Keren’s interrogation Part II

I changed the title because it was misleading; someone from the police leaked the transcript.

Below is Part II of Maariv transcript of interrogation with hyper-modest mother of 12, in jail after being indicted for child abuse. Introduction; Part I.

By Shmuel Mittelman and Ami ben David.

4/5/2008

“Whoever disturbs my prayers—something bad happens to him”

What brought B, a haredi woman, to strengthen her faith, to preach extreme tzniut (modesty) and to engage incessantly in prayer, all while, according to the accusation, she was abusing her children? She told her interrogator that the exhausting need to travel back and forth to the hospital with her handicapped son, D., opened her eyes and caused her to change direction.

“One day I decided that instead of wasting time in the hospital, with no improvement in the child’s condition, I would dedicate my traveling time to reading prayers from Psalms and Song of Songs. Only then did they see a recognizable improvement in the child, until the last test when the doctors told me, ‘Excuse me, we erred. Everything is fine with the child.’ Every time I tried to stop the prayers, the child stopped functioning.”

A few mothers of children like D. told me that their child died at age 5 or 6. I so feared that this would happen to me, that I didn’t stop praying. I know that the heavens want me to pray all the time, because it happened a few times that people came in and disturbed my prayers, and something bad always happened to them . . . Everyone with a problem comes to me, I pray, and they are immediately healed and have “shalom bayit” with their husbands.

“The daughter told me that her brother touched her in an intimate place.”

Here the mother adds, in all seriousness, to the interrogator: “As long as I have lived in Bet Shemesh there has not been one terror attack in the city. Over five years ago I travelled to America to marry off my daughter, and before I returned an explosion almost went off in town. I returned immediately, and since then we haven’t heard of a single attack or problem with Arabs. Instead of letting me pray peacefully, you are disturbing me. I forgive you, but it is I who watch over you, not you. Even if you tell me that I’m crazy.”

[Below are a series of questions and answers in the interrogation:]

Interrogator: You knew that your children committed incest, a very serious sin, yet you didn’t prevent it, or treat it, or report it.
“I didn’t know about it at all. It’s a lie. I don’t believe it in the slightest. They are wonderful children, and I don’t believe it, unless they were to come and tell me themselves . . . let them come and tell these things to me and my husband.”

I: The boy Y (now 17) molested your daughter H (now 8). You knew but didn’t stop it.
“First of all, don’t use the phrase “You knew but didn’t stop it.” You didn’t see anything. The girl once told me that the boy touched her in intimate places. So I kept watch that she wouldn’t be with any of the boys. Since then she slept in my bed, because I feared that they would touch her when I was sleeping.”

Did you take Y for treatment for his sexual urges?
”I didn’t know exactly what was happening to him, because he knew it was against the holy Torah, and he therefore took care to hide it from us so we wouldn’t know.”

And how did you react when H told you?
“I spoke to him of course. He smiled, and I thought it was a teenage prank. I didn’t stand for that type of behavior, and therefore I didn’t think there was any problem.”

Y. told you that he and your daughter R (now 22) committed full incest at many opportunities.

“If that’s true, all I have left to do is cry and pray for them . . . but how can I believe it?”

Here the interrogator asked the mother to respond to the complaints of the children themselves, that she regularly hit them cruelly. The mother takes pains to be specific: “This never was and never occurred, that we hit them with cruelty,” she emphasizes. “Sometimes we hit them with no physical trauma, to educate only, like every parent is permitted to hit for educational purposes . . . I was always careful when I was upset not to hit until I calmed down, so as not to hit more than necessary. I admit that sometimes I poured water on them because I needed to hit them, and I didn’t want to hurt them. So I chose to pour a little water instead of hitting so they would understand that they weren’t ‘beseder.’”

Maybe once I told one of the children to put a match on Y.

The interrogator quoted the report of the child Y., where he complains that his parents hit him and didn’t let him in the house after he played soccer. The mother’s reaction: “You don’t understand, because you aren’t religious. With us, as in every house that observes the Torah and the commandments, a child needs to learn Torah and not play soccer. This is against our education. With us it’s absolutely normal not to let a child stop learning Torah.

I: Did your husband hit Y in the back so he would sit straight?
M: “Those weren’t cruel blows. That was just a light hit with the hand. I also straighten out their backs.”

I: Did you hit the children with a belt, an electric cable, antennae, and other objects?

“Sometimes I hit them with a belt, but I was careful not to use more strength than [necessary] for a token hit. As it says in the holy Torah: ‘He who withholds the rod hates his son.” Therefore I was careful that they should be educational blows without leaving any marks. I was also careful that they shouldn’t hurt too much, because after all I love them all. In the book of Lamentations it says, “the hands of compassionate women cooked their children.” Rashi explains that those women that didn’t punish their children when they saw them fail to observe the Torah caused the children to be killed later during the destruction of the Temple. So they [the commentators?] agreed with me that it’s better for a child to receive a few blows and not die.”

I: Your son Y tells that you extinguished a match on him.

There was a period when every time I left the house, the children played with fire and burned blankets and sheets. One time I might have told one of the children to put a match on Y, because I feared that the house would go up in flames.

[Mother in Israel: There is lots more, but I have had enough for today. I think we all get the idea; this woman has serious psychological issues, perhaps accompanied by mental illness. She expressed these ideas in her parenting, her understanding of religious texts, and her observance of rituals. I feel sorry for her obsessive, delusional self; for her children who will probably never completely recover; and for the women and their families from her community who fell under her influence.

I will also add that this is what happens when you try to apply verses in the Torah directly to everyday situations, without exercising common sense or seeking guidance from qualified people.

Later in the report B mentions that she and her husband consulted with R. Eliashiv about the handicapped child, and were told not to hit him. She claims that they followed his ruling.]

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Comments

  1. Garnel Ironheart says:

    This woman is clearly haloperidol-deficient. I recommend a high dosage. She clearly needs to correct this immediately.

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