web analytics
March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Rabbi Metzger Arrested, Gives Israel Black Eye under Black Hat

“He is innocent until proven guilty” is one expression. “Where there is smoke, there is fire,” is another. Rabbi Metzger has been arrested for pocketing money for charities. That is not holy smoke.
Police arrest former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger on suspicion of money laundering, bribery and obstruction of justice.

Police arrest former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger on suspicion of money laundering, bribery and obstruction of justice.
Photo Credit: Flash 90

Jerusalem police Monday arrested former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger for the second time this year on suspicion of bribery and of pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars was meant for charities.

Rabbi Metzger initially was arrested and then released under house arrest in June, as reported here, on suspicion of charges of bribery, money laundering and pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Monday’s fraud squad arrest charges refers to even larger amounts of money than previously reported, possibly millions of dollars, that he is suspected of using to fatten his wallet by using fictitious invoices.

Besides being faced with corruption charges, the rabbi now also is suspected of trying to convince others not to cooperate with the police and not to testify against him.

After his arrest last June, Rabbi Metzger vehemently denied any wrongdoing and suspended himself from office. Police at the time also arrested two officials of charity funds after an undercover investigation by the fraud squad.

Suspicion of Rabbi Metzger dates back to 2005, when he was questioned, but never charged, with accepting free hotel accommodations.

That is relatively small potatoes but was enough to prompt the attorney general at the time, Menachem Mazuz, to suggest that the suspicions, even if there was not enough evidence for an indictment, made him unsuitable to continue in office.

Since then, Rabbi Metzger ignored Mazuz’s advice, remained chief rabbi and, if the latest charges are true, really went big time.

The Jewish Press’ Harry Maryles wrote here  following the initial arrest of Rabbi Metzger last June, “After so many high profile people have been arrested and convicted of crimes like this in the not so distant past, I have to admit that my confidence in his innocence is a bit tenuous at this point.

“Especially as he is now under strict house arrest after an undercover investigation and  a 10 hour interrogation. I don’t know what it is about so many high profile people who have spent their lives doing good things ending up as criminals. Perhaps the old adage about people who attain a certain level of power is true in far more cases than we would admit: Power corrupts – Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

More than absolute power, it is the desire for power that corrupts. For that matter, it is the mad desire for anything that corrupts, such as a lavish lifestyle for which Rabbi Metzger is known to keep.

Rabbi Metzger was elected to office in 2003 and was not warmly welcomed by the secular and orthodox community, in which he grow up before becoming under the influence of the late Haredi Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv.

Unlike previous chief rabbis, Rabbi Metzger never served as a religious authority although as chief rabbi, one of his duties was to serve as president of the Rabbinical Court.

Israel has enjoyed remarkably learned and charismatic chief rabbis. In the Ashkenazi community, Rabbis Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, Isser Yehuda Unterman , Shlomo Goren, Avraham Shapira and Yisrael Meir Lau served before Rabbi Metzger.

He could not have filled the shoes of any of them even though some of his supported compared him with Rabbi Lau because of his ties with both the national religious and the Haredi Jewish communities in Israel.

However, having been suspected of accepting free hotel accommodations after only two years in office, he made little positive impression on Israelis.

Regardless of whether there will be indictments, and assuming the arrests on not based on pure fantasy, the suspicions blacken Israel in the eyes of the Diaspora and, even worse, in the eyes of all Israelis who already have lost almost trust in established institutions.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

8 Responses to “Rabbi Metzger Arrested, Gives Israel Black Eye under Black Hat”

  1. That’s it? He accepted free hotel accommodations? Leave the man alone and go after the real villains. The Charedi world has more than enough to offer with far worse crimes, this is ridiculous.

  2. -
    B”H, the Jewish People are coming out of their trance.

  3. Jail is where al the lying false religious people belong. their only god is a gold bar.

  4. Jeff Sapire says:

    Everyone living in Israel has paid bribes for a brit, barmitzvah, wedding and funeral. They do not need court proof to know the truth. After 2000 years we are again suffering from corruption in the "temple".

  5. Jeff Sapire says:

    Maybe we should hire Pope Francis as a chief Rabbi….

  6. Eva Feld says:

    Even Rabbis are human and subject to all worldly temptations. Corruption is shocking and shameful to all of us regardless who we are. Rabbis are not living at the foot of God however many think they do. They are humans, usually male, born of women, whom they do not let to participate in worship. They are only teachers who we have elevated beyond the imagination.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Talks between Iran and the P5+1 at Lausanne are likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.
Iran Likely to Force Obama to Back Down on ‘Deadline Threat’
Latest News Stories
Talks between Iran and the P5+1 at Lausanne are likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.

Talks are likely to extend beyond Obama’s self-imposed deadline that he had said he won’t change.

This is the photo of an Israeli Air Force attack plane shown with Fars New's Agency report that the IAF joined Saudi jest to bomb Yemen.

The Iranian regime is hard up for propaganda, but maybe it is prophesying the future.

Border Police officers arrest Arab rioter on Land Day riot at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on Monday.

The Arabs rolled burning tires and three rocks at soldiers at the central Gaza security fence.

The Histadrut national labor union and the Federation of Israeli Employers have agreed to raise the minimum wage to 5,300 shekels ($1,334) by 2017, approximately half the average salary in Israel. The employers and the union previously agreed to a three-stage hike in the minimum wage. The latest agreement adds a fourth stage whole pegging […]

The clowns are back in town while ringmaster Netanyahu tries to tame the beasts.

A Reuters poll shows that America is increasingly polarized, especially about President Obama.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continued to lash out at a possible “bad deal” with Iran Monday and said, “The agreement being formulated in Lausanne sends a message that there is no price for aggression and on the contrary – that Iran’s aggression is to be rewarded.” Netanyahu said in a statement: The moderate and responsible […]

Release of a gag order reveals that the Israeli citizen and a friend traveled to Syria last year.

Lausanne has become the center stage of act that would put the world’s best novelist or Broadway producer to shame.

Inspections of Iranian nuclear sites won’t uncover possible nuclear activity in North Korea, or even China.

Colel Chabad and IFCJ have made sure thousands of Israelis will celebrate Passover with good food this year.

Former Secy of State Hillary Clinton says she wants to see US-Israeli relations on a “constructive footing” and Israel negotiating with the PA.

A rocket launched from Gaza landed in the Sinai, in the Egyptian half of the town of Rafiach (Rafah).

Rami Levi’s operating and net profit suffered from a 12% increase in the costs of selling, marketing, general and administrative expenses.

Matzah baking isn’t all just hard work. Sometimes it can be fun too.

Today on the Hebrew calendar is the 10th of Nisan – the day the People of Israel crossed into their new Land.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Talks between Iran and the P5+1 at Lausanne are likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.

Talks are likely to extend beyond Obama’s self-imposed deadline that he had said he won’t change.

This is the photo of an Israeli Air Force attack plane shown with Fars New's Agency report that the IAF joined Saudi jest to bomb Yemen.

The Iranian regime is hard up for propaganda, but maybe it is prophesying the future.

The Arabs rolled burning tires and three rocks at soldiers at the central Gaza security fence.

The clowns are back in town while ringmaster Netanyahu tries to tame the beasts.

A Reuters poll shows that America is increasingly polarized, especially about President Obama.

Release of a gag order reveals that the Israeli citizen and a friend traveled to Syria last year.

Lausanne has become the center stage of act that would put the world’s best novelist or Broadway producer to shame.

Inspections of Iranian nuclear sites won’t uncover possible nuclear activity in North Korea, or even China.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/rabbi-metzger-arrested-gives-israel-black-eye-under-black-hat/2013/11/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: