Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu
Rabbi Shmuel EliyahuIsrael National News

Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu reacted to the apparent suicide of haredi children's author Chaim Walder.

"We heard with pain about the suicide of Chaim Walder," said Rabbi Eliyahu. "It is a pity that he chose this path, we suggested to him that he repair what he damaged. That he apologize to the victims. That he change his ways. That no more women be harmed."

According to Rabbi Eliyahu, Walder "could have taught many through repentance. It is a pity that he chose the path of suicide. We are strengthening the many victims at this difficult time, their lives take precedence over his life."

Rabbi Eliyahu, who summoned Walder to appear before a special rabbinical court he established together with Rabbi Reuven Nakar and Rabbi Aharon Yirchi, Walder yesterday how he came to the conclusion that the women who testified against Walder were telling the truth and even noted that Walder committed serious acts, as he defined them.

Rabbi Eliyahu said: "We checked and questioned and asked extensively, witnesses came before us who testified that he committed adultery with married women for many years until he caused them to divorce and be forbidden to their husbands. We have seen a court action on this and have strengthened things with further unequivocal evidence. We also heard recordings in his voice indicating serious acts of sexual crimes he had committed, and we found him guilty beyond any doubt."

"Even though it was clear to him that he was destroying homes. And even though it was clear to him that he was tripping and defiling the house of Israel, Walder continued on his way without stopping for a moment. We received testimonies about 22 women and girls he harmed, and there is no doubt that these cases are only a small part of the serious damage he caused."