Police question influential Rabbi Tau on allegations of sexual abuse and rape

Four months after investigation opened, prominent hardline rabbi called in for interrogation by Lahav 433 unit

Rabbi Zvi Tau in 2018. (Screenshot)
Rabbi Zvi Tau in 2018. (Screenshot)

Police questioned Rabbi Zvi Tau, a spiritual leader to many Orthodox Israeli nationalists, some four months after an investigation was launched against him on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.

According to police, the Lahav 433 national investigative unit summoned Tau to its offices for questioning “following many investigative actions.” Police said Tau was released on bail after questioning.

According to Army Radio, Tau was confronted during his questioning by one of his accusers, Nechama Te’ena.

Tau, 85, is the head of the influential Har Hamor Yeshiva in Jerusalem as well as the spiritual leader of the anti-LGBTQ Noam political party. He has been accused by multiple women of sexual abuse and rape dating back decades, with two going public so far.

The allegations against Tau have prompted fierce debate within the national-religious world, as he is only the latest in a series of high-profile rabbinic figures within that community to be accused of rape and sexual abuse in recent years.

Te’ena first went public in August, but her allegations were largely ignored at the time by the police and the media.

After Te’ena began staging protests outside the Knesset, accusing Tau of raping her and others and demanding to know why the Israel Police were refusing to investigate, at least one other woman came forward, releasing a video testimony recorded in her home.

Screen capture from video of Dorit, one of two women who accuse Rabbi Zvi Tau of rape, November 13, 2022. (Channel 13. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Those accusations, however, will likely not have direct, immediate bearing on the investigation, as the statute of limitations has expired.

A number of other women have also spoken anonymously to the media or spoken to rabbinic officials about their accusations.

Many prominent rabbis have called for Tau to be investigated, though some have stood by him, dismissing the allegations as rumors and gossip.

Tau has not yet publicly responded to the allegations against him.

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