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.”