Sources close to Rabbi Yona Metzger, the former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel, said Tuesday that the rabbi is suffering in police custody.
However, Rabbi Metzger remains hopeful that the truth will come to light, they told Arutz Sheva.
“The rabbi is optimistic and conveys optimism to those around him, but you can tell it’s hard for him,” they said. “He’s very quiet. He hopes that justice will be done, and that he will be proven innocent.”
The Metzger family is doing well, they added, “The rabbi’s family is strong. Ten years as chief rabbi means you face a lot of challenges. So you can definitely say that the family is strong and optimistic.”
Rabbi Metzger was arrested Monday in connection with an ongoing investigation into alleged financial crimes. He is accused of having pocketed money that was donated to various causes, and of having interfered with a police investigation.
Metzger’s friends called on the public to wait patiently until the investigation is over. “At this stage, Rabbi Metzger is innocent until proven otherwise,” they insisted.
Rabbi Metzger was previously accused of having received unauthorized benefits, but was proven innocent. Police say they have two witnesses willing to testify against him in the current case.
Rabbi Metzger served as Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi from 2003 until July 2013.