Rabbi Motti Elon in court
Rabbi Motti Elon in court Israel news photo: Flash 90

MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud Beytenu) related Wednesday to the verdict finding Rabbi Mordechai (Moti) Elon guilty of performing an indecent act with a minor and of exploiting his position of authority.

Feiglin began by noting that he does not automatically support whatever a court says. In the case of former President Moshe Katzav, he said, while he supported the decision to send Katzav to jail, “the description of his actions as ‘rape’ seemed to me more like giving in to a feminist media attack than a serious verdict.”

However, he said, in Rabbi Elon’s case, “It seems like this is a serious verdict, free of outside considerations. It would be right to give him a very harsh punishment.”

Rabbi Tzfania Drori, the rabbi of the city of Kiryat Shemona and the local Hesder yeshiva, spoke to Arutz Sheva about the verdict in Rabbi Elon’s case.

The ultimate lesson, he said, is “to understand that there are problems here, and to be careful.”

“There’s no doubt that this is a very painful decision, and needs to be fully studied to be fully understood. But we have learned from this story that the Takana forum’s struggle with this matter was understandable. And we might be able to understand from Rabbi Elon’s defense, which apparently reflects his version of the truth, that he did not see this as being as deeply problematic as the victims saw it to be,” he said.

The Takana forum, a religious-Zionist rabbinical committee for propriety in sexual matters, was criticized by many for not immediately reporting the suspicions against Rabbi Elon when they were first reported. Members of the committee argued in their defense that the initial suspicions were not technically criminal in nature.

The committee did eventually report Rabbi Elon to police after he refused to abide by its restrictions.