Parents Allegedly Seriously Abused Their Children For Failing To Daven Or Dress Immodestly


The Jerusalem District Prosecutor on Monday, 8 Iyar, filed an indictment against three defendants, parents and a son, members of the chareidi tzibur. The charges include abuse of minors.

According to the indictment, the parents used physical and verbal violence against their children, beating them, throwing objects, cursing and locking them in their rooms or outside the house for a long time.

According to the indictment, the parents used to beat the children for discipline and punishment in cases where they “dressed immodestly” or did not get up to daven, and also took various punishments to humiliate the children, including locking them outside the house and beating them in the street.

The indictment states that over the years there have been many cases of outbursts of anger towards the children, among other things, that the parents beat their daughter with a hammer for “immodest clothing.”

According to the State Attorney’s Office, the defendants committed physical and mental abuse of the minors for whom they were responsible.

The State Prosecutor’s Office seeks to arrest the defendants until the end of legal proceedings against them.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Oh my how far have people come!! Are these people mentally ill or it’s just leshem Shomayim because such cruelty has to be leshem shomayim. If I remember correctly One of the meforshim say this on penina and chana that chazal say that penina tormented chana leshem shomayim. How did chazal know that? He answers that such cruelty can only be leshem shomayim!!!

  2. The parents did in their way what many of our yeshivos do. They are obsessed with discipline, and have the delusion that punishment is considered chinuch. Shaming is never, ever acceptable. The use of physical and emotional punishments are likewise forms of abuse, not forms of chinuch. I bet there are a bunch of commenters here who would wish to have my head for making these statements. I reject any of the opposition to my position. Why? Because I make these statements having studied for many years the halachos of chinuch, and have covered the growing treasure of seforim on chinuch from the greats of all time. When someone wishes to challenge me, with the broad Torah background about chinuch, I am ready to debate.

    As for these parents, I have zero rachmanus for them. Let them receive whatever punishments are due. I do not have the background to address the fairness of the court system. But the chinuch system, and parents who subscribe to similar forms of torture have no Torah based defense. Please no one start a legal defense fund for these animals.

  3. Serious question. Is there a new norm in certain elements of the frum community that says that in the name of frumkeit anything goes? We can abuse children. We can have hafgonos in the streets and abuse the rabbim. We can do all this without regard as to how other frum and nonfrum regard us. Without regard to what defines the “am hanivchar.” It seems that this is an issue that needs to be adressed and clarified by the gedolim. At this point we certainly don’t seem to be a people who are “kish echad blev echad.”

  4. All commentators have jumped to conclusions. This was an arrest, not a verdict. Wait until trial before concluding they’re guilty. (Not that a verdict necessarily gives you the right to be dan them l’chaf chov, but at least realize that even the arresters are making an accusation, not a conclusion.) (Whereas the names weren’t disclosed in the article, some of the comments are targeted at “extremists.”)

  5. In many cases of abuse, particularly for “discipline,” parents are merely repeating what was done to them in their own childhood. Abuse is a multigenerational tragedy. “My parents did this to me so it must be all right or even necessary.” We must be vigilant to ensure that abuse situations are caught early and remedied. (And it doesn’t always mean jailing the parents and removing the children. Frequently counseling the parents and giving ongoing support will end the abuse.) It needs to be acknowledged that abuse isn’t something that your local rabbi can handle. It needs counselors with specialized knowledge and training.

    And as to how it could go on for so long? What’s new about that? People are afraid to get involved, afraid to violate the halachos of lashon hora, and especially of mesirah. How many people believe it’s assur to report abuse to the authorities? There was a huge debate in the US about reporting suspected sexual abuse to the authorities, until the gedolim here came out and said that it was specifically required. How much more so is this true in Israel, where the courts and the hareidim have been opposed so much in recent years?

  6. Here is what the Rambam (Hil’ Rotze’ach 5:5) says, based on the gemara: וכן האב שהרג את בנו בשגגה גולה על ידו, במה דברים אמורים בשהרגו שלא בשעת לימוד, או שהיה מלמדו אומנות אחרת שאינו צריך לה, אבל אם ייסר את בנו כדי ללמדו תורה או חכמה או אומנות ומת פטור. Even if you don’t like this halahcha, what’s clear is that parents have an important responsibility to raise their children, which might include corporal punishment.

  7. M:

    If you manage to learn just how to use corporal punishment as described by the Rambam, that would be fine. I venture to proclaim that the vast, overwhelming majority of the that this is done is an expression of the rebbe or parent’s anger. There is no halachic support for that whatsoever. And Gedolei Haposkim have described this use of the potch as a complete issur of chovel bachaveiro. I urge you to pick up any of several seforim on chinuch from these gedolim. If you wish me to list them, I can. I refer to those that have sources only in Torah, not secular sources at all.

  8. M
    April 24, 2018 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm
    Here is what the Rambam (Hil’ Rotze’ach 5:5) says, based on the gemara: וכן האב שהרג את בנו בשגגה גולה על ידו, במה דברים אמורים בשהרגו שלא בשעת לימוד, או שהיה מלמדו אומנות אחרת שאינו צריך לה, אבל אם ייסר את בנו כדי ללמדו תורה או חכמה או אומנות ומת פטור. Even if you don’t like this halahcha, what’s clear is that parents have an important responsibility to raise their children, which might include corporal punishment.
    You care to quote the rambam where he discusses how a husband should control his wife on when she leaves the house?

  9. To Takes2-2tango – Excellent point. Here it is: “אבל גנאי הוא לאישה שתהא יוצאה תמיד, פעם בחוץ פעם ברחובות; ויש לבעל למנוע אשתו מזה, ולא יניחה לצאת אלא כמו פעם אחת בחודש או פעמיים בחודש, כפי הצורך: שאין יופי לאישה אלא לישב בזווית ביתה, שכך כתוב “כל כבודה בת מלך, פנימה”.

    To many YWN readers these statements sound extreme, even “anti-Torah”. But of course, the Rambam was not an outlier, even if bizman hazeh most of us behave differently. Even R’ Avigdor Miller zt”l would not have suggested the Rambam’s extremism towards women. But it is out there, and it is unfair for people to write, as did The little I know, “But the chinuch system, and parents who subscribe to similar forms of torture have no Torah based defense.” Thought-provoking, yes, “against the Torah”, hard to say.

  10. M:

    I am not making light of missing davening or tznius. It is the role of our Rabbonim, including those whose guidance we follow, to determine what is the appropriate behavior for women today. כל כבודה בת מלך פנימה is not written because it made for good rhyme. But the Rambam you cite makes no such statement about how to punish those who violate the standard. The statement ולא יניחה לצאת cannot be construed to suggest that we beat them or torture them if they do not listen. That would be an addition to the Rambam who made no reference to consequences. I have 100% faith in my statement that the torture applied as a consequence to these behaviors has no source in Torah. I need a solid proof otherwise. My Torah does not support your contention. It also says דרכיה דרכי נועם, and this is not the slightest compatible with the accusations in this article. Shaming a child because he misbehaved in class is a serious issur. It doesn’t educate, and leaves behind wreckage, with a child who would struggle to associate Torah with anything positive. Again, check the many seforim on chinuch.

  11. TLIK, your response does not address the quoted Rambam in the slightest. The Rambam knocked your comments here out of the water as dead wrong.

  12. First, I never thought I would be compared to Joseph – quite the surprise.

    To The little I know. I believe that your feelings are based on contemporary mores. The gemara in Bava Basra (21a), for example, allows hitting a child, albeit with something light such as a shoe strap. However, the Shulchan Aruch Harav writes this about hitting one’s child: …וכן מותר להכות בניו הקטנים אפילו שלא בשביל חינוך תורה ומצות אלא כדי להדריכם בדרך ארץ, הואיל ומתכוון לטובתם וטובתם מוטלת עליו, שהם ברשותו … אם אין בניו שומעים בקולו מותר להכותם אפי’ לטובת עצמו ולא לטובתם כי יכול הוא לכופם שישמעו בקולו כמצווה עליהם

    I think you have to admit that in different periods, different attitudes developed towards corporal punishment for children and students. It’s fine that today we have one view, but if others espouse a legitimate view that the gemara itself suggests, for example, then it’s hard to say it’s not Torah-dik.

    Since you made some claim about the Rambam, I noticed that he says the following later in the same perek: המדיר את אשתו שלא תלך לבית האבל ולבית המשתה או יתיר נדרו או יוציא וייתן כתובה, שזה כמי שאסרה בבית הסוהר ונעל בפניה. ואם היה טוען מפני בני אדם פרוצים שיש באותו בית האבל או בבית המשתה והוחזקו שם פרוצים שומעין לו. In other words, if he has a legit religious (tznius) reason for forcing his wife to avoid a certain place, he has the power to do so, and b”d will honor that choice. It’s not exactly considering punishment for violating a preferred level of tzniyus, but does suggest that the husband’s position is honored.

  13. > M
    Has it ever occurred to you that it refers to husbands who know what they are doing, who would number about zero in today’s society. So why are you deliberately ignoring what is taught since heder that the generations have dimished (meaning husbands are not up tp par to even dream about it)?

  14. georgeg, no, I did not consider that it refers to husbands “who know what they are doing”. The Rambam, gadol hemechabrim, uses explicit language throughout Mishna Torah. If a certain halacha pertains only to certain husbands he would have said so. But he doesn’t. Likewise, none of the dozens of nosei keilim, from the magid mishne and kesef mishne, down to the ohr sameyach and r’ chaim (much closer to our times), say anything like that. Is this your own original chiddush?

  15. I am not addressing the issue of the wife honoring the husband. I am only addressing consequences. And I stand by my position that using abuse as a consequence is not consistent with Torah values.

    As for chinuch, the issue is not much different, and I am not saying this from a standpoint of today’s mores. I am speaking specifically about one releasing his frustration on a child or talmid who is misbehaving. That is NOT chinuch, and confusing this is not Torah either. If I somehow decide to be matir that, the result of the child learning to associate Torah learning or mitzvos with the negative is a direct affront to HKB”H. We are supposed to be madrich, not punish. Doing things that are nothing more than a parent or rebbe venting their anger on a child, or making a show of force is NOT chinuch. Once again, there is a growing number of seforim on chinuch either authored by gedolim of the present and recent generations or a reliable likut of their directions. I have not developed an approach of my own. I simply echo their words. They have studied the same Rambam as you quote, and have studied a whole lot more. I am only following what they say. The battering of a child because one is angry is NOT chinuch. It is an injustice, and a clear issur.

  16. One should respect the gadolim of each dor as to what is appropriate or inappropriate. The same way standards of tznius have increased –al pi ha-Gedolim shelanu— due to societial changes, so to issues like hitting children to mechanech them. As others have sad—it is obvious from the sources quoted that the only heter to hit a child is as a form of chinuch. IF IT CANNOT SERVE AS CHINUCH, THERE IS NO HETER. This is why Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt”l said that due to the increased chutzpah of our doros, you cannot hit a child—he will just want to hit you back. That is not chinuch! (And btw, IF its true that a parent beat a child with a ‘hammer,’ I seriously doubt that would have been mutar even at the times of the Gemara or Rambam).