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Rabbi Elon heckled during Torah lesson: 'Admit you sinned'

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:55 pm
by ygalg
Sex offender Rabbi Elon holds first Torah lesson since conviction, but confronted by man who claims was sexually assaulted in past by another esteemed rabbi, beseeches Elon to 'admit he sinned,' says If he wasn't such a great man I wouldn't have bothered'
Maor Buchnik

Rabbi Moti Elon conducted his weekly Torah lesson in the Migdal Yeshiva Wednesday evening, just hours after being convicted for performing indecent sexual acts on a minor.

During the lesson, Rabbi Elon was confronted by Nahum Pechnik, a man attending the lesson, who stood up and yelled: "I want to tell you that you are a great man, but you need to find the courage to say 'I have sinned'. You are a great man, admit that you've sinned."

Pechnik, 40, a resident of Jerusalem, is a married father of four. According to him, in 1993 he himself was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of another famous rabbi which he refused to name.

"I came in the name of all those who were hurt. The rabbi that hurt me is an old man today. At the time I was a soldier and as a result of what happened I dropped out of my elite IDF service track. I couldn't go on; I didn't have the mental strength for it.

"I was subjected to what the court called 'indecent acts,' and I was in trauma like anyone who has been subjected to sexual assault. I hope (Elon) will have enough courage to admit he sinned. If he wasn't such a great man I wouldn't have bothered. I just hope he gets out of his denial, and admit that great men also fall.

"The fact that he is a big rabbi does not mean he cannot harm people,"
he said.

According to him he is currently on vacation with his family and left them in Lake Kinneret to come to the event: "Of course I came because there is press here. I came here to voice my anger, to say that it is inconceivable that a convicted man will claim he is the victim. When I came I knew there is a chance they would pulverize me, but I cannot accept this celebration."

While Pechnik was attempting to confront Elon, the rabbi's disciples began singing loudly in a bid to drown his comments out, and afterwards the lights were shut off and the young man was aggressively chaperoned out of the hall.

In response, Rabbi Elon said: "This is the month of Elul, the month of forgiveness, I forgive him and forget it. I do not know him."

Mission from the Lord

During his lesson, Elon commented on his conviction, telling those present: "What happened (in the courtroom) is a mission that the Lord wants us to take on. If the mission is hard, we must take it on with a smile."

Elon further noted that he happily accepted the court's decision, which he views as a test presented to him by God: "Only if you do not suspect God it doesn't bother you how something will look on screen or camera."

"I want to tell you that when you say a hillel (praise or blessing) it is not just a group of happy (biblical) verses waived together, but the opposite. It is the ability to understand that this is a lesson from God. It is a lesson to wonder if you can praise the bad things that occur along the way in the same way you praise the good, and if you are truly able to add and mend."

Immediately after the conviction, Elon said: "Today is not just the beginning of a (Jewish) month, but the beginning of the month of Elul, this is the month of forgiveness and mercy."

The sexual assault was first exposed by the Takana Forum which is dedicated to the prevention of sexual harassment within the religious community.

Ayelet Vider-Cohen, one of the founders of the Takana forum and the Kolech organization, welcomed the verdict. "This is certainly a triumph, primarily for the victims," she said.

Earlier on Wednesday, before the verdict was handed, the forum said that Rabbi Elon must refrain from all public activity and personal counseling, regardless of the trial's outcome.

http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-4415133,00.html
the blind loyalty for the rabbi as for the prophet of islam, no amount of reality will convince otherwise.

Re: Rabbi Elon heckled during Torah lesson: 'Admit you sinne

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:51 pm
by manfred
Perhaps the report on his court case is also useful here...

http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Rabbi-Elon-convicted-of-indecent-assault-by-force-against-minors-322318

It takes quite some chutzpah to go and give a public lecture on a religious topic after a conviction such as that, pretending that nothing happened. Does that indicate innocence? Not really, it indicates a certain detachment from reality.

I cannot understand why he did not see the problem and decided to keep away from the public eye for a time. The magistrate certainly thought there was little doubt in this case. So, a more reasonable approach would have been to remain silent and away from public appearances until after the appeal court.

If he did what he has been accused of, then the moral thing to do is to do as the protester asked, to admit his faults and and ask for forgiveness.

It would be a mistake to think though that all would be keen to forgive him and that his career could return to normal afterwards. That has rarely happened in cases like that, as the issue around Cardinal O'Brien from Edinburgh illustrates. (He has been sent by the pope to St Bernard's Abbey, Leicester, where he is living in complete isolation, like a hermit, as apparently the whole of Scotland is too small to have room for him.)

There are some exceptions, like Jimmy Swaggart who managed to retrieve some of the damage, but these are not common. It would be interesting to see how the rather conservative Israeli religious establishment deals with this issue, as, unlike in the US and Europe ,they are not as common in Israel that they provoke a yawn.

The sad truth is that few preachers live up to their own teachings. It is also worth to remember that this does not automatically invalidates all they have ever done or said. A thief who says "do not steal" is not convincing, but that does not make him wrong on that point, does it?

Re: Rabbi Elon heckled during Torah lesson: 'Admit you sinne

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:48 pm
by ygalg
manfred wrote:The sad truth is that few preachers live up to their own teachings. It is also worth to remember that this does not automatically invalidates all they have ever done or said. A thief who says "do not steal" is not convincing, but that does not make him wrong on that point, does it?

makes him a hypocrite

Re: Rabbi Elon heckled during Torah lesson: 'Admit you sinne

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:19 pm
by manfred
True... a hypocrite. Fair enough.

But even a hypocrite is not always wrong in everything, is he...

Also, a real hypocrite is the one who tries to hide the things he does. That is why I said he should own up, if he is guilty. We all at times fall below our own standards, we would not be human if we didn't. Pretending otherwise is not fooling a lot of people.

The kind of turmoil that goes on in a man like him, he should make it known to all. Then he can turn this sordid thing into something still worthwhile... a fresh look at sexual repression and abuse of power.

If he likes young boys so much, he should move to Thailand... his looks are all the rage there, and he will have 20-year-olds queuing up for him. Well, he didn't, he opted for the grope in the dark, in secret, using his position of power. I know why he can't admit anything, at least not yet... he is too ashamed to look at himself in the mirror. Look at the picture of him in court. It says more than 1000 words.

THAT is something he should talk about.

Then inevitably the discussion would move to the types and nature of institutions that enable such things.

It is in his power to turn this mess into something good. Not for him necessarily, but for everybody. When he manages to think not of himself for a minute, he will see that, as clear as day.

Let's wait and see what kind of a man he is. In amongst all that there may be something good as well. I hope he will let it out.

Re: Rabbi Elon heckled during Torah lesson: 'Admit you sinne

PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:02 pm
by ygalg
he got convicted and still in denial. this tiger won't change his stripes. what's troubling is the cultish behavior of his disciples. on theological pov a court as described in the bible, this rabbi would've executed. the disciples will have no say.