On the cover of yesterday’s newspaper, Yediot Acharonot, is a photo of hammers, knives, guns, turpentine, and heaters all of which – according to the newspaper -were used to torture small children allegedly at the behest of a so-called haredi Rabbi, Elior Chen
According to the article, a four year old is in the hospital with irreversible brain damage from one of Chen’s “hassidim”, David Kugman. Chen and Kugman have fled the country and are now in Canada, along with at least one family of Chen’s “hassidim,” the family of Joseph Fisher. Chen is suspected of leading a cult that believed that torturing children would remove the “devil” from them.The removal of the devil, according to notebooks found in Chen’s apartment filled with his instructions, included force-feeding toddlers drinks of alcohol and turpentine. Making them eat feces.
Forcing them against electric heaters until their skin turned black then pouring alcohol on the wounds. Stuffing their mouths with skullcaps and taping them closed, and then zipping them into suitcases for days. Leaving stones on the Shabbat “blech”all day and then placing the stones on the tender skin of these babies. The following is excerpted from an article in Haaretz on April 8 by Uri Blau, Yair Ettinger, Jonathan Lis and Ofra Edelman:
“Chen may be meeting other members of the sect in Canada, where the family of one of the members lives, according to a friend of Chen’s who is familiar with the group but doesn’t belong to it. The friend said Chen fled with Joseph Fisher, whose name was not mentioned in an indictment filed yesterday against the mother of the children suspected of being abused by Chen’s followers.
The remand of the mother was extended Sunday until April 14. Two of the family’s eight children, aged 4 and 5, were hospitalized in serious condition two weeks ago, after Chen allegedly ordered two of his followers to discipline the children by beating, burning, pushing and shaking them, and tying them up as a way of “correcting” their behavior. The 4-year-old remains in a coma.
Police suspect that Chen’s supporters also doused the children in hot and cold water and broke their bones with hammers and blows. The mother was charged with forcing the children to eat feces, beating them unconscious and locking them up in a suitcase for three days. Jerusalem police also arrested an additional suspect in the case, and have issued a gag order regarding his identity. The Magistrate’s Court extended his remand by five days.
Chen and three of his supporters allegedly began providing the family with “educational lessons” several months ago. They allegedly kicked the father out of his home and began abusing several of the family’s eight children, especially the two youngest. Chen and Fisher left the country legally, and their exit was registered at border control. Afterward, their wives and children went into hiding.
The Fisher apartment has been cleared out and its contents have been placed in storage. Police said they do not know the location of Chen’s and Fisher’s families, but Chen’s friend said they were hoping to go to Canada as well and may have already left the country. Chen and his supporters chose Canada in part, the source said, because “the extradition law is tough” there. “Only in very exceptional cases does Canada extradite,” he said. ”
All families with children involved in this cult are IN IMMINENT DANGER if even a fraction of these allegations turn out to be true. The people involved all dress as haredi Jews and are most likely to live in a haredi neighborhood. Other members of the cult are still in Israel. Please keep your eyes and ears open and report anything that might be helpful to the authorities. The heart weeps and the heart cannot fathom such cruelty.
As former Chief Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau said: “Judaism cannot justify the tears of helpless child…I call on every mother in Israel to recognize that not every person who wraps himself in the title of Rabbi is deserving of thie title… Is the terror of a mother towards her children any different from a terrorist who spills innocent blood?” This is the worst case of child abuse in Israeli history. Even the police are in shock.
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