Jerusalem – Rabbi Yehuda Rosilio, 64, was indicted today in the Magistrate’s Court on six counts, including aggravated theft; fraud; fraud under aggravated circumstances; breach of trust; and an affront to religion. He was arrested in connection with the thefts of seven Torah scrolls from his synagogue in Moshav Brosh near Be’er Sheva.
According to the indictment filed by the Southern District Attorney’s Office, Rosilio was paid by members of his congregation to write a number of different sifrei Torah. The completed scrolls were then placed into the Ark. Maariv reports (http://bit.ly/QncWZu) that when a family requested that a sefer Torah be written in memory of their loved one, Rosilio stole one of the scrolls which had previously been written, placed it in a new case, and presented it to the family.
On one occasion, the defendant borrowed parchments from a dealer and told the family he had written it himself. Once he received payment and the Torah was dedicated, Rosilio removed the scroll from its case and returned it to the dealer. In order to avoid detection, Rosilio regularly switched the different parchments between the cases that were stored in the Ark. The defendant is also accused of stealing scrolls written by other scribes.
Rosilio’s scheme unraveled on Simchas Torah when all the scrolls were removed from the Ark as is customary, and a young boy asked his father to show him the actual text of the Torah scroll.
Worshippers had not noticed that anything was amiss because the suspect had replaced the parchments with heavy paper stock and cardboard equal to the weight of the stolen scrolls. In fact, congregants unknowingly made donations to the synagogue in exchange for the opportunity to carry the sifrei Torah during Simchas Torah.
Rosilio has been placed under house arrest and is prohibited from engaging in the rabbinate, writing Torah scrolls or doing any Torah-related work.
what a sad day.
Is it any wonder why kids, teens and adults have crisis in their emunah when Rabbis like these mentioned just in this weeks’s news are considered our role models! There is such an emphasis on things looking a certain way, judging everything by appearances and ignoring substance….
“Torah Torah chugri sak”
if true, how sad that this should happen.
Truth is stranger than fiction.
Who buys these stolen Torahs? Can we throw them in jail?