Leading Bnei Brak Dayanim Pasken Not To Read Walder’s Books Until ‘Further Clarification’


Two leading Bnei Brak dayanim, HaGaon HaRav Yehudah Silman and HaGaon HaRav Sariel Rosenberg, have paskened not to read Chaim Walder’s books until the allegations against him are properly clarified.

Recently, Walder has been accused of serious allegations of abuse by multiple victims and he was subsequently removed from several public positions, including as a columnist at Yated Ne’eman, a decision approved by HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein. Several days later, Walder announced that he was retiring from all his professional pursuits to concentrate on clearing his name.

Without mentioning Walder’s name, a question was asked to the dayanim:

“An author from the Chareidi community, a so-called Chinuch figure, who writes books for children as well as for adults that are supposed to convey educational messages, but it was recently publicized that he has committed ongoing severe aveiros – is it permissible to continue to read his books?”

The dayanim answered: “If the allegations that were publicized about him are true, it is definitely forbidden to read his books, like our Rabbanim have warned, that one shouldn’t read books that weren’t written by authors that are yiryei Shamayim, and especially if the author is suspected of being an indecent person. And reading his books is like supporting the deeds attributed to him.”

“Of course, all this [is true] if it’s clarified that the allegations are true and he’s a ba’al aveirah and it hasn’t yet been clarified. But because the author didn’t provide a clarification on the matter and the allegations were not brought for clarification to a Din Torah, so although the matter is a safeik, it is fitting not to read his books until the allegations are properly clarified.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Because one should not read something written by someone who is not a yarei shamayim. According to this, one should not be reading things written on this website either

  2. Are they the leading rabbonim? I live in Israel never heard their names. We are not allowed to believe anything that is not certain. We can and should be cautious but we can be doing retzicha if we believe something that turns out to be false. I think I will stop reading Yeshiva world like two ppl who just recently told me that they were.

  3. Why is it that no other ostensibly Frum websites are reporting on this? Is there some bad secret that you’re trying to cover up? Or perhaps some guilt that you’re trying to gloss over? Really, it doesn’t reflect well on you that you’re the only ones reporting this. But of course, l’shem shomayim!

  4. what’s very interesting is how the question was worded ” it was recently publicized that he HAS committed ongoing severe aveiros”
    Nowhere was it mentioned that the accusers are unnamed and that the author is trying to clear his name.
    And yes, he did issue a clarification…He said he’s innocent!

  5. This is not the only place I’ve seen this story reported, and I’ve seen more details on the story too. Unfortunately many charedi publications don’t report stories that are not “tsnius”. Because, they are more tsnius than the Torah. And because tznius is more important than the safety of our children.
    The purpose of reporting should to shield people from potential abuse. Reading his books is not a danger, he gathered stories of other people’s lives, and these still have value, reading them does not put anyone at risk. But if proven guilty, we should not honor him and support him by buying his books. As the story goes, he accessed his alleged victims by gathering these stories.

  6. What’s really interesting is that YWN chose this as the top story. While DeBlasios forced vaccination mandate which is down there, mixed in with all the rest of the news.

  7. Please take this down. Imagine if he’s innocent – and we are dan l’kaf zchus – what is this doing to him? And he has a family to think about. This is not frum behavior. All of a sudden a random name of someone we never heard of and we’re Times of Israel now. Shameful. A reporter from the secular israeli news found this story. It is very possibly fabricated.

  8. @duh. Yes they are leading Rabbanim. They are actually considered to be from the greatest Dayanim in the the world nowadays. Not sure which cave you’re living in.

  9. no just because someone did something wrong now dosnt mean you can ban his perfectly good books from scociety and their is only one aveira thats happing now loshon hara on a a erliecha yid

  10. Because one should not read something written by someone who is not a yarei shamayim? What about most of my children’s books, including school readers etc?

  11. Does the din of safek Tumah apply to men who are accused of aveyra or only on women? By women we know that safek is vaday. No innocence until proven…. what about men?

  12. Don’t get it – since when does a חזקת כשרות become a “ספק”? especially when it’s known that he made enemies as he protected children etc…??

  13. v’kan haben shoeil – unless they’re aware of damning information about this story, that hasn’t been brought to the public yet, the question is what happened to the issur of lashon hora? It’s possible he did what he’s accused of. It’s possible he didn’t. Do all the birurim you’d like. When you have certainty one way or the other, release the findings of your investigation [if it’s halachically acceptable and prudent], and pasken whatever you feel is correct. What in the world is the purpose of airing out your sfeikos? It is a character assassination and it’s impossible to erase, no matter what findings you may have later on. [If in two months the beis din writes a psak and disseminates it throughout the entire frum world that this story is fabricated from head to toe, it won’t make a difference at that point – he’ll at best be a safek rasha. There’s no putting this genie back in the bottle. What’s the rush, if the point is to do what’s right? Or is that not the point?]
    And just for some perspective – this was a hit job, by a left wing newspaper quoting two anonymous women about something that allegedly happened 20 years ago, against someone who they hate viscerally. [Which incidentally that newspaper is making “matamim” about how sick charedi society is and how awful the rabbonim are.]
    Most would probably think this meets the criteria for a “yarchik eiduso” don’t you think? It’s possible it happened based on the story. But not incredibly likely. And even if it was likely, there still are halachos about being dan l’kaf zechus someone with a chezkas kashrus. So, as a simpleton I ask, what in the world happened to all the lessons in Chofetz Chaim that we’ve been learning all these years? Or is it simply that some people never thought he has a chezkas kashrus because of his appearance, success, popularity? Raises some serious questions about how frum society deals with issues vis a vis halacha. [I don’t doubt someone can come up with a shtikkel Torah why here everything we learned in Shmiras Halashon doesn’t apply; the question is what does the RBS”O want us to do in such a situation. Based on everything the Chofetz Chaim writes, (based on Pesukim, Gemara and Rishonim – not his chiddushim) is not to believe it. Simple as that.
    L’meichash miha bayi – absolutely. No girl should go to therapy by him; actually, no girl should ever go to any male therapist if they have any sense. Nor should anyone ever violate the halachos of yichud. Ever.
    Is it even an undisputed fact he violated yichud? That should be rather easy to prove. And beis din should be so good as to remind people of the harchakos the Torah put in place. Other than that, to make public statements about not reading / getting rid of his books is not a balanced on the edge approach of l’meichash – it’s character assassination and there’s no way one can get mechilla on that if they’re wrong.
    Of course people are going to think – daas Torah! how dare you question? And to those “tzadikim” I say review Brachos 19b. (Besides for the inherent possibility for churban hadas if you take that approach to the end, in yiddishkeit we don’t believe in papal infallibility – see first mishna in Horayos. And I’m not saying anyone’s wrong – just asking a simple question. Torah hu v’lilmod ani tzarich. Apparently, there’s a paragraph or chapter the Chofetz Chaim forgot to write. Unless there’s information they’re privy to, that wasn’t shared with the public. Still, without writing as such, it would seem to be a michshol for the tzibbur for kabalas lashon hora improperly.( No kid is going OTD because he read C. Walder’s books in the next few weeks. There’s no tremendous sakana to let children read his books until this is figured out. What is a danger is that our kids are learning that k’chol hagoyim beis yisroel – someone points an anonymous accusatory finger and the accused is toast. Secular newspaper gloating over exposing corruption and shchisus in Charedi society. No child is safe in Bnei brak. Power of social media – getz’s tweet. Cancel culture…… those are sakana. Not kids speak.)

  14. First off, wait to see what the batei din actually pasken about him before destroying anything.
    Second Anyone who’s okay with their kids reading Encyclopdia Brown Harry Potter Percy Jackson etc should have no problem then wih the kids speak books. The dayanim said it would be assur to read just like any book written by non yirei shamayim. So if you’re okay with the appropriate goyish novels this is lichora no worse and maybe even better….

  15. One of the lines Haaretz writes is “There isn’t one boy who wasn’t sexually abused in the Hareidi community…” and some other terrible things about our rabbis and community. So why this we choose to jump at? Because it has a name and it seems to make sense – the books, the kids… now we feel in control. Like we can protect our kids somehow, by killing this guy and his family… Haaretz should not be a source for anything for us!

  16. I love the way ppl are so fluent in what חזקת כשרות is this man has a קול דלא פסיק from several women in our community who have been in contact with Rabbonim I wish him well in clearing his name but if he doesn’t manage to do so we must make it clear that such ppl are ousted from our community

  17. They write “If the allegations that were publicized about him are true, it is definitely forbidden to read his books.” May I ask for the basis of that ruling? Where does it say that it’s forbidden? And if it is just a judgement call so as not to honor the author, how does that amount to it being forbidden by halacha? And if it’s for that sake, then it’s not a chaticha de’issura so if a person who is oblivious to these allegations buys and reads the book, how would that be a problem. And so too as long as it hasn’t been determined to be true. So why is it necessary to publicize this and to remove the books from the shelves of stores?

  18. I find it very funny that all of a sudden everyone is soooo concerned with lashon hara. I wish I was a fly on the wall at their shabbos table I am just curious what those conversations sound like. But when it comes to abuse everyone is so quick to sweep it under the rug like our communities have been doing for ages all in the name of lashon hara. Sure. Listen folks you can’t fool hashem. The reality is according to the people that have experience in this area that any credibility given to the abuser deepens the abuse in the victim even decades later. So all you supporters with all the great lashon hara intentions watch out. The rabbonim know what they’re doing. It’s not like they never heard of lashon hara.

  19. I own a particular likut sefer that is useful to me and I refer to it as needed from time to time. It has later been determined that the author committed some very serious avairos. I still refer to the sefer as needed. Am I not allowed to do that? Could someone tell me what basis the might be to assur me using this sefer?

  20. I personally know one of his accusers. She is a money hungry, otd low life with absolutely no conscience whatsoever. She would stop at nothing, even retzicha! (Which she is doing) to make a buck. I’m curious to know if his other accusers are just as despicable and low as she is.

  21. @ANON21
    Everyone’s chat around the Shabbos table is different to shouting out loud in front of Yidden across the entire world.
    I have never met Chaim Walder (You’ve prob never either). If allegations are true so let justice do it’s thing. If it’s all false then his name will be ruined anyways throughout the world.
    This is unnecessary loshen hora.
    And our One and Only Hashem, His name always is in capital!

  22. ANON21 – you gotta be kidding. You find it funny ppl are concerned? Lashon Hora about at someone’s Shabbos table is assur regardless. But that’s assur as well. If you ever want to discuss the prototype lashon hora, the epitome, as bad as it gets, something that’s it’s not possible to ask mechilla for as it affects generations – that’s this story right here. Destroying a man who up until now was an incredible asset to the frum community the world over, and an ANONYMOUS HIT JOB BY A LEFT WING RAG, and his reputation is dirt and his family buried alive. If such a hit job gets a pass by the community you’re opening up to ripping apart society; one person accuses and the accused is finished. If you believe this is a comparison to someone saying by the Shabbos table that the baal tefilla went a little too fast by mussaf, or the guy next to you has awful taste in clothes, (which is 100% assur, AS WELL,) then I can’t help you. [the same way many people might not be as sensitive to someone embarrassing someone else even though it’s comparable to retzicha, whereas most people would be very sensitive to watching a cold blooded murder. you wouldn’t ask, “funny, everyone is soooooo concerned about retzicha…..]

  23. Israelilamdan – You believe that an anonymous hit job by a “sonei” claiming anonymous sources meets the criteria of a “kala d’lo pasik”? Are you for real? It falls by every standard the Chofetz Chaim writes in Hil. L”H 7:5 see hearah on BM”CH what constitutes a kala d’lo pasik. [For starters he has “sonim” left (especially left), right and center, it was started by one source and people are using that source, they’re causing irreperable harm to him, etc.] A lamdan without basic yedios can say very dangerous things……

  24. Chaim Walder’s alleged abuse was first published in Haaretz. Then on Nov 25 they published an article titled “There isn’t one boy who wasn’t sexually abused” in Jerusalem’s Extreme Haredi Neighborhoods”. That is a lie, an anti-Semitic outright lie, it is a blood libel. Haaretz doesn’t have a problem lying about Chareidim, they relish besmirching us. And so I do not believe any article they write, including what they “uncovered” about Walder (and the subsequent copying of their article on other websites). Nothing less than actual PROOF will convince me that Chaim Walder AND Yehuda Meshi-Zahav abused anyone.

  25. Publishing this article is an aveira in itself, he hasn’t been proven guilty, their is a destruction of his family. I will say no more.

  26. To Philosopher :

    Everything you wrote was fine until you conflated Walder with Meshi-Zahav. Meshi-Zahav publicly stated that whatever he did was consensual; when that failed, he tried to commit suicide and left an incriminating suicide note. Lumping together all Chareidim accused of moral turpitude (the old term) is too simplistic.

  27. ronfronnj, I’m not saying that what you said regarding Meshi-Zahav is not true, I just have not seen a single source saying that Meshi-Zahav stated that what he did was consensual and as far as I know the contents of his suicide note was a statement by him that he is innocent. Can you tell me the source of your info?