Prominent Zionist Rabbi Indicted on Two Counts of Sexual Assault of Minors

Rabbi Mordechai (Moti) Elon, a leader of the religious Zionist movement, indicted for assaulting two 17-year olds, including one of his students; Elon says his actions misunderstood.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

An indictment was served Wednesday against Rabbi Mordechai (Moti) Elon, one of the most prominent rabbis in the religious Zionist movement, for two counts of indecent and sexual assault against two minors, one of whom was his student.

According to the indictment, served to a Jerusalem court, the incidents took place in 2003 and 2005. Rabbi Elon was head of the Hakotel Yeshiva in Jerusalems old city at the time.

Rabbi Moti ElonCredit: Ofer Vaknin

In 2003, Rabbi Elon assaulted B., who joined the Yeshiva as a student in December 2002. B. was seventeen years old at the time of the incident, and according to the indictment, he saw Rabbi Elon as someone to look up to. The incident took place following a death in B.s family.

In 2005, Rabbi Elon assaulted A., also seventeen years old, who was not one of his students. According to the indictment, A. approached the Rabbi for advice after going through an emotional crisis, on the recommendation of a friend.

During hearings at the State Attorneys office, Rabbi Elon has claimed that he did not break the law, and that his actions were misunderstood. He said his actions stemmed from the love of a teacher for a student, and that they were in no way sexual abuse. The State Attorneys office did not accept this version of events.

Police recommended that Rabbi Mordechai (Moti) Elon be indicted on charges of sexual crimes in August 2010. Police suspect Elon of forcibly committing indecent acts on two minors.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and State Prosecutor Moshe Lador closely followed the case while the police were still investigating Elon.

In February 2010, Weinstein instructed the police to examine complaints about Elon that had been made public by Takana, a forum that fights sexual abuse in the Orthodox community.

Suspicions against Elon came to the attention of Takana in 2006. The forum demanded that Elon cease his educational activities, and placed various restrictions on him. With no explanation to his students and followers, Elon, who was popular with students, left his post as head of Yeshivat Hakotel in Jerusalem, and moved with his family to Migdal on the Kinneret.

In 2006, Takana informed then attorney general Menachem Mazuz of the complaints against Elon. Mazuz conveyed the information to the police, but decided not to order an investigation against Elon.

Takana said they decided to go public with the allegations at the time because Elon "did not follow the restrictions imposed on him."

קראו כתבה זו בעברית: הרב מוטי אלון הואשם בביצוע מעשה מגונה בכוח בקטין

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op