(JNi.media) The dean of Beit El Yeshiva, Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed, has harsh things to say against the “Rabbi from the North,” a National-Religious yeshiva dean accused of rape, indecent assault and threats against women who came to him for spiritual advice.
The accused, who on Wednesday was remanded to 8 days in prison, insists on keeping his name out of the media, and has appealed to Israel’s supreme court to extend the gag order against revealing his identity.
In a private class he gave at his yeshiva, which was recorded and played on Israel Radio, Rabbi Melamed can be heard recommending that the “Rabbi from the North” should commit suicide.
“If someone feels he has a weakness, such a man—if he had a willingness inside himself to confront it—first thing, he should have sought counsel.” But if “a person cannot resist the evil inclination? Let him kill himself rather than sin. He can’t do such wicked things! Why destroy people, hurt women?” Rabbi Melamed told his students.
Rabbi Melamed was one of the closest students of the late Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, son of Chief Rabbi Avraham Izthak Kook, and dean of the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, the prime institution of religious Zionism. He leads the yeshiva in Beit El, in Benjamin Region, near Ramallah, and is regarded as the authoritative leader in the town of Beit El, as well.
In 1988, Rabbi Melamed was involved in launching a pirate radio station, named Arutz Sheva, on a boat outside Israeli territorial water, at a time when broadcasting not authorized by the state was prohibited. After the radio boat was raided by Israeli police, Melamed turned it into one of the most popular Jewish websites.
“It’s like a murder,” Rabbi Melamed continued his teaching regarding the “Rabbi from the North,” noting that “a person who is driven by his murderous nature, and cannot control himself, we must kill him. He must kill himself, commit suicide. He has become a ‘rodef’ (Heb: predator), you must kill the rodef.”
Jewish law sanctions the killing of a person who is clearly in pursuit of another human being with the unmistakable intent of killing them.
At a meeting for the students of the Northern Rabbi, held Thursday in his yeshiva in Tsfat the city’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, shared with the audience how hard it had been for him to reach a decision to share the scandalous news with students.
“We concluded that we had no choice but to expose the story to the yeshiva,” Rabbi Eliahu said. “We must not allow this malignant tumor to stay inside us, we must eradicate it.”