OUTRAGEOUS: Benzion Miller Who Sent Boys To Japan Being Released From Jail After Serving Only 8 Months


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Benzion Miller, the man who sent the three boys on their trip to Japan, is scheduled to be released from jail tomorrow, after serving only eight months in the Matisyahu prison.

The Tel Aviv District Court had sentenced Miller to three years behind bars, for his involvement in the drug smuggling story which landed three Bnei Brak Yeshiva Bochrim to jail in Japan. The families of the three Bochrim had testified against him in his trial.

Miller was arrested in February 2008, and was believed to have been the mastermind in the case, sending innocent bochrim on a mission, planting drugs in their bags without their knowledge. As a result, they were incarcerated in Japan, under extremely harsh conditions.

According to a report on Bichadrei, the parole board approved the early-release decision based on his good behavior in jail, and his previous time served while under house arrest prior to his sentencing.

When asked what Miller plans on doing after his releases, his attorney said “my client will go to another city, and start a new life”.

Meanwhile, the families are the two boys still languishing in Japan, are furious and outraged, and vowing that this travesty will not go unnoticed and quietly.


The tzibur is requested to continue being Mispallel for Yoel Zev ben Mirel Reesa Chava and Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

(Dov Gordon – YWN)


  1. As a BT, one thing I have learned late but nonetheless have learned, is that just because someone holds shabbos, has a sheital/shtreimal etc, whatever and eats kosher does not make them frum.

    WHen I see this man’s face in the picture above, I am reminded of that truth.

  2. why is he being released, it is he who should be sent to serve hard labor in Japan and release the boys he tricked into carrying illegal drugs. He is nothing but a drug runner and deserves to rot in jail.

  3. always- my sentiments exactly. i always say that there’s a lot more to being frum than shabbos, kashrush, etc. ppl like this are not frum in my eyes. But we must know that Hashem is the true judge and He knows all and will take of things His way.

    torahtotty – so true!

  4. are we sure this guy is jewish?? what nerve!!! may he be punished very severely from the one above because he doesnt deserve any mercy at all!!!!!

  5. I am not condoning this mans’ behavior, however, does it say anywhere in hilchos loshon hora that if a person commietted an aveira, it is permitted to talk about him for the rest of his life?!
    It was negligence on this mans’ part, however, we have to assume that he deeply regrets what he has done.

  6. iusebrains. last time i checked it says you are aloud to say loshon harah about a rasha! and this person in my books is a rasha!!

    also it says in the torah “tzadik v’ra lo, rash tov lo”
    if i wasnt a jew i wld get someone to take this man out in the most painful way possible. but since we are jewish and murder is assur ill leave it up to hashem im sure he has a special place for rishaim like this man!!

    #1 and #4 the older i get the more aware i become of this very true and sad situation! we have a lot of non religous jews camoflouged as really religous! its very sad!

  7. Halacha states that “ein shliach lidvar aveira” the gemorah in kedushin ‘limaskana’ (final opinion)says that the sholeach (sender) is obligated to pay but ONLY in the world to come and NOT in this world.
    Although these 3 bucherim didn’t exactly know what they were taking, the actual aveira was on their part which is breaking the halacha of “dina dimalchusa dina” (you must follow the countries laws) by accepting s/t for s/o else to take on a plane (and prob lying to authorities by saying its all theirs.
    The usage of drugs is what is asur according to the torah (vinishmartem mi’od li’nafshosechem) not the selling/sending.
    Lastly, this man is known on the street for what he caused…all the embarrassment and whatever else ppl might do to stay disconnected with him, is prob much worse then actually being in jail.

  8. It would be ossur to hand him over to the Japanese, for they will kill him. But my humble view is that he should serve a much harsher sentence in Israel. At least for as long as it takes for these poor bochurim, whom he victimized, to get back on their feet.

    We must punish accordingly, for if not then we may end up being merciful to the guilty and cruel to the innocent and that is exactly what seems to have happened in this case.

  9. He’s still a yid. I disagree with all the above comments. The guy did a bad thing it was irresponsible & wrong but believe me he had no clue that was actually happened could have happened. He was more of a fool than an evil person as most people think.
    L’moshel- if yeshiva bochurim smoke or make a BBQ inside a non-fire proof yeshiva building never thinking about the possibility of burning down the building & taking 3 lives along with it. Irresponsible, stupid, foolish? YES! Evil, not frum? NO!!!

  10. What good is there by him being in jail? NOTHING.

    Jewish law doesn’t give jail sentences. Make a convict PAY in monetary terms, as JEWISH LAW demands.

  11. #2- Your point is correct in general. We all have to learn that our expectations of our fellow yidden can fall short of the ideals of the Torah Hakedosha.

    But I would like to tell you that when I look at this person I do not see a hadras ponim. I do not see the Torah shining on this person’s face. And it reiterates the klal- odom nifal k’fi peulosov. If he was absorbed and steeped in Torah it would show in his maasim. Obviously, by what he has been convicted we see he cannot be anything close to what the neshomo really wants to be.

    If a person is drowning in his yetzer hora, he cannot possibly feel his neshomo calling out to him.

  12. Don’t know of any religious communities in Israel that will accept him. I think for his own saftey he will be better off in prision.

  13. If he is released early it should only be on the condition that he goes to Japan and testifies to his guilt and the innocence of those he tricked. He should be interrogated by the toughest interrogators in Japan to prove that the boys are innocent.

  14. If this “thing” has children of marriageble ages, I feel very bad for them.

    @laytzonay hador omrim: This guy knew what he was doing by engaging these 3 young men. You cannot comapre this to a BBQ that C”V that goes awray causes a tradgy. Why are you exusing such disgusting behavior? If these were your sons you most certainly wouldn’t feel this way.

  15. #17 Are you sure – several commenters here seem to forgive him – see #14. Even among goyim the drug dealers are considered to be among the lowest criminals. No need to defend him. Also, did he come forward to defend the boys and admit it was his fault?

  16. “Make a convict PAY in monetary terms, as JEWISH LAW demands.”

    And precisely what monetary compensation would atone for the punishment the three bocherim are receiving? No, the bocherim aren’t innocent — by their own admission, they thought they were smuggling antiquities, which as asur halachically and a serious crime under secular law all over the world. But drug smuggling carries far more severe punishments. Had they been caught smuggling drugs into Singapore they would already have been executed by now.

    Can Israel turn this guy over to the Japanese authorities?

  17. Charlie (#22),

    Jewish law has rules in effect for that. Prison is not a Jewish punishment for this.

    Furthermore, the bocherim did not think they were smuggling ANYTHING. They thought it was ENTIRELY legal.

  18. Most of you are using the Torah to justify Loshon Hora!

    Doeg Hoadomi has no chelek in Olam Habo due to LH,
    even tohough he was an Odom Godol BatoRah!!!!

    By the way, the real way to help the Japanese Bachurim is to donate money!!!!

    Not speaking against the whole world!!!!!

    Letter From Rebetzen Chaim Kanievsky, mussar!
    : Fwd: Letter from Rebetzin Kanievsky

    Dear women and girls! We need you to help us in prayers!

    The situation in Eretz Yisrael is very difficult. We are suffering terrible losses, many orphans and widows from different diseases. My husband, The Rabbi, was asked what could be the reason for all these tragedies.The Rabbi opened a Gemara and said it’s because of foul language.And how can we correct ourselves? Only by watching what we say.
    I read an article written by Rabbi Segal from Manchester who writes:
    “Never did I see a person who learned 2 Halachot of Shemirat Halashon every day and didn’t see salvation from above, whether in children, in shidduch, good health, parnasa or bringing up the children.He had promised that whoever will learn the Chafetz Hayim, he will be his defender in Heaven.”And we witnessed miracles that happened to people who took upon themselves two Halachot every day and saw Yeshuot.

    While I was reading the article a woman walked in crying and said she has a number of aging daughters that are still not married.I showed her the article and immediately she said she will learn two Halachot of Shemirat Halashon every day.Within three days one daughter got engaged.
    Two months later her second daughter and ba”h this woman saw many Yeshuot.Like her, hundreds of girls who took upon themselves the Shemirat Halashon got married.

    A different story is about a woman who came to us about a year ago with great sorrow saying that she’d been married for 20 years and she didn’t have children.I advised her to learn two Halchot every day and B”H she conceived and now has a month old baby boy.

    And another story:A few weeks ago a woman came to me, broken and crying, and said that her mother is in the hospitalwith a growing tumor.She asked what she could take upon herself to help. Again, I advised that the entire family learn two Halachot of Shemirat Halashon every day. Two days later she returned and asked of me to tell her story and the miracle that happened.She said that the entire family gathered and decided to learn two Halachot daily and two days later they received a phone call from the hospital saying to come and pick up the mother, the tumor is gone and she is in good health.

    I hear many miracles such as these.
    And now, we should all take upon ourselves, bli neder, to learn two Halachot of Shemirat Halashon every day and pray with great kavana. A prayer that comes from the heart through a holy mouth is immediately accepted by Boreh-Olam and prevents many troubles and tragedies and brings Yeshua to the world.In the future, each one of us will be shown how many wonderful doings, how many people we saved.And thanks to you, my dear righteous women and girls, we will have the Zechut to bring Mashiah Tzidkeinu soon in our days.
    Yehi Ratzon that Hashem will fulfill all ofyour wishes for the best,
    B. Kanyevsky

    For Zikui Harabim, Each one who receives this letter should try to make at least 50 copies and spread them for your own success, and you shall be blessed by Hashem, amen.
    Whoever exceeds that amount will be blessed directly from the mouth of Hashem.

  19. How come some people are so quick to say “they knew they were smuggling antiques” or other such unfounded accusations?

    Do you realize these boys are sitting in prison?

    You never spoke to the boys and all you know is from the media reports. Given their sheltered upbringing, I would assume they had NO IDEA they were doing ****anything at all*** illegal by bringing into Japan what they thought were antiques and according to those same reports even offered to show them to the Japanese authorities.

    So how can you accuse them of violating even dina dimalchusa dina?

    These boys are not just “someone else’s children”; please keep to yourself your smart comments about their innocence or otherwise until after they’re home safe and sound bikarov, BE”H.

  20. The boys have NOT admitted to smuggling antiques. Even the Japanese do not claim that. Charliehall, where did you get this information that you keep reposting on every discussion of this topic?

    The easily researched FACTS on the case are that the boys strongest defense is that their behavior clearly indicated that they did not know they were doing anything wrong, and they even passed polygraph tests administered in Japan during which they claimed they had NO IDEA they were doing anything at all illegal. (BTW the Japanese use the most reliable of the 3 methods of questioning with regard to polygraph tests, and while no polygraphs are foolproof, this method is considered extremely reliable.) They were told that they were legally bringing antiques into the country which were hidden so as to prevent theft or damage.

    How can Jewish ppl be so rude and prescribe his release as outrages?!

    POINT 1: According to Jewish law there is no such punishment as jail. We are jews, Arent we? So do you say that you dont care what the Torah’s opinion is and you judge by own feelings? OUTRAGEOUS!

    POINT 2: If by Hashem Teshuva is acceptable, Why shouldnt a Jew accept it? Are you so sure that he dosent regret his acts? OUTRAGEOUS!

    POINT 3: After all sitting in jail one week is far more then enough suffering, so why do you want him to sit longer? Is it just because the other 2 Bucharim are still sitting? so are your decisions based just on feelings? is that a true judgment? OUTRAGEOUS!

    POINT 4: This man is loi aleini mentally ill, do you still not care about that fact? is it your personall nekumah that is guiding your mind? Is that the Jewish way of thinking? OUTRAGEOUS!

  22. I heard that this drug dealer had approached more boys, and wanted to send some of them to countries which carry the death penalty. If so this guy is a murderer, who according to Torah deserves to be killed.
    We still need to refrain from loshon hora, even if he’s a killer.

  23. “Jewish law has rules in effect for that. Prison is not a Jewish punishment for this.”

    Ok, I will buy a house next to your kids yeshiva and let this drug dealer live there and sell drugs to your kids. By your bizarre distorted interpretation of halachah, there is nothing you can do about him.

    “Furthermore, the bocherim did not think they were smuggling ANYTHING.”

    Not true.

    Here is the official site that has been set up to support them:


    “They thought it was ENTIRELY legal.”

    If so, they never learned Bava Kamma 113. Smuggling items past customs is in fact the model issur for the *dina malchutcha dina* halachah.

    And in any case, ignorance does not make you innocent. If you accidentally kill someone, you go to a city of refuge. If you accidently do a melachah on Shabat, you are chayev a korbon. If you accidently take something from someone, you must return it.

    One might also ask what kind of hashkafot our yeshivas are teaching when you have to learn an explict gemara to know that smuggling is wrong!

    ‘How come some people are so quick to say “they knew they were smuggling antiques” or other such unfounded accusations?’

    The official site of support for them, referenced above, specifically says that they knew they were smuggling antiques.

    “You never spoke to the boys and all you know is from the media reports.”

    All I know is from their own supporters. I believe their supporters are telling the truth and that the boys have told the truth to their supporters.

    “So how can you accuse them of violating even dina dimalchusa dina?”

    Because I’ve learned Bava Kamma. Have you?

    “The boys have NOT admitted to smuggling antiques. Even the Japanese do not claim that. Charliehall, where did you get this information that you keep reposting on every discussion of this topic?”

    See the above link. Also see http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=30318.

    Are you saying that their supporters who set up the web site of support for them are liars? And that Malka Heimowitz, the author of the *Jewish Press* article is a liar?

    “I heard that this drug dealer had approached more boys, and wanted to send some of them to countries which carry the death penalty. If so this guy is a murderer, who according to Torah deserves to be killed.
    We still need to refrain from loshon hora, even if he’s a killer.”

    Actually, it may permissible to speak lashan hara about an established sinner, which this rasha certainly is. See for example


  24. Charlie:

    You’d be wise to not show off your am haratzus.

    And the story you linked to says NOTHING about them smuggling. Transporting arts is NOT illegal.

  25. “Transporting arts is NOT illegal.”

    It is when you don’t declare them at customs. That was EXACTLY the discussion in Bava Kamma 113. A quote from the article:

    “The boys were told their assignment was 100% legal and that the antiques they would be delivering did not have to be declared at Japanese customs.”

    Yes, they were lied to, but as Jews we are expected to follow the halachah and are chayev if we commit an inadvertent sin. Furthermore, if someone convinces me to sin, I am the one who is chayev before the beit din, not that someone.

    And you call ME an Am Haaretz?

  26. Charlie, please forgive me for writing this, but I feel I must do so due to the extreme danger the topic at hand relates to.

    I am shocked that you persist in your accusations in this matter of sakanas nefashos on the basis of what seems to be a confused interpretation and application of a gemara.

    I’m curious who your Rebbi was/is, especially in light of your most recent post. And knowing gemaras does not give one permission to mis-apply them.

    I looked at the site you quoted and it confirms that these boys did not think they were violating any laws of any nation, including smuggling, but rather thought everything was 100% fine.

    Your examples of doing an aveira bioshogeig vis a vis beis din and of being convinced by someone else to intentionally sin, is completely irrelevant to the case of these boys who, unlike your examples, acted in perfectly good faith and were subject to the jurisdiction of beis din.

    Were it not for a certain maamar chaza”l, I would find it amazing that a paragon of liberalism (on these boards) can be so cold-hearted (de facto) towards these young men under the guise of (at least) mis-applied halacha.

    While there is really no need to go further other than to again ask you for forgiveness if anything I said wrote was inappropriate, I strongly suggest and advise you to speak to a rebbi or rav before posting further on this matter of pikuach nefesh. This was my point earlier and you seemed to have ignored it, so at the very least please ask someone wiser in Torah than you (and me).