Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, the head of the Center for Jewish Ethics at the Tzohar rabbinic organization, expressed his opposition to the possible shortening of the sentence of Ezra Sheinberg, former dean of the Orot Ha'ari yeshiva in the northern city of Tzfat, who will be brought before the Parole Committee on Thursday.
Sheinberg was convicted of sexually abusing eight women and sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison. He is currently serving his sentence in the Maasiyahu Prison.
If the Committee approves, his sentence will be shortened, and he will be released earlier than expected from prison.
Rabbi Cherlow stated that it would be a mistake to release Sheinberg before the completion of his sentence.
"The fundamental idea of shortening imprisonment for good behavior in prison is part of the punishment management system, and encourages prisoners to behave well and see that there is hope and that change is possible, as well as a horizon for fixing themselves. However, the parole board must also consider what is outside the prison walls," Rabbi Cherlow said.
He added that "in the case of sexual offenders - this is a whole world of victims, for whom the early release is a slap in the face which returns them to the abysses from which they had begun to rise, and everything that happened will return in a flood again."
"The good of the victims should always take precedence over the aggressor and the system, especially when it comes to situations where the most basic duty - recognition of the crime, confession and apology - has not been fulfilled. The message must be sharp and firm: Those who sexually assault others must bear the full punishment imposed on them, and they must not be released prematurely," concluded Rabbi Cherlow.