Rav Auerbach Issues Public Statement On Behalf of Jailed Man


Rav Azriel Auerbach shlit”a has released a statement [below] regarding a jailed man, and his impoverished family.

The incarcerated man 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.

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.

Surely the hascama of such an esteemed Rav will be beneficial.




  1. It is said the incarcerated man started a yeshiva which accrued a massive amount of debt. If that is the case who does he think is going to pay the debts the Yeshiva he started ran up. Don’t the people who gave the Yeshiva services and goods deserve to be paid? Maybe their families lack food because the Rosh Yeshiva didn’t arrange for them to be paid. The wife and children need help but who says you can just run up debts and then play the nebuch card when you don’t have what to pay them with. If you don’t have money. don’t run up debts. Doesn’t matter that it was for a Yeshiva. Do the bochurim know that their learning was at some else’s expense?

  2. Debtors prison has been abolished for decades in civilised countries? It is also invalidated in the United Nations’ 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Is this still a thing in Israel? Can one not declare bankruptcy in Israel?

  3. Strange. Not sure why they made the year on the letter all fuzzy?????
    Why are lakewood R”Y in this picture?
    Reb Elyashiv was niftar a while ago?
    Can the poster please explain???

  4. Also, just noticed that the signature of Rabbi Aurbach was placed into the letter???
    Should be verified!
    I give alot of tzedakka but this should be verified.

  5. #2 The law in Israel was originally even worse, but in the past few years changed to play semantics by sentencing the debtor to jail for disobeying the court order to pay the debt. It is an extension of the kind of laws in other countries that put a person in jail for not paying child support even if the person has no income to pay the child support with.

    Obtaining a legal bankruptcy in Israel, if at all, takes years assuming one survives the bureaucratic ordeal.

  6. #1 Sounds rather melodramatic. One obviously assumes that those who supplied goods and services were adult business people who knew the risks. And just how many yeshivah bochurim are independently wealthy to support themselves – our entire tradition is to make everyone a partner in learning by supporting the yeshivah bochurim.

  7. 1. Strange that the signature is copied and pasted.

    2. More strange is that he quotes his father-in-law R’ Elyashiv zt”l without writing zt”l. More strange is that he quotes him in the present tense, as if he were still alive. Wait, did someone erase a region that had written shlit”a?

    3. He mentions R’ Matisyahu ____ shlit”a. What’s in the blank?

    4. The letter seems to be dated Sivan 5777, which, of course, won’t be around for another two months!

    This seems like one of those games from a kids book: “Find X things that are wrong with this letter”.

  8. I’m not sure what “M” is talking about. Does he see a different letter? The one posted here has none of the inconsistencies he cites. (there is no date, Rav Elyashiv is referred to as ZTVK”L, there is no Rav Mattisyahu mentioned, etc.)

  9. bp27 the letter M and everyone else is talking about is, there were 2 letters up for the last week of this article the one in question was removed which in itself is very fishy so aside from the questions on the letter why was it removed

  10. I also saw the inconsistencies in the letter which was originally posted. I donated to his family because they seem in trouble but something is a bit fishy here!

  11. Who says it’s something fishy? maybe someone initially posted the wrong letter accidentally and then corrected it? There is a Jewish family in need, so let’s just give them whatever we can!