Rabbis Behind Bars: What do We do When our Jewish Leaders Fail Us?

This week, a rabbi from New York was convicted of money laundering. Rabbi Mordchai Fish was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for laundering close to a million dollars in what he thought were illicit funds through a religious charity. We should be flabbergasted that a teacher and preacher of Judaism should stoop so low. But, of course, we’re not shocked at all. In fact, we’ve seen rabbis who’ve done, or have at least been credibly accused of doing, much worse crimes.

In the U.S., rabbis were arrested as part of a major corruption sting surrounding the illegal organ trafficking of a Mr Levy Rosenbaum (himself, not a rabbi). In Australia, a tightly knit Chabad Lubavitch community was rocked by claims of sex abuse by the community’s rabbi, in alleged instances of child abuse at an Orthodox boys school. And in Israel, Rabbi Moti Elon has long been fighting off serious accusations of sexual abuse. While the rabbi, who denies the accusations, has conceded that he might have kissed and hugged two of his students, he rebuffed suggestions that he did so for sexual pleasure, but rather as a way to console and encourage them.

Read More: @ haaretz.com

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