The Court granted bail to Valis, alleged baby killer. He is to be supervised by his parents while he lives in his Grandparent’s house and is not allowed to attend services. No one took Muffti’s advice to release him to the care of Rabbis in position of babysitter.

The release by Hareidi Rabbis is printed below, taken from beautifully designedCross-Currents.

“Holy Call” from our masters and teachers, great scholars of Israel, may they have long lives.
Since several of the dearest of our city (Jerusalem), among them the Rabbis of the student Israel Asher Valis, are working with all their strength to bring out the right and the truth to light, and to prove that he is clean of transgression, and to remove him from prison. Therefore we call upon our brethren the Children of Israel in every place to help them, and every person should do what he can to work with them, and to also help the family because the expenses are great and the family doesn’t have in their hands enough to withstand the expenses. And all who help and assist shall be blessed from the Source of Blessings.

Signed by Rav Elyashiv, Rav Steinman, Rav MY Lefkowitz, Rav Karelitz, Rav Kanievsky, Rav Shmuel Auerbach, Rav G Edelstein, and Rav Meir Tzvi Bergman. [emphasis Muffti’s]

Anyhow, Muffti appologizes for passing on misleading information. He finds the letter reprehensible since it presupposes Valis’ innocence (or a complete lack of sensitivity on behalf of the community to justice!) – why else would they call for a search for exonerating evidence rather than just evidence? Muffti is not against treating people as innocent until proven guilty: but he is against the insensitivity to evidence. Let us remember that ‘innocent until proven’ guilty is a legal maxim – no one may be penalized without being found guilty. It doesn’t follow that people should treat any and all evidence against his innocence as misleading. The whole point of doing an investigation is no to prove innocence but to establish whether or not the person is guilty. Why are the Rabbi’s treating his innocence as a given?

Consider the opposite proposal that Muffti makes in parody:

“General Call” from the Muffti’s secular heroes, great atheist thinkers, may they have long lives.
Since several of the dearest of our city (Jerusalem), among them the Police and investigators, are working with all their strength to bring out the right and the truth to light, and to prove that he guilty of being a baby abuser and killer, and to send him straight back to prison. Therefore we call upon our brethren the Children of Israel in every place to help them, and every person should do what he can to work with them.

Pretty silly, no?

Valis, for his part, retracted his confession as soon as he could.

They [the police] are total criminals; you cannot imagine which despicable methods they used against me to fabricate a ‘confession.’ Even if they wanted to prove that I made an atomic bomb they would have succeeded,”


Let Muffti guess: they bit you, beat you, kicked you and smashed you against the wall? According to Mrs. Valis, a shady investigator disguised as a lawyer convinced Valis that pleading guilty would lead to immeadiate release. Here’s the account as told by Ynet:

Valas’ wife told confidents that when her husband was arrested, an investigator disguised as a lawyer sent by the family spoke to her husband in Yiddish and succeeded in convincing him that if he pleads guilty he will be released immediately.

She said her husband told the investigator he is not willing to lie but he offered to put this in writing so no lies are said on his behalf.

That’s why the police possess a confession to the murder written by her husband, something which is not acceptable in general. She said her husband suffered a series of “menacing and terrible” abuses.


Huh? Can anyone explain what this means to the Muffti? Valis didn’t want to lie but offered to put ‘this’ in writing so no lies are said? What is ‘this’? And how did the poor child, get the bite marks? This case is as perplexing as it is heartbreaking.

In any case, so the Muffti isn’t thought to be heartless, he would like to express just how awful this whole incident is, and how at the centre of the story is not Valis, the police or the Hareidim but the poor child (whose name Muffti can scarcely track down). Not only has he suffered the most, he’s the only person involved in the case who is clearly blameless.

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18 Comments

  • I thought that Toby’s article was very well written and especially appreciated this:

    ecause of the way the media and police view charedim, and because of the way charedim view the media and police—with so much mutual hostility and suspicion—it is virtually impossible to cut through the fog in any particular case to find out what the truth is.

    (BTW, it’s ironic that the Israeli press and the police are on the same side. Normally the mainstream media are antagonistic and skeptical towards the police, just as they are in the U.S. It’s only in regard to religious Jews that the media take a police report at face value. Had an accused Arab signed a confession under police interrogation, you may be sure that the press coverage would have been quite different.)

    and this

    In any case, R’ Menken linked to an article which stated that the young father’s friends were jubilant when the police released the young man to house arrest. They may well be relieved, but jubilation is not called for: the baby is still dead, and a young couple’s life shattered and shadowed forever by this tragic loss.

  • Sibling abuse is very common in these large families, one of the the older brothers or sisters could have done it while the father was off learning and the mother was cleaning and cooking . Parents who leave youngsters in charge of infants should still be held accountable for any abuse or negligence inflicted on the younger sibling.

  • Give me a break. If an Arab or a secular Israeli confessed to biting, shaking, and smashing his three-month-old against the wall because of a birth defect and the evidence clearly corroborated the confession, you may be sure that he would be vilified by the press and by most everyone else in Israel.
    Incidentally, the child’s (maternal) grandmother blamed his death on the doctors who supposedly withheld treatment because the victim was from a charedi family, rather than her (allegedly) abusive son-in-law. The charedim are the ones who are crying blood libel and making this an issue of persecution rather than an isolated case of violence. Unfortunately, child abuse is a problem in pretty much every culture, and I don’t think it is in the best interest of charedim who feel persecuted to rally around this particular issue. For better or worse, if there is any controversy that brings people together big time (in this case the police, the press, and the public), it’s brutalized infants.

  • Chutzpah, that’s an interesting and probably valid point, except that this was the couple’s first (and last, inshallah) child. Israel Valis is 19 if I remember correctly, and I assume the mother is also in her late teens.

  • Sorry, Chutzpah, this was an only child. Those bitemarks didn’t come from another child – that is, of course, unless you consider a 19-year-old father a child.

    Seems to me as if he gave an honest confession out of fear, then recanted as soon as he realized the entire community would rally behind him even if he had taken video of himself doing the deed – because the Edah ha-Charedit and their cronies will seize on any opportunity to strike at the institutions of the Zionist Entity. This isn’t about Valis’ innocence, it’s about anti-Zionist Charedim vs. the state. Baby-killing was just the spark for the kindling. If they “defeat” the police and the court in this, that’s a lot of Edah ha-Charedit brownie points. You know, beating the secular abomination at its own game makes good propaganda.

  • My advice for Haredim:

    If you want money, DON’T KILL YOUR KIDS.
    While we’re on the subject of things every 5-year-old should know I also recommend against dousing yourself in gasoline and striking a match.

    Everyone makes mistakes, especially young people, but the outpouring of support for the victims and their families is obscuring what ought to be a flashing neon warning for potential future victims.

    Haredim think they can do whatever they want and get away with it, because they are the most extreme in their interpretation of Halakah.

    They need to be infiltrated and supervised by the Israeli government.

  • Amen, Ofri. Muffti must disagree with you on this one, Rabbi Y. It seemed to Muffti that Toby was whining and being a classic appologist for chareidim, who are trying to threaten a police force they don’t trust into submission by rioting. In other words, they are threatening to disrupt the normal course of justice by threatening. Does that remind anyone of anything? Attempting to disrupt a way of life by using fear tactics? Anyone?

  • this is the interesting “put the baby in the ground” story that took place during my custody litigation. The Margo & Fred Zemel who represented my ex-husband as well as the Satmars in this case are extremely slanderous and adversarial lawyers . I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to completely destroy someone else using lies and deceit.

  • You? My lawyers charged us for a whole day of litigation while the Zemels kept us waiting, hour by hour, instead of asking that our case be postponed, so that they could go argue to put the baby in the ground. And why couldn’t one argue my ex’s case while the other argue for the Satmars??? Because Jewish Modesty Laws prevent her from standing up in front of the Judge without having her brother there! And since the Judge wasn’t an expert on jewish modesty laws – he allowed it. Yes, in this country, where she was sworn in as a member of the Bar, a United States Judge said that she does not have to appear in court to argue her client’s case in a timely manner on the scheduled court date because he doesn’t want to infringe on her religious need to have her brother sitting there! Funny, when she was sworn into the Bar I don’t think she stipulated that she can only appear before a Judge if she has a male chaparone. You would think that ugly face, horrendous makeup and wig and horrible clothing would make her modest enough. The bitch looks like a transvestite. That day cost my family thousands in legal fees. And to make it worse, I don’t think the autopsy was ever performed. Know you all know why I’m in sales with a law degree.

  • Read about. Read they offer Yemenites $20,000.00 per child to give them over to them.

    The movie about my life “In Fanatic Ba’al Tshuva Custody” is no different except for the length of the peyot.

  • It’s far worse than giving them money. They use the law and their superior knowledge of the American legal system (and life in general) to separate these Yemenite parents from their children. It is truly one of the most horrifying movies I have ever seen.

  • Ok. Adam H., why are these guys a threat to the Government?
    Mufti, yeh I heard you, and I disagreed. You never applied the rigors of investigation at all before lambasting the whole thing—and you seem intent on now making comparisons with our sworn enemies, i’m just saying..

    The great pin she makes is that NO ONE IN ISRAEL CAN REALLY COMMUNICATE. Or at least they are HAVING A REALLY HARD TIME BEING EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATORS.

    There are such deep suspicions, the sinas chinam is getting so deep, that one group cannot just have a simple reaction.

    And TM and Mufti and anyone else.

    While living in Monsey I was well aware of the problems being experienced by the Yemenite families. While some had clearly adapted somehow to yiddishkeit in monsey, the vast majority had not. A few Yemeni men were at shuls asking for handouts, their children needed help etc.

    Many people in Monsey are very poor. They live in cramped apartments and have little way of earning an income there.

    The entire story is very depressing, even for an unbridled optimist.

  • Easy Rabbi Yonah! The rigours of investigation? Who do you think we are? Muffti is sorry he didn’t get in the Jewlicious chopper and head over to the scene to do the relevant investigation, questioning and interviewing. A thousand pardons! With all due respect, what we do here is give opinions, insights and the likely which is a reaction to the news given to us. We give sources and we stand by our evidence being only as good as our sources. Furthermore, if you read what it says above, Muffti appologized for getting things wrong. That’s what the real media does as well and while there are x degrees away from what really ahppened, Muffti is at least x+1 steps. Muffti didn’t notice much thourough investigating of PETA before you went wrongly went ballistic all over their asses either.

    We’re a goddamned blog, not a news agency.

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