Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Tzfat and a member of the Chief Rabbinate council, denounced children's author Chaim Walder and called him a menace to society.
"Based on an article in the Haaretz newspaper or another newspaper, such a serious conclusion is not drawn," Rabbi Eliyahu told Rabbi Avi Berman on Galei Yisrael. "We did not draw a conclusion solely on the basis of what was written in the newspaper. We received very serious testimonies from the men and women who were harmed."
He said, "We also saw court rulings that referred to Chaim Walder's very terrible involvement in families. Let's put it bluntly - some families broke up because he did forbidden things with the woman and destroyed the family. These are things that came before a court and were clarified. "
"Things are very clear," he said. "It's not based on an article in the Haaretz newspaper. It's based on a lot of testimonies, documents, transcripts, court records. Pictures, recordings. Unequivocal things."
"This person has the outward appearance of a God-fearing and good man and an educator but it is only an external shell," he added. "Inside this person is dangerous to society, really dangerous, woven from the same thread as Scheinberg and Berland. People who do damage."
"That's why I think we should not be close to anything of his," he noted. "Such people should be condemned from society and it is impossible to condemn a man when you study his book. When you read this book it is as if you are saying 'he is legitimate'. He is illegitimate. Instead of admitting to his acts and striving for redemption [doing Teshuva] he denies and lies. "
"These are the ones we must condemn, These are the ones for which it is written 'I will remove the spirit of impurity from the earth'. In that we condemn such people and remove them from their positions of power, they say beware of this person. In this we ourselves share in the redemption that says the spirit of impurity I will transfer from the earth. In this the spirit of impurity is removed, " says Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.
As reported, a report by Haaretz provided evidence of women describing how the writer and educator Chaim Walder sexually exploited them when they were minors. Walder has written about 80 books, received the Prime Minister's Award "Protector for the Child" and advises on a successful radio program.
Walder's lawyers, Miki Hova and Guy Shemer, told Haaretz: "Our client vehemently denies any allegation of misconduct on his part, let alone what is said in the article. These are false allegations based on a blatant lie, amounting to a real blood libel."
According to them, over the years Walder has fought for the benefit of children who have suffered violence and abuse. "As a result, they were joined by elements who set themselves the goal of harming him, and we have evidence of some of the foolish attempts to incriminate our client. This article is a direct continuation of this, which stems from a false complaint that was filed against him many years ago and was shelved when it came."
They added that Walder had undergone a polygraph examination in relation to the allegations made in the article and was found to be telling the truth. "Our client is determined not to allow himself to be harmed in the slightest, and will fight for his good name by all the legal means at his disposal."