Remember this story about the Hareidi Jew who confessed to the murder of his baby son? Well, the confession didn’t do much to sway rabbis Shalom Elyashiv and Haim Kanievski who released a halachic decree declaring Valis innocent.

Why would Valis’ case be cleared by Halacha? Well, astutely noting that Valis’ wife still supports Valis, the rebbes reasoned apparently as follows:
1. Valis’ wife supports Valis.
2. No wife would ever support a man who murdered her baby.
C. Therefore, Valis didn’t murder Valis’ wife’s baby.

Clearly the argument is valid but one ought to raise their eyebrows at premise 2! Sigh. Rioting hareidim have burned garbage and committed some acts of vandalism, totalling (by the estimation of municipal official Gidi Schmerling) NIS 140,000 in damage. Of course, Reb Elyashiv and Kanievski can probably prove otherwise. Consider, after all, the gematria! ‘Israel’ in gematria comes to 301. The hebrew word for ‘fire’ comes to 301. The hareidim said that Jerusalem would burn as a result of Valis’ arrest. Most of the damage to Jerusalem involved garabage burning. Has Muffti uncovered a hidden connection? Hmmmm.

Jerusalem District Attorney Eli Abarbanel met with haredi leaders Sunday afternoon to discuss the possibility of releasing Yisrael Valis on bail. Muffti totally approves of this idea and he can only hope that Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv will consistently believe his own decree and give Valis a job baby sitting his kids…

Source: Jpost and Muffti’s brain.

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  • And Joe Schmo will shit his pants out of pique in 5…4…3…

    But I’m glad, at least, that contrary to the claims of secular and non-Orthodox detractors, halakhah is actually not frozen in time! Hooray for a vital, adaptative Judaism! Now if only we could get a little less stupid…

  • you omit facts

    a) wife says hubby never hurt kid
    b) husband retracted confession, implying it was forced, under duress or whatever
    c) several respected rabbanim have gotten involved – not bored misguided youth who do stupid things – so give them the benefit of the doubt and see how the case turns out

  • right, and what about the facts on the 3 week old child’s body? Like bite marks, just for instance.

  • Benefit of the doubt to people who think that guilt shouold be determined on the basis of whether or not a wife sticks by her husband? Puh-lease! Thank you Laya for making the obvious point. Muffti doesn’t think we should convict the guy wihtout trial; but he’s a little leery of people who absolve him on the basis of incredibly dubious evidence.

    Nonetheless, Muffti had a suggestion: if they are so convinced he is innocent, the police should release him on bail and the rabbis should be forced to have him baby sit their kids. Let’s test some faith in halacha, shall we?

  • Hey Muffti – Yeah, benefit of the doubt to anyone and everyone – innocent till proven guilty. They call that the golden thread that runs across the entire body of criminal law. Now, while i am extremely skeptical of the defendant’s innocence, stranger things have happenned. So as far as I am concerned, until a Judge declares him guilty, he remains, in fact, innocent. The sort of crime he is accused of is domestic. There is no evidence that he has ever been violent towards anyone in public and he has no other children. By any measure, despite the heinousness of the crime he is accused of, he ought to be released on bail. The only other considerations are whether or not he is a flight or suicide risk.

    That having been said, anyone is free to advocate on his behalf. But those twits who rioted and burnt shit? There’s no exxcuse for that. I can’t believe the police did not manage to arrest anyone for that. Also, calling this accusation a “blood libel” is an insult to all the Jewish victims of such accusations. For shame!

  • GM didn’t you read Michael? It’s asur to read the JP. Its one of the many places that Michael and I agree. the JP is not a reliable source of information. It does seem from all reports that this father abused his son, but that the Rabbis declared him innocent…

    This comment was left on the JP:

    Saul Mashbaum – Israel
    04/24/2006 09:29
    The Post got it right Monday, when it reported that the rabbis called for the public to help the accused try to prove his innocence, without themselves commenting whether he is innocent or not. This article, however, is scandalously, almost libelously, inaccurate. The “JPOST.COM staff” who clumsily slapped together this defamatory article, attributing to the rabbis a position they did not take, should be ashamed of themselves.

    But I do find it amusing that someone of your caliber of scholarship will make conclusions based on information in a fifth-rate newspaper without any access to primary documents.

  • This happens in Haradi Communities in the U.S. as well. Because religious beliefs prohibit autopsy, the Coroner’s office needs overwhelming evidence to perform one to prove abuse or “Shaken Baby Syndrome”. Usually it is declared “Sudden Infant Death” and dismissed. During my divorce I personally witnessed members of a Chasidic community protesting in the State Court house in Paterson with signs that said “put the baby in the ground”.

  • Wives are not legitimate witnesses in Bais Din…why all of a sudden trust the weaker sex?

  • CK, Muffti isn’t saying that he is guilty. But he finds the reasoning allegedly employed by the rabbis to be extremely dubious. Thassall. As for bail, you would know the rulez better than Muffti but Muffti thought that heinousness of crime IS a relevant factor in granting bail. That and danger to the community, etc. Anyhow, Muffti is in no way against the golden whatever thread of innocent until proven guilty.

  • Rabbi Yonah, the writers of this site frequently take articles and rewrite them with more snark. Muffti didn’t want to feel left out so he does it to. And then hopefully people will correct, discuss and in teh way that truth tends to come out of conversation by many, truth emerges. So Muffti feels happy enough posting stuff even from papers that you and Michael don’t like, especialy since he responsibly gives you a source for the data.

  • Oh please, William Randolph Hearst is a fine publisher. Everyone else is just as yellow as him.

    Um, has anyone considered the possibility that Valis may have been abusive towards his wife and that she’s corroborating her story out of fear?

  • Interestingly enough, he admitted during his confession that he had on more than one occasion slapped his wife around, and he was angry at her for taking an evening job at a clothing store.