No Child (of a Rebbe) Left Behind (In Jail)

These days almost all children of rebbes become rebbes. (See Rebbe Inflation and Moral Deflation”). It is now official. There is nothing that can disqualify a son from becoming a rebbe, not even giluy arayos (incestuous intercourse). I am talking about Yaakov Roth, son of the recently deceased Shomrei Emunim Rebbe. Yaakov was convicted of rape and sodomy perpetrated against his underage nieces over a ten year period! His father’s will was read out after the shiva on Saturday night. It divides up the malchus (kingship) among all four sons, assigning Beit Shemesh to Yaacov.

In the Torah, Yaakov, the younger son, got a leg up on Eisav who was tired after hunting in the fields. In the modern version, it is Yaacov who is out in the fields, in jail. He didn’t have to cook a pot of red lentils to get a nice inheritance and  blessings. The rebbe made sure to protect him. He did not want his older sons to get a head start at the rebbe business. So he postponed the respective crownings of the rebbes until after Yaakov gets out of jail early next year.

Now we have seen it all. I emailed a fellow activist against sex abuse who lives in Beit Shemesh.

You may have read about the Shomrei Emunim rebbe’s will which divides up the rebbeship among all four sons including the one finishing up a sentence for raping two of his nieces. The Beit Shemesh shomrei emunim shtender goes to the pedophile son. Sorry to bring unpleasant tidings. The good news is that are a still some months to run on his jail sentence.

He replied sarcastically “Thanks for the glad tidings. He should have a packed minyan over here.”

I wish I could say the rest of the frum world is agitated about this development. But you wouldn’t know it from reading Yeshiva World News (YWN) which manages to mention the son in jail but conveniently omits his crime. YWN also posted a feel-good story about a shiva visit to the jail’s “torah wing” by the Vishnitzer Rebbe. While there he also met with Mosheh Katsav, former President of the State of Israel, who is also in jail for rape. It seems a vershtunker Ziyonist (stinking Zionist) is OK as long as he is orthodox and in jail for rape.

This is mind-boggling. But alas, this is also the new normal. All I can say is that Yaakov’s emunim better hire shomrim for their children.

UPDATE 8/29/13: According to the Israeli, Hebrew-language website, Chadrei Haredim, Yakov Roth is moving to Monsey. I suppose this is good news for Beit Shemesh.

Update 11/20/13: According to the New York Post, US Immigration authorities are holding Yakov Yitzchak Roth without bail, “for allegedly hiding his monstrous sex crime record in order to get a US visa and come to New York.” Good news for the US, bad news for children in Israel. I wonder if he failed at the rebbe business in Beit Shemesh because, … well … er … est past nisht (not nice) to rape children. If so, things are looking up.

On release from jail in March 2013, Kobi Nahshoni, the excellent Israeli chronicler of the Haredi world, reported on the incredulous reaction of some his fellow-prisoners to his Rebbe status.

It turns out he headed for Beitar Illit, rather than Beit Shemesh as originally specified in his will. I suppose he failed there or he would not have headed to Monsey. It would be nice if Israel refused him reentry and he got deported to Damascus, right on the no-man’s-zone between the government and the opposition forces. But if that happened, Arab propagandists could with some justification accuse Israel of toxic waste dumping.

update 5/20/14 – According to Jewish Whistleblower: “My northern sources confirm that Yaakov Roth was deported from Canada back to Israel.”


23 thoughts on “No Child (of a Rebbe) Left Behind (In Jail)

  1. This is totally outrageous, a new all time low. But will this awful man get a following and retain a following ? If not, the entire incident could be chalked to an elderly father’s misguided chesbonos. But if he does keep the RBS chasidim, what are these followers thinking? I think I would be inclined to explain this by their having below average IQ, a point that has not been explored. Maybe some combo of inbreeding, very restriced environment, very large families and serious poverty resulted in such understimulation of these people when young, they grew up dumb.Any thoughts?

  2. These people will actually give kovod to this proven chaya ruah? The Torah calls what he did “an abomination” and his Kehila will honor him, and even consider him their Rav and ask sheilos of him? They should all be spat on!!

  3. He is the future HaErev RAV Rebbbe, that had “giluiy…” in his youth. He has many followers in Nachlaot, Schwein Lake, Oberland, Weberland, CocoaLand, Green Land, Bremen Haffen, Never Never Land and all, waiting in the wings.

  4. but if it was the niece, it’s no giluy arayos, is it?

    So they could just reintroduce “true torah values” and make their children marry before they come of age…

  5. I vaguely remember seeing a comment somewhere not so long ago where a woman speaks about being molested within her family, a rebbe’s family, and her family living in bnei brak, honoring the molestor and shutting up the victims, but I just can’t remember where it was…. It might have been one of those nieces.

    A reader of “failed messiah” raises the question why the son-in-law Yitzhak Aharon Kroff in boston is not mentionned in the eulogy (e.g. in Yated)…

    • Not only wasn’t he mentioned, his wife was explicitly cut out of the will. I don’t know but I have heard 2 explanations.
      1. She wears a sheitel while Shomrei Emunim dont wear sheitlech
      2. She married without her father’s permission ahead of her older sister

      Given the sick dynamics of her family, it may be to her credit that her father was angry at her. She may have had the courage to fight the abuse and denial inside her family.

      • She is the second wife of this Rabbi in Boston, who married her not so long ago, when he was over 40. “old timer” said in a comment on “daat torah” that the victim lives now near boston. So it could be that this daughter is the mother of the victims. I suppose she was divorced and this is her second marriage. so it could be that she was shunned because she helped the victim(s), her daughter(s)

        This same commentator “old timer” said the mother of the victims was a daughter of the Rebbe. She divorced, and moved back to his house. This seems to contradict the statement in the judgement where it says that the children were taken away from their parents and placed with foster families, among others their grandfather.

  6. you are missing the fact that he denies the incident ever happened. he refused to admit it even to the point of it meaning he would not get out of jail early. he claims he was framed. the fact that it was proven in court and convicted just makes him and his hassidim more resolute in their belief that the system is anti-haredi and out to get them.
    To the rest of us it looks ridiculous that anyone would follow such a person, but his hassidim truly believe he did nothing wrong.

  7. He claims he is innocent. Maybe. However, any person who had such rumors said about him is not “clean of stains.” This stain is enough to disqualify him from being a Rebbe.

    • I hope you are merely making a rhetorical point when you say he may be innocent. Or perhaps you are making a theoretical point. I am guessing or hoping that you do not think Israeli courts are so defective that he could be falsely convicted on such serious charges on the basis of two witnesses. It is especially unlikely that they made a mistake since I am sure he got the best lawyers money could buy and the court knew that if it mishandled the case the whole chasidish world and its political allies would go after them.

      I am guessing you are asking his supporters to at least discard him because of kolo dilo pasuk, (a widespread voiced accusation that will not stop).

      Unfortunately, inside the haredi world there are different rules for judging things. The cardinal rule is the outside world’s judgments are irrelevant because they are ignorant, stupid, or hostile. The corollary is we never help the outside world in prosecuting us. Ergo, any witnesses from inside who know the truth are not really religious and are motivated by hate to lie. The third rule is to lie to insiders about the truth in such cases. If you follow these rules then he is an innocent victim of a bilbul (blood libel) by an evil off the derech defector moser (snitching fink).

      In the US they say the court is either stupid or antisemitic or both. In Israel they say the court is either stupid or infested with the trayfah Zionist hate of torah Judaism or both.

      I can respect aspects of the anti Zionist ideology. But the extreme manifestations are shocking. Sometimes I think this extremism is necessary to invalidate all outside judgments because it is pretty hard to play the antisemitism card in Israel. They have tried it by dressing up with yellow stars and calling the medinah a Nazi state. But even they have concluded that it might play in Peoria but it wont play in Israel.

      Now of course there is the internet. So they have gone to work fighting it the way they fight the state.

      In such a closed ideological system it is easy to end up with a rapist rebbe whose followers actually believe to be a holy man.

      In some ways their inabiity to recognize that he is a rapist is the ultimate indictment of their system. Their system blinds them to the truth.

      • Yerachmiel, this has nothing to do with Zionists or anti-Zionists. His “chassidim”, and I have heard there are numerous such families, believe he is innocent because he says so and because the evidence required by the Torah to convict him is not there. Orthodox Jews who hold by the Torah require people to be judged by the Torah not any other value system, whether it be the Israeli or American legal systems, neither of which are based on Torah.

    • I heard that Shaulson says he is complaining that the mosrim are his family members affected by his abuse. Gee, I cannot understand why his rape victims and their supporters might want to limit his ability to play the field in a country where his reputation is not well known.

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