Rape accusations painted outside home of Rabbi Zvi Tau, who is suspected of assault

‘Rabbi Tau raped me! And my mother and my sister,’ ‘You killed my soul’ found at Jerusalem residence of far-right Noam party’s spiritual leader

Rabbi Zvi Tau attends a protest of Jewish activists against a conference of Christians outside the Davidson Center in Jerusalem Old City, on May 28, 2023. (Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)
Rabbi Zvi Tau attends a protest of Jewish activists against a conference of Christians outside the Davidson Center in Jerusalem Old City, on May 28, 2023. (Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)

Graffiti was daubed overnight Monday outside the home of Rabbi Zvi Tau, a spiritual leader to many Orthodox Israeli nationalists who has been investigated by police over allegations of sexual assault including rape.

“Rabbi Tau raped me! And my mother and my sister,” was among the slogans scrawled in the stairwell outside Tau’s Jerusalem home.

The words “You murdered my soul,” and “You killed us,” were also found.

Channel 13 published unsourced video showing a group of several women leaving Tau’s apartment building, apparently after having sprayed the graffiti.

The Israel Police opened an investigation.

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.

Tau’s attorney, Adi Carmeli, denounced the graffiti as “despicable violence” connected to the sexual assault allegations, Channel 13 reported.

“Since police announced the conclusion of the investigation and their intention to close the case, we have witnessed several attempts to solicit false complainants against the rabbi and tonight even a case of despicable violence,” Carmeli said in a statement.

He said the identities of the perpetrators were known and were reported to police, along with photographic evidence.

Last week, police said that a six-month investigation into the sexual assault allegations was completed and that Tau is suspected of rape, aggravated assault, abduction, and indecent acts on minors.

The investigative material was passed to Jerusalem district prosecutors for a decision on whether to press charges.

Police did not make their recommendations in the case public, but Carmeli said officers believe it should be closed, the Walla news site reported at the time.

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

Te’ena went public in August last year, 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.

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.

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

Many prominent rabbis have called for Tau to be investigated, though others have stood by him, dismissing the allegations as rumors and gossip. He has not yet publicly responded to the allegations against him.

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