Here is a summary of the events leading up to Chaim Walder's defamation and death:
In November 2021, Haredi children's author Chaim Walder was the subject of a Haaretz exposé, accused of engaging in sexual abuse of minors and married women who came to him to receive therapy over a 25-year period. Eliyahu convened a beth din (rabbinical court) in Safed, encouraging Walder's victims to come forward and submit testimony against him, and found him "guilty beyond any doubt". On 16 December, Eliyahu summoned Walder to the beth din. Ten days later, Haaretz reported that the Israel Police had opened an investigation into Walder, but that he had not yet been questioned. The following day, Walder was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound adjacent to his son's grave in the Segula Cemetery in Petah Tikva. He left a suicide note wherein he professed his innocence, beginning it with
I went to invite Yehuda Silman [he] and Shmuel Eliyahu to a Torah trial in heaven.
Upon hearing of this, Eliyahu said
We heard with pain about the suicide of Chaim Walder. It is a pity that he chose this path, we suggested to him that he repair what he damaged. That he apologize to the victims. That he change his ways. That no more women be harmed. [Walder] could have taught many through repentance ... We are strengthening the many victims at this difficult time, their lives take precedence over his life.
One does not have to be a Torah scholar to know that Eliyahu abused his position and acted completely contrary to Jewish law. He convened a court having already decided that the Haaretz report was true, and encouraged people to step forward and testify against Walder. This is not a court proceeding, it's a witch hunt.
Subsequently Eliyahu declared that Walder was “guilty beyond any doubt”, having never entertained any doubts to begin with, and only THEN summoned Walder to the court. They had already made up their minds against him based on an article in Haaretz, they urged people to testify against him, and they declared him guilty beyond any doubt before even hearing him speak.
This is not a beis din, it's a kangaroo court. It's the sort of “court proceeding” you would expect to find in the Soviet Union, China, or North Korea.
No wonder Walder refused to appear before them. Wouldn't you?
Again, I have no idea what Walder did or didn't do. However, this entire process was a sham and a mockery of the Torah. Eliyahu is a disgrace and should indeed be called to a Torah trial for his actions. His beis din is a sham, and any rulings he makes must be treated with great suspicion.
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Like this ruling, for example: He begins by dismissing the “conspiracies” about the crapcines, attacking Rav Amnon Yitzchak by name in the process. He does not support his assertions. They are simply facts, because he says so.
He continues as follows, with my comments in brackets.
He met people who died from corona [presumably before they died, but no further information is provided]. The question of whether or not to take the shot is halachic in nature. He checked the Shulchan Aruch, and the answer is very clear. He also consulted with other Rabbonim, and all the rabbis – except for maybe one or two – all the great poskim and scholars say that corona is a plague that we must be careful about. [Don't you feel smarter and more educated already?]
He then asserts that this plague is not as bad as previous ones, in which many millions died, specifically because of the doctors we have today. [Insert your own sarcastic comment.]
Then Eliyahu speakes forcefully against those who endanger lives and slander the health establishment. Lashon hara is very serious, he goes on to say [right after publicly smearing Rav Yitzchak and anyone else who doesn't agree with his unsupported statements]. We should only express gratitude to the doctors. He then urges everyone to confront those making these statements – the conspiracy theorists. We should rebuke them, and make them be quiet.
He concludes by saying it's a mitzvah to take the crapcine.
He did not indulge us with any of his actual sources from the Shulchan Aruch, or any other Torah support for his forceful assertions.
This is the same man who convened a beis din against Chaim Walder on the basis of a hit piece in Ha'aretz with anonymous sources, called for one-sided testimony against Walder, declared him guilty beyond any doubt, and only then summoned Walder to the court. Once again, Eliyahu didn't share any of his actual sources. Why should we have expected otherwise?
This is little different than Glatt excitedly referring to “The Data” without actually informing and educating us, and Fauci referring to himself as “The Science”. We are supposed to trust them, because they are authority figures with prominent titles, they are much smarter than we are, they are simply great. How dare we question them?
How dare we not? All of them and their ilk should be the ones to stand trial. May it be soon in our days.
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Another observation: If a leftist rag like Haaretz publishes a hit piece on a religious man, we have to believe it, no questions asked. If someone claims a religious man did something unseemly, we have to believe them, no questions asked. But if people say they or someone close to them took a shot and was severely harmed by it, we must mock them and dismiss their claims out of hand, no questions asked. Why is that? Because, in both cases, the establishment media says so.
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Finally, here's a comment I received from someone that is spot on:
“I find it amazing that the very same people who tell us
endlessly to only say nice things about moral perverts like open
homosexuals and transgenders (lest they commit suicide is one of
their many "arguments") have no problem calling Chaim
Walder a rasha and having exactly zero sympathy for him.
"As usual, they are revealing their true colors. Their values come from the secular world, not the Torah."
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We have halachos for how to deal with rumors and accusations, and anyone who wishes to be considered a frum Jew must adhere to these halachos, period.
I will pay 5000 shekels to the first person who can show me where in
the Chafetz Chaim or Shemiras Halashon it teaches the following:
1. We can — let alone must — conclude definitively that the accusations against Chaim Walder (all of which remain anonymous at this time) are true.
2. We should publicly condemn him in the most vicious of terms.
3. We should deprive his widow and orphans of parnassa.
I suspect that the vast majority of people who are doing these things have never learned Chafetz Chaim and Shemiras Halashon. In light of that, they should probably exercise some caution before shooting from the hip.
I will also advise them that if they are wrong, they are jeopardizing their share in the world to come. Is it a smart gamble?
According to actual halacha, we are only allowed to be suspicious about Walder. We are not allowed to draw ANY conclusions based on the information provided. Those who don't like the halacha are not morally superior or more compassionate. They are people who don't keep halacha.
I have a theory, and it's only a theory, that the mafia who run our country wanted Walder to leverage his status to push the shots on children. He drew a red line there despite kowtowing to the agenda in the past, and the mafia eliminated him. Or perhaps he ran afoul of them some other way. What we are being told is just a cover story.
Again, this is only a theory, but it's no less credible than the story that dozens of anonymous claims were filed against him, the only person whose name was mentioned is conveniently dead without having left over any testimony, and no police reports were ever filed. The supposed victims had the strength to talk to a leftist reporter and Eliyahu in a kangaroo court, but no one else. I'm not saying Walder did these things or didn't do them -- I have no idea, and neither do you -- but this story doesn't pass the smell test.
I am emphasizing two points:
1. We should not rush to judgment.
2. We should not trust the media and the kangaroo court that trampled on halacha.
Anyone who says we must automatically draw conclusions based on anonymous accusations must agree to the following. If someone makes anonymous accusations against them or someone close to them – because they can't bear the pain of revealing themselves – the self-righteous mob will accept the accusations as entirely true, no questions asked, and treat them exactly the same way. And any potential accusers with an ax to grind or some other incentive know this in advance. That's the deal.
One more double standard: we're supposed to accept accusations from people who claim to be victims of abuse, no questions asked, but we must rudely dismiss people who claim to be vaccine victims.
Indeed, a former "Facebook friend" was going full blast against Walder. I recalled that she had previously been the target of a smear campaign from competing shadchanim. I responded to her post asking her if she learned anything from the experience, and how she felt when people jumped to conclusions.
She responded by blocking me.
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On Kangaroo Courts
יד אפרים על הלכות שחיטה א:א
וכתב בשו"ת מים עמוקים בחלק תשובת מ' אלי' מזרחי ז"ל בסימן כ"ד בעיר אחת שהיו שם שתי קהלות קהל רומניאה ושוב נתישבו קהל ספרדים ולפי שהשוחט היה משגיח יותר לקהל רומניאה שנאוהו אנשי ספרדים והיו מתנכלים עליו להוציאו ממנויו ולכן השתדלו להוציא עדים ביניהם בענין שיופסל ושלחו אליו לבא לבדקו ולא רצה לפי שלא היו שם מאנשי רומניאה וקבלו עדות שלא בפניו והענישוהו תענית ומלקיות ממון וקנס בכ"ז אינו מופסל בעדות זה שלא בפניו ומה שלא הלך כששלחו לו שפיר עביד מאחר שיודע שמחפשין אחריו לפוסלו ולא חזו ליה זכותא וגם כל אנשי רומניאה מעידין שכל הספרדים מקנאים לו מחמת שאינו משגיח עליהם כ"כ ורצו לפזר ממון להוציאו בכדי למנות אחר מאנשי מקומם בכה"ג הני דייני וסהדי נוגעים בו
And it is written in the responsa of the Mayim Amukim in the section of the response of Eliyahu Mizrachi of blessed memory in chapter 24:
In a certain city there were two communities, the Romanian community, and subsequently a community of Sefardim settled there. Because the shochet [kosher slaughterer] gave more attention to the Romanian community, the Sefardic men hated him, and they were plotting against him to remove him from his position. Therefore they endeavored to produce witnesses among them in such a way that he would be disqualified. They summoned him to come and be examined [in court] and he did not consent, because there was no one there from the Romanian men. They accepted testimony without his presence and punished him with fasting, [lashes?] monetary damages and fines.
Despite all this, he was not disqualified with this testimony that was not in his presence. As for the fact that he did not go when they sent for him, he acted correctly, after he knew that they were searching for a pretext to disqualify him, and they would not see a merit for him. In addition, all the Romanian men were testifying that all the Sefardim were after him because he didn't give them so much attention, and they were willing to spend money to get rid of him in order to appoint someone else from their place. In such a case, these judges and witnesses had a vested interest [and were therefore invalid]. (Yad Ephraim, Laws of Shechita 1:1)