A Hasidic rabbi who heads a yeshiva in Brooklyn is being investigated for allegedly performing marriages for boys and girls as young as 15 years old, it has been reported.
Rabbi Yoel Roth, who runs Yeshiva Tiferes Hatorah in Williamsburg, is reportedly the subject of an investigation by the New York Police Department and the city’s Administration for Children’s Service.
News of the investigations was first reported last week by the Jewish Daily Forward
A spokesperson for the NYPD told DailyMail.com: “ The NYPD takes sexual assault and rape cases very seriously and urges anyone who has been a victim to file a report so we can conduct a comprehensive investigation and provide assistance and offer to survivors. . ‘
An ACS spokesperson told DailyMail.com: “Our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of New York children.
“Child marriage is illegal in New York and we take allegations of child marriage and child sexual abuse very seriously.”
Roth’s secretary, Shaul Indig, denied the charges. He told the Forward that the charges were ‘lies’ by ‘people who hate the rabbi’.
Indig said the rabbi organizes engagements for underage couples and then waits until they are of legal age before marrying off.
On March 17, a journalist, Frimet Goldberger, posted a shocking photo of a 15-year-old Hasidic girl engaged to a 17-year-old boy.
Rabbi Yoel Roth, who heads Yeshiva Tiferes Hatorah in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is reportedly under investigation by New York authorities for allegedly arranging marriages with minors
On March 17, a journalist, Frimet Goldberger, posted a shocking photo of a 15-year-old Hasidic girl engaged to a 17-year-old boy. Goldberger also posted a video showing the 15-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy being subject to a binding engagement contract known in Judaism as ‘tena’im’ – which is translated from Hebrew as ‘conditions’ or ‘conditions’. . ‘
Goldberger also posted a video showing the 15-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy being subject to a binding engagement contract known in Judaism as ‘tena’im’ – which is translated from Hebrew as ‘conditions’ or ‘conditions’. . ‘
According to Goldberger, on the same night the photo was taken, another 15-year-old girl was married off to a 21-year-old man.
Video of Roth surfacing on social media reportedly shows admitting to arranging marriages with minors. The rabbi, speaking in Yiddish, compared adhering to state marriage laws to listening to the pagans.
“If you want to make a child happy, you have to marry him or her off,” Roth reportedly says in a video.
The investigation was started after several messages started circulating on social media last month about young people being married off by a ‘child matchmaker’.
The legal age of marriage in New York State is 18, although 17-year-olds are allowed to marry with permission from the state Supreme Court or the family court.
The Forward quotes a boy who said he was 16 years old when he started his studies at the Williamsburg yeshiva last year.
According to the boy, Roth approached him on his first day of school to discuss arranging a marriage.
‘He said to me,’ Wow, you’re so cute. You’re going to find a girl soon, ”the boy said to the attacker.
‘I was 16.’
The image above shows Yeshiva Tiferes Hatorah in Williamsburg. It is also known as Heichel Hakodesh Breslev
Roth has been described as a ‘cult leader’ who has gained ‘full-fledged’ underage followers who have succumbed to his teachings urging them to marry at a young age.
A Hasidic woman from Brooklyn told the Forward that several of her siblings have been victims of Roth’s conviction.
“This is a real cult,” she said.
“ It wasn’t until they got really hurt and they left that those cult-like features could be real – you could see it. ”
The yeshiva leading Roth is also known as Heichel Hakodesh Breslev. He also runs Camp Breslev in Brooklyn and a non-profit organization, Ach Tov V Chesed.
He also reportedly established a community of about 60 families in Sullivan County, New York City of Liberty, about 100 miles northwest of New York City.
Those families are said to be some of Roth’s most devoted followers. They also reportedly include couples who were married young.
Breslev, or Breslov, is a branch of Hasidic Judaism founded more than 200 years ago by Rebbe Nachman from Breslov, a city in Ukraine.
After a crackdown by communist Russia and the Nazi German invasion, the movement spread to places like the US, Israel and the United Kingdom.
This is the second time in recent years that a prominent figure in the Breslev movement has been arrested on suspicion of arranging child marriage.
Last month, several videos appeared on social media in which Roth advocates marriage with minors
In 2011, the late Rabbi Eliezer Shlomo Schick, who founded the yeshiva that Roth directs, was arrested by authorities in Israel for arranging marriages with minors. Schick died in 2015. He was 74 years old.
In a video Roth refers to Schick.
“The yeshiva’s head spoke of pain, he spoke of fifty years of teenage boys writing letters to him, opening up to him,” says the rabbi in the clip.
Roth tells the rabbi, saying, “There is no other advice than to marry off young children.”
After Goldberger’s posts, several others posted videos on social media in which the rabbi urged young people to get married.
It is common among the Hasidic Jewish community in Williamsburg and elsewhere for marriages to take place, although most marriages take place with the knowledge of the parents after the bride and groom reach legal age.
According to Hasidic tradition, the bride and groom learn about sex two weeks before their wedding. Usually they spend their first night together after getting married. At that point, they are expected to complete the relationship.
Those who know Roth say he strives to marry off young children because boys start having sexual thoughts and urges after puberty.
In 2011, the late Rabbi Eliezer Shlomo Schick, who founded the yeshiva that Roth directs, was arrested by authorities in Israel for arranging marriages with minors. Schick died in 2015. He was 74 years old
Arranging marriages would provide boys with an outlet to exercise their sexual urges, it is claimed.
“ Previously, the solution was to really berate those guys and threaten them with eternal hell, ” said Yehudis Fletcher, the co-founder of a UK-based nonprofit called Nahamu, which advocates for civil liberties like divorce for Haredi. Jews.
Roth came up with a new solution: “Don’t worry, we’ll just arrange a barrel for them to masturbate in.”
“Those are these girls” to him, says Fletcher.
Roth is said to have arranged marriages without parental consent. In some cases, parents are tricked into thinking they will meet a possible match for their child.
In reality, however, they are shocked to find out that they are actually attending an engagement ceremony.
Roth also reportedly does not disclose to parents the ages of the children he chooses.
Indig denies that the rabbi has bad intentions.
“When you do something good, there are always people who criticize you,” he said.