A Jerusalem rabbi has been charged with raping seven of his followers after telling them he had special powers that could mend their impurities’
Rabbi Moshe Yazdi, 59, reportedly told the women he had special powers and could help them by ‘descending to their impurity’, convincing them he was acting within Jewish law, it has been claimed.
Yazdi was indicted on Monday, June 6, for the alleged attacks spanning a decade in Givat Ze’ev, following his arrest on April 27.
The religious leader also convinced the women to give him thousands of shekels based on his fraudulent claims, the indictment says.
He has been indicted of alleged rape through fraud, sodomy through fraud, indecent acts through fraud, causing rape and indecent acts through fraud, fraudulently receiving items, and money laundering, the Times of Israel reported.
Police said he even attacked some of the women on the day of their weddings.
Yazdi told the women that sins had left ‘sparks of impurity’ inside them that could only be purified through sex acts with him, prosecutors said.
He then told each of the alleged victims they had special souls and must not tell anyone of his acts.
The money they gave him was deposited in a number of bank accounts under different names to hide the transactions, it is claimed.
The rabbi said he was one of only 36 righteous people who ensured the continued existence of the world according to some Jewish decisions.
These claims helped convince his followers to obey each of his vile demands, police said.
Yazdi said he could communicate with dead rabbis and the Divine Presence when talking to his followers, the indictment claims.
The first complaints against him were made in 2004 when a rabbinic court banned him from teaching, meeting, or advising women.
In 2007, an alleged victim reported him to police and in 2016, he was convicted under a plea bargain after he tried to flee the country despite a bailiff order.
Yazdi served as a rabbi in the Amudei Hashalom (Pillars of Peace) community in Bukharim since the 1990s and also led their nonprofit organisation.
In his daily lessons, he taught the concept of ‘cancelling the mind’, meaning giving up intellectual or personal thought and instead subscribing only to the values and principles from the Torah.
(With reports from Times of Israel)