Victim Comes Forward About Abusive Rabbi

S. was abused 13 years ago by the Tzfat-based rabbi; testimony published just as his detention is shortened.

Tova Dvorin ,

Rabbi Sheinberg
Rabbi Sheinberg
Basel Adiwat/Flash90

The Nazareth District Court shortened the detention of Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg, the rabbi from Tzfat (Safed) accused by no fewer than 10 women of sexual abuse, on Friday, moving up his release from July 23 (next Thursday) to July 21 (Tuesday). 

The decision follows an appeal filed by Sheinberg's defense attorney, Ephraim Demari, against the decision Thursday of the Magistrates Court in Kiryat Shmona to extend his detention by eight days. 

Earlier Friday, one victim also came forward about her personal experiences, stating to Walla! News that the way the rabbi "took advantage of us was insane." 

"It was 13 years ago," she recounted. "I was 25 and in a very difficult period, and I was looking for help." 

The woman, S., explained that she was not accustomed to going to rabbis for help; she hadn't before and she has never returned to one since. 

"I got there and talked, and he told me everything would be fine, and then told me I was free to go. So I left." 

Several hours later, however, he called her back, saying he needed to see her "urgently." 

"I thought it was strange, but I went," she said. When she got there, he proceeded to carry out strange rituals on her using "holy water" that included sexual abuse. He was uttering blessings the whole time, and prayers, she said. She then fled the scene. 

S. said her heart was telling her the entire encounter was wrong, but his status as a rabbi made her second-guess herself. 

But, now, she decided to be strong and tell her story. 

"Today I am no longer afraid of him," she said. "I think that these women should understand that he has no more power, he has no power over us, his power is over."

"He is a charlatan, a fraud," she continued. "He recognized our distress and was just using us."