A rabbi and charity leader has been charged with the rape of seven of his followers after claiming he could “purify” them of their sins.
And he also defrauded the women of a substantial amount of money, police have said.
Rabbi Moshe Yazdi, 59, has been the rabbi of the Amudei Hashalom community in Jerusalem, where he also ran a non-profit charity.
But it now turns out that the once-respected rabbi has allegedly been committing heinous acts for more than a decade – and was arrested on April 27.
According to the Times of Israel, the rabbi was indicted Monday for rape, sodomy and indecent assault by fraud.
The attacks on the women allegedly took place during his daily lessons.
Taking advantage of those who were new to the more orthodox side of the religion, he allegedly told them to “give up intellectual thought or personal feelings” to allow them to “submit” to his will.
The indictment also stated that he convinced his victims that their sins left “sparks of impurity” within them, and only sexual acts with him would remove them.
It is claimed that Yazdi even committed the acts of rape to some women on their own wedding days, telling them that they had “special souls” and that they could not tell anyone what had happened.
Several thousands of Israeli shekels were put into various bank accounts in the names of other people too, it is claimed.
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His most recent attack was alleged to have taken place around a year and a half ago.
According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Yazdi was banned by a rabbinic court from teaching, meeting with or advising women in 2004 after complaints against him had arisen then.
In the most ultra-orthodox sections of Jewish communities, the rabbinic courts are used more than secular courts – although they have no power to arrest or put anyone in prison.
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It is felt that the more religious members would follow the word of an eminent rabbi, instead of police – but this did not happen in Yazdi's case.
The UK does have a British Friends of Amude Hashalom charity – with branches in Barnet and Hackney, as well as Israel, and the Daily Star has reached out to them for a comment.
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