Elior Chen. Will he agree?
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Mother seeks divorce from abusive 'rabbi'

Woman whose children fell victim to harsh abuse asks Jerusalem Rabbinical Court to end her marriage to Elior Chen

The Jerusalem Rabbinical Court discussed Thursday for the first time a divorce claim filed against abusive "rabbi" Elior Chen by the mother of the children he abused, according to an indictment filed against him last year.


A source involved in the matter told Ynet, "We hope he'll agree to give her a divorce without causing any problems. He is a strange man who also calls himself a rabbi and is also married to more than one woman – against today's decided Jewish Law."


Chen married the children's mother not through the Rabbinate and therefore is not recognized by the State as her spouse. A source at the court said the religious judges were forced to base their decisions on the Halacha and would discuss the case with the hopes of getting the woman a divorce.


"This situation is worse than a regular divorce case, because she is listed as a single woman and that could create an obstacle," the source said.


According to the indictment filed against Chen in November, after he was extradited to Israel from Brazil, he took responsibility for educating the woman's children about two years ago, together with additional people, and began "repairing" them in order to help remove "vermin" from their bodies.


The acts were committed by Chen, who headed the group and was its spiritual leader, and by his followers in a systematic manner on all hours of the day. Following the abuse, one of the children suffered irreversible brain damage and is now defined brain dead.


Chen's lawyer, Ariel Atari, accused the Israel Police last month of launching an "anti-Semitic media campaign" in Brazil to bring about Chen's identification and extradition. According to Atari, these acts incurred "serious damage" on the Jewish community hosting the defendant.


"At this stage," claimed the defense lawyer, "the defendant contacted a lawyer with a request that this campaign be ceased, and appeared in federal court together with the said lawyer. As a result, the anti-Semitic media campaign was ceased immediately."


פרסום ראשון: 01.07.10, 13:47
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