Police Ask to Extend Rabbi's Detention Until Trial

Request to Nazareth court follows even more accusations of abuse against Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg - now from 13 women.

Tova Dvorin ,

Rabbi Sheinberg
Rabbi Sheinberg
Basel Adiwat/Flash90

The Israel Police have filed a prosecutor's declaration to the Nazareth Magistrate's Court against Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg from Tzfat (Safed), former Rosh Yeshiva (dean) of the Orot HaAri Yeshiva (Torah academy) on Friday, after no fewer than 13 women have now filed complaints of sexual abuse.

Police have asked the court to extend Sheinberg's detention until the end of the trial. An indictment against Sheinberg is expected to be filed in the Nazareth District Court next week. 

Sheinberg was arrested while trying to flee Israel at Ben-Gurion Airport earlier this month. One week later, Arutz Sheva exposed several damning details about the case, including the fact that Sheinberg allegedly admitted his offenses to Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu - but he has since then claimed over and over again that the allegations are "nonsense."

Since then, however, more women have publicly spoken about the abuse they suffered, with one providing testimony to the Israeli media under an assumed name, and another publishing her side via an open letter

Damning material evidence has reportedly also been added to the case. 

Meanwhile, Sheinberg's detention has been extended on several occasions. During the most recent extension hearing, he blamed "false confessions" and peer pressure from the victims as thrusting him into legal proceedings over the abuse.