" Thou comest to me with a sword and a spear and a shield, but I come to thee in the name of the L-rd of Hosts, the G-d of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast humiliated..." (I Samuel, 17:45-47)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Motti Elon: Human Predator

Rabbi Moti Elon and the Takanah Forum

by Hillel Fendel
(IsraelNN.com) An unprecedented situation occurred Monday night when the Takanah Forum released a statement to the general media accusing Rabbi Moti Elon of immoral behavior and of having violated the terms of the agreement it had consequently made with him.
Takanah Forum is a council formed in 2003 to deal with issues of non-criminal sexual harrassment within the religious-Zionist community in a discreet Halakhic [Jewish legal] manner, following the passage of a Knesset law against such harrassment in 1998. It includes rabbinic personalities such as Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein of Yeshivat Har Etzion, Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira of Yeshivat Ramat Gan, Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of Yeshivat Elon Moreh, and Rabbi Yuval Cherlow of Yeshivat Petach Tivkah, and public personalities and academics Prof. Yedidya Stern, Mr. Benny Lehman, and Malka Pietrokovsky. Rabbanit Yehudit Shilat is director of the forum. "More Israel News"

The Jewish Fist Commentary: I'm not impressed with the Takanah Forum. The Forum (which features several distinguished Rabbonim on it's council) had an Halachic obligation to warn the public about Motti Elon several years ago, when they first confirmed the allegations against him. Instead of dealing with the problem, they gave him a tap on the wrist and "exiled" him to the North, where he went on to abuse other people. The Forum isn't acting courageously, as some would have it. After the decision to bury the scandal blew up in their faces, they had no choice but to come clean with the public and issue a formal warning against him.

They Takanah Forum should be ashamed of themselves for endangering the public. Psychology 101. Sexual abusers continue their abusive behavior. They can't be trusted. They are manipulative. They'll say anything. It's not like they exiled him to Siberia, where he would have no one to molest but the reindeer. They sent him to another part of the country, where apparently he still felt the need to indulge in his monstrous behavior. How could they make such an insane decision? The answer can be found in the Forum's recent written statement:

“We acted out of great awareness of three factors: Primarily to help the victims and prevent future cases of this nature; our obligation towards Rabbi Elon, as towards anyone who is the subject of such complaints; and the important status of Rabbi Elon in both the religious-Zionist public and Israeli society in general, his wide-ranging Torah teaching, and the many acts of kindness and charity that he did during his life"…

How will this make us look?

The Forum's carefully worded spin is a distortion. The clever verbiage paints the false picture of an organization that was concerned about tarring the reputation of an innocent man. This contradicts their assertion that the evidence against Elon was overwhelming. This is what happened. A group that was formed to deal with precisely these kinds of problems, ignored the Halachic imperative to protect other Jews, when they gave Motti Elon a free pass and sent him to the North.

Go North! The insane call of prominent Rabbis and academics who were afraid of warning the public, out of fear that the prestige of the religious-Zionist movement might take a hit. (I suggest that the movement took a greater hit by this foolish and dangerous decision, which also constitutes another Chillul Hashem.) Jewish law defines this guy as a walking "mazik", a lunatic with a rifle roaming the streets. Their concern for the honor of this fiend and "the Hesder movement" in general should have been irrelevant. Their concern for a human predator and the movement he led was a slap in the face to his victims, and a guarantee that there would be more. And there were. Their hands are stained with the "blood" of whatever sins transpired.

Yahadut can survive when a spokesman engages in sin. Truth doesn't change just because a messenger proves unworthy, or even deplorable. What yahadut cannot tolerate is when the colleagues of such a despicable man try to cover-up his sins, to protect him and whatever movement he represents. Ironically, some of these same individuals were the first to engage in histrionic breast-beating in recent years, when certain individuals from within the hesder movement decided to take matters into their own hands (based upon their understanding of Jewish concepts) and engaged in provocative actions. Yigal Amir comes to mind as the most prominent example. The cries of "what have we done wrong?" were a shrill cacophony that wouldn't let up. Perhaps the time has come for these same individuals to step back, introspect, to assess the following:
  • How could such a predator arise from the ranks of the hesder movement and assume such a leadership position?
  • What processes could have exposed this behavior sooner?
  • To what effect might the judgement of members of the Forum on this and other unrelated issues in the past been clouded by an unbridled desire to defend the tenets of mamlachti religious-Zionism and it's institutions?
  • What culpability might they have for allowing this monster to relocate in the midst of an unknowing community, where he continued to engage in his obscene behavior?
Lest anyone think that we have an obligation to give Elon the benefit of the doubt, I propose that an innocent man would never have agreed to pick up and go into exile, unless he was caught in the act. Elon's failure to publicly fight the charges is contrary to the psychology of an innocent man. He has nothing to say because he's guilty. The fact that so many of his deluded students are out in full throng trying to defend this man should not surprise us. People find it hard to abandon their idols. What should speak volumes though is that many (not all, of course) of these supporters are not only denying the charges, but are actually belittling them. This exposes that they have diseased souls to accompany their brain-washed minds.

What really irks me is when other mamlachti priests come out with calls for the Forum to 'turn down the heat on Elon'. These frauds have the nerve to lecture us on the nature of "human frailty" and the nature of repentance (what repentance?), as if Elon's sins were merely between him and G-d. Elon is a predator whose presence on the street constitutes both a physical danger and a danger to the sanctity of the Jewish camp. His past accomplishments are irrelevant. Equally sickening (though not surprising) are the homosexual advocates (queer vultures) who see this scandal as a convenient opportunity to spout their Sodomite talking points.

The chillul Hashem of a prominent "rabbi" engaging in this filth is beyond comprehension. The added chillul Hashem of Rabbis and religious academic scholars making such a foolish decision and endangering people is equally shocking. What we have seen time and time again, is that neither the chareidi nor the "modern-orthodox" world have had the guts to confront the problem of sexual abuse within the religious community. The leaders have repeatedly failed to deal harshly with these predators. There are too many Baruch Lanners and Leib Troppers (may their names and memories be erased) in both camps. The name of G-d is publicly disgraced each time these stinking weeds aren't destroyed, the moment they are identified.

As cognitive beings, we have an obligation to process the information that is being presented to us with the Forum's declaration. Motti Elon used his position to repeatedly exploit vulnerable young men to satisfy his homosexual appetites. He deserves no mercy. I remind the reader that the Takanah (foolishly) granted him the opportunity to leave the public stage. Instead of taking advantage of an undeserved opportunity, and spending the rest of his days trying to repent for his actions, Elon returned to his vomit and lapped it up.

Motti Elon is a human virus. Throw him to the wolves, and let him be eaten.

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