In keeping with its habit of minimizing the horrendous sex crimes of Haredi notables, Yeshiva World News ran the headline. BDE: Ex-ZAKA Chairman Yehudah Meshi-Zahav Passes Away.
They did not lie and wrote a lukewarm account but also did not make clear what a horrible man he was. I figured I could fix it with some additions, which are bolded in this post. So Here goes.
The disgraced former head of ZAKA, Yehudah Meshi-Zahav, passed away overnight Tuesday in the Herzog Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he has been hospitalized since he attempted suicide a year ago when his serial rapes of children and adults was exposed in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz and the cops were closing in. He was 62 and for the majority of those years he was a rasha menuval. The Israeli organization ZAKA headed by a pedophile rapist is not to be confused with the wonderful American organization Zaakah, which fights for survivors of sex abuse in the orthodox world.
Prior to being hospitalized after his suicide attempt, serious and multiple accusations of violent sexual assaults and other wrongdoing were made against him after it was announced that he was chosen as a recipient of the Israel Prize. He subsequently forfeited the Israel Prize and stepped down as the head of ZAKA.The niftar left behind a wife and seven children and dozens if not hundreds of victims.
Yemach shemo v’zichro. At the time of this posting we do not know if rabbonim have ruled he is a rasha who should be denied regular kevurah.
Instead of taking the position commonly seen in haredi circles of saying, shah shtil because of his wife and children, we just remind readers that they are not assumed guilty of his sins and should not be penalized, but nor should they be held up as the aveilim of a great man.
If for some reason his death nevertheless compels you to want to give tzedakah, consider Magen for Jewish Communities, an organization that helps survivors of sex abuse recover and helps put abusers away in jail, where Meshi-Zahav belonged but he cheated his way out by his suicide attempt.