Victorians of the Year.

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