Israeli Man Jailed Due to Debt, Leaving Wife & Four Children Alone


This week an urgent fundraising campaign was launched by a young mother of four in Israel. Her husband reportedly started a yeshiva, which accrued a massive amount of debt over time. He was given a choice: Pay the debt, or go to jail. Shortly before Pesach, the rosh yeshiva was sent to jail. The family has now attracted international attention, as the mother’s desperate plea and photos of the now fatherless children circulate.

Rav Azriel Auerbach has released a statement [below] in public support of the man’s character, as well as the urgency of the family’s need.

The mother’s moving statement was as follows:

“Hello, my name is Liba, and I am living a mother’s worst nightmare.


My husband is currently sitting in jail because of debts that are simply not his fault. It breaks my heart to see a kind, innocent Jewish man sitting behind bars when he has done nothing wrong.
I am home alone with four small children. We spent Pesach without their father.
They cry and ask me, ‘when is daddy coming home?’ My answer is simply, ‘whenever Hashem helps us to pay the debt, kinderlach.’
I have no option in this world other than to beg for the help of strangers. I need my husband, and my children need their father. Can you find it in your heart to help us?
If you can we would be so, so grateful. This is a very painful experience, and we are desperate.
Thank you

Having just finished the holiday, it is difficult for most to imagine spending Pesach in the cramped conditions of an Israeli jail cell. Those close to Liba and her children hope they will receive the help they need to live a normal life once again.




  1. I don’t know the specifics of this case so I am not commenting on it. However, in general, I have long known the system in Israel is an embarrassment. As example, while in the U.S. there things like foodstamps that are by law protected from creditors. in Israel someone could be sent to jail for using welfare payments to buy food instead of using it to for a court-ordered debt payment.

    To quote from a study by the Taub Center in 2013:

    > Another relatively harsh and unusual sanction found in Israeli law is imprisonment. If the collection registrar is convinced that a debtor is able to pay but is evading his creditors, Israeli law allows him to be put in jail for short periods of time … Outside experts who have studied this topic, including Israeli NGOs, find that many debtors deemed evasive are really just impoverished. Many are compelled by the threat of jail to borrow money from relatives or on the black market, while others are unable to raise the money and must spend time in jail.

    There is no need for the creditor to prove that the debtor has the means to pay. It is the debtor (and an impoverished on at that) who must prove the inability to pay.

  2. the Zionists allow Hamas terrorists in Gaza to not pay for the electricity and still give it to them for free, here we have an erliche Yid with a good mishpacha is in jail just like in the middle ages for debt, unbelievable!

  3. Jails in Eretz Yisroel are worse than the prisons in America. I know someone who was in prison in America and then transfered to a prison in E”Y and he told me so.

  4. To state the obvious, every jail is different, and in a place as large as the U.S. that means a lot. In the U.S. jails range from places nicknamed “Club Fed” (a play on a vacation resort named “Club Med”) to such things a chain gangs and places that qualify as the worst abuses of a psychiatric facilities belonging in a horror film.

  5. This lady and her children should obviously be helped. It must be traumatic for her to post pictures of herself and her children on the Internet begging. However there is another side ti this coin. The lady’s husband started a Yeshiva and bought or took services from others. Why should they not be paid for the goods or services they provided? Someone must have contracted with them. If it was the Rosh Yeshiva how can it be said that the debts are not his? If it was others why is he being pursued. The wife’s situation is not good but there is more to this story than meets the eye, even with the haskomas of Rav Ezriel. Maybe YWN would care to do some investigative journalism. Debts need to be paid. It is wrong to suggest otherwise. If the Rosh Yeshiva did not have funds what heter did he have to incur debt?