Abuse Victim Confronts Molester Moti Elon (1-Minute Important Video)

Abuse Victim Confronts Molester Moti Elon (1-Minute Important Video)

Yesterday, Moti Elon was convicted of sexually assaulting minors, a crime carrying a prison sentence of up to 7 years. Elon formerly served as the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat HaKotel, and was considered one of the leading rabbis of Israel’s National Religious community. His history of molestation was made public 3 years ago by Forum Takana, a group of rabbis and community leaders established to deal with complaints about sexual harassment by authority figures within the religious Zionist community.

In this video, which was filmed yesterday at Elon’s Beit Midrash in Migdal following his conviction, Nachum Pachnik, a victim of sexual abuse by a different rabbi stands up to tell Elon it is time for him to publicly admit “I have sinned.” As he is speaking, he is violently pushed out of the hall by Elon’s supporters.

While Elon has confessed some of his crimes in private with Forum Takana and Rabbi Yaakov Ariel (the rabbi of Ramat Gan) in public Elon has continued to insist that all the claims against him are false.

Nachum Pachnik was sexually assaulted by a rabbi 20 years ago. As a result of the trauma resulting from the abuse, he had to resign from the elite Sayeret Matkal unit in which he had served. He told Ynet, “It took me 6 years of suffering and silence. 6 years that I lost from my life. 6 years of self-blame until I went to a wonderful psychologist…in whose merit I am here today, stronger and healthy…”

Pachnik came to Migdal from his home in Gush Etsion with his wife and children in order to “raise awareness. The fact that he is a big rabbi doesn’t mean that he can’t hurt people.”

Molesters, beware! Times they are a-changing, b”H. Jewish children and parents and community leaders are getting educated and have zero tolerance for abusers hurting children in our communities!


Moti Elon: [Recites blessing over water]

Victim Nachum : Honored rabbi, several years ago I was sexually assaulted by an esteemed rabbi. I traveled here from far away in order to tell you in the name of hundreds of people…I hope that also Hashem is listening to what I am about to say…thank G-d, He gave me the strength to recover from the place where I was. I want to tell you that David established a world of teshuva, not because he was great, and not because he was great did he say ‘I fell.’ Because he was great he said ‘I fell AND I sinned.” And you are also a great man. A very great man. But you don’t have the strength to say ‘I sinned.’

Elon starts singing a song to silence this protester.

Crowd violently pushes protester out.

Victim Nachum Pachnik: Just tell me to go, and I’ll leave. If you’d tell me to, I’d leave. Rabbi, just say ‘I sinned!’ Be brave!”


  1. Gita Levi

    I am in SHOCK!!!!!! I am such an avid reader of this blog and so moved by so much that you say and do, how can this possibly be? So much misinformation! The courts charged Rav Moti ELon on one account of abuse – not more than one! Who says he has a “history of abuse”???? Rav Elon denies having made any such a confession. Rav Elon in an interview with Elana Dayan said “a million times” he proclaims he did not ever do anything that was improper. Who made these Takana members god?
    I understand with all that your neighborhopod has suffered, that you are very sensitive to abuse of minors. Absolutely! But one must take care not to take that to an extreme, where you will always assume the person charged is guilty! One who has a stage on which to speak, such as a popular blog (popular because its content is truly important and inspirational and supportive!) must take his\her position very very seriously and be careful to be cautious of what one says… for example, the person who interrupted the SHIUR of Rav ELon the other night has NOTHING to do with Rav ELon (BTW, we can all see him shouting and ranting, what would you expect from Rav ELon’s students to do, especially at the close of such a difficult day, when they had come not to strengthen the Rav’s spirits as much as to be strengthened by him), and by going into detail about him and what he went through is so unfair. You do say he was abused by another rabbi, but by going on and on about him, it is almost improbable that your readers will not make a connection between Rav ELon and the abuse this man suffered.
    Unfortunate that you did not mention that this shiur was held just a few hours after the court’s decision. Rav ELon DID NOT call a press conference to claim once again his innocence or to denounce the courts – he gave a shiur, a shiur dedicated to loving Hashem and accepting that all is from Hashem and therefore all is good. He gave a shiur and then he and his talmidim sang and danced lichvod Hashem. And by the way, all those talmidim, and thousands of others who have been Rav ELon’s talmidim, will tell you that they have been “hugged” by Rav ELon – an embrace of love of the teacher for his talmidim, ahavat Yisrael.
    I want to make it clear that though I know people connected to Rav ELon I myself am Charedit and a Bresloverit, and so i myself am not his talmida. … but i have been in shock from the very beginning, how so many chovshei-kippa were willing within a second to forget all the Torah of Rav ELon and all he has done for Klal YIsrael (for example his program Bereshit, bringing the Torah to thousands of secular children) and assume the very worst…
    These days are very very difficult times – mamash “chevlei Moshiach”, when all of us are confused by what great rabbis are saying and what they are saying about one another, etc. etc. May we use BSD this holy month of Elul to look inward – to find true AHavat Yisrael and respect for our rabbis and discover true emuna and emet.
    Shabbat Shalom.

    • I felt the same way when I read this and I am saddened that this case is likened to the sick paedophiles who molest little children who have no idea of what is happening and are supposed to trust adults. Thank you Gita for clearing things up.
      Shabbat Shalom

    • JewishMom

      Dear Gita,
      Thank you for your comment.

      A few years ago, a learning partner and I were discussing who we thought Moshiach might be. My vote was for Harav Moti. I was blown away by his brilliant classes, his inspirational vision for Israel’s future, his Bereishit movement to spread Torah to all Israel’s children, and his charisma which, I felt, was mighty enough to unite the Jewish people and maybe even the entire world.

      Like you, when I heard the accusations against him (bizarrely) the same month as that conversation, I was skeptical. How was it possible that a great man could fall so low?

      But today I feel certain of Rav Moti’s guilt. Why? I have spoken with people for whom I have tremendous respect with first-hand and in-depth knowledge of the case and I have been persuaded that the claims against Rav Moti are true.

      Regarding what I said about his history of sexual abuse, I was referring to the fact that the judge based her conviction on supporting evidence from 5 other complaints of sexual assault.

      • Shavua tov.I realise that we aren’t going to be able to convince one another. But in all fairness, i feel i must just comment that i personally know people very very connected and it is from what i have learned from them that i am convinced more than ever of his innocence.
        Please G-d that this may truly be the final days of galut, because i know we all agree that this time of rift between different communities and hearing every day things e would never had dreamed to hear is the most difficult of all…

  2. Gita, I agree with EVERYTHING you said. I think its important especially at this time of year to be so careful about what we say.
    We just saw with the elections for Chief Rabbi so so much loshon hara even within our dati leumi community.
    Also I’m not personally connected to Rav Elon but we have many friends who studied at Yeshivat HaKotel and spent a lot of time with Rav Elon, and yes he did hug and kiss people, but they all did not feel that it was sexual at all!
    Chana Jenny I am also a big follower of your blog for many many years and I understand your sensitivity to the subject but this has really upset me and I think one must be careful- I think this case is more complicated than you are making out and I think there is more than 1 side to the story.

  3. Gita Levi

    i ask to emphasis that my mentioning that Rav ELon was charged on only one account was in regard to the misinformation in the post, which gave the impression that Elon had been accused of a mutlitude of such crimes. I want to make it clear that if anyone is in fact guilty of “only” one account of abuse that in itself is horrific and of course unjustifiable!
    And indeed, Rav Elon has insisted and continues to insist that there is not one instance that his behavior was improper.
    Thank you/

    • JewishMom

      Regarding what I said about his history of sexual abuse, I was referring to the fact that the judge based her conviction on supporting evidence from 5 other complaints of sexual assault.

  4. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but usually when the court gather enough evidence to prove someone guilty of sexual abuse, it means they were REALLY guilty. It is hard to prove such things in court. This isn’t just a case of lashon Hara, it was proven in court.
    My husband went to nativ aryeh where his Rosh yeshiva Rav Bina refused to be co-roshei yeshiva. Rav Bina openly criticized him multiple times so my husband is not surprised at all.

    • I don’t think that its so hard to prove someone guilty of molestation its much harder to prove someone innocent once they have been accused.

  5. Chana Jenny,
    B”H there are brave people like the individual above and like yourself who have the courage to confront what is wrong and dangerous to create a safer world for our children. It is incredibly painful to see how an amazing, inspiring torah scholar could fall to such depths, but to be molested and then to have others deny that the harm ever occurred is an unbearable pain.

  6. You will never know the truth, the courts are openly anti-Torah and willing to accept all kinds of evidence, unfortunately today’s court system is anything but just, and being convicted does not mean much in terms of truth or justice. there is a special chiyuv to be dan a Torah scholar l’kaf zechus, and here the evidence is indeed shaky. That man means well but it is no one’s place to demand that someone announce ‘chatati’, unless he is a navi, as in the time of david hamelech when natan hanavi told him he had sinned and he said chatati..

    • i think the victims themselves DO have the right to come out publicly and are never expected to judge with ‘Dan Le Kaf Zeckut’. unfortunately victims often struggle for years with feelings of guilt..that somehow they are to blame for their own abuse.
      EVERYTHING IS IN THE HANDS OF THE VICTIMS…the public should support victims in COMING FORWAD with their abusive experiences. not only will this help in the recovery process for the victim but it will raise the awareness of the public and hopefully protect others from possibly falling victims to predators.

    • It’s not only the court that says he’s guilty of sexual assault. At this link you can see the members of Forum Takanah which includes some of the most prominent rabbis, rabbaniot and community leaders of the National Religious community.

      Forum Takanah heard additional testimony against Elon (far worse than what was presented in court) and concluded that Elon is without a doubt guilty of sexual assault of minors.

  7. i agree with Anonymous 100%. we dont know anything!!! the evidence is very very shaky and we deff can not trust the court system! I read the article and was very saddened by it, it seemed to state so clearly that Rav Elon is guilty and am not sure at all that its true!

  8. chana sara

    I too agree that we still dont know anything. the only boy that testified against the rav, complaint today about a journalist from arutz 10, saying that he was hurt, humiliated and verbally abused because he phoned him more than 12 times etc. which I found a bit strange…. Many years I went to the lessons of harav Moti Alon, and have learned a lot. especialy seeing the very secular israelis in tel aviv being touched by his torah classes. I am deeply sad that a person which such an amazing influence on the israely society making them aware of their jewish heritage has been taken away from us. He was a very influental person with the power to make a big change in te israeli society,having many influential ties. Something that really scared the left secular elite and even other maybe jeaulous??? rabbis. Maybe??? And being a big fan and admirer of your site I also dont feel comfortable with this video, as if he is a big criminal. It cant be compared to the horrible criminals of our nachlaot neighbourhood. May Hashem will show us soon the truth and protect our children from any bad things.

  9. They should bring Magenu to Israel as the only solution is to educate and empower our children so these terrible things never happen to them. PLease Magenu.org come to Israel.

  10. Very interesting and passionate discussion. Chana Jenny maybe the only point here is that since your post wasn’t strictly related to Jewish motherhood it has touched a raw nerve since it appears to be an exception to your usual posts hence appearing more subjective than usual.
    Personally when it comes to molestation my gut tends to feel “guilty until proven innocent” where children are concerned especially .
    And with the recent disastrous spate of rabbis and other religious public figures under investigation it’s no wonder our trust has been so eroded…. And rightfully so. “Cabdehu VeChashdehu…”

    • Thanks yehudit, I loved your comment… Though I do actually think that this post is “strictly related to Jewish motherhood” since every boy Elon molested has a JewishMOM who is also suffering because of the crime committed against her child. And in response to the people who said I should have more respect for Talmidei Chachamim, I think this post reflects a ton of respect for the many Talmidei Chachamim who, despite threats and harrassment from Elon’s supporters, are continuing to take to take a public stand to condemn Moti Elon and other molesters like him. They make me feel SO PROUD to be a member of “Hatsibur shelanu.”

  11. I usually love reading JewishMOM and find the articles very inspiring and enjoyable. This specific article left me with an uneasy feeling (even 2 days later!), and I had a difficult time placing the reason why.
    I dont think the uneasy feeling was only b/c I am not at all completely certain that Rav Elon is guilty (even if the court says so) I do not believe that with molestation we can say “guilty until proven innocent” specifically b/c molestation is s/t so easy to falsely accuse someone of, and very hard to prove that the person is innocent. I still believe “kabdehu vechasdehu” applies but not guilty.
    However I think what really bothered me was I still don’t understand how this relates to JewishMOMs. I dont agree that just b/c there may be a jewishMOM in the world effected by molestation that the case have to be spoken about,(what do we gain for it?) There is a lot to be discussed Chinuch wise on the topic of molestation, how to protect and educate kids etc..but I do not see the point in talking about the details of any specific case.

    • I presented this specific case because I was inspired by this victim’s call for Elon to do teshuva. To say “I sinned.” It upsets me deeply to see Elon’s inability to do teshuva for the crimes he has committed, even though I’m not surprised. This is classic molester behavior: they insist that they are the true victims and not the children they abuse. I felt that this victim’s heartfelt plea was in fact a call for all of us to do teshuva this elul, and not pretend we are perfect tsaddikim who’ve never hurt a fly like Elon.

      I also felt that this victim’s confrontation with Elon is a powerful example of what I hope and pray will start happening to molesters every single day. People who abuse children are far too comfortable in the Jewish community. It brings me tremendous joy and satisfaction to see victims starting to stand up and fight back!

  12. Thank you for publicizing this chana jenny. And I agree with all of your points. Kol hakavod

  13. faith/emuna

    this is so sad.
    i feel so badly for the victim.
    the comparison he made with king david is something i have been thinking about for the past 3 yrs.
    great men sin. and the greater they are, the greater their evil inclination. rav moti has done so many great things, and is brilliant in so many ways. and as much as we’d like to think that means he cant sin, it doesnt. his terrible, terrible sin does not mean that the incredible good he has done was not done purely.
    when we can realize that, we can understand teshuva and when the community understands that (that great men can do great deeds, yet sin), maybe rav moti would be able to do teshuva.

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