JERUSALEM (VINnews) — A Jerusalem yeshiva student now in his 30’s who for many years helped a childless elderly man has inherited all of the possessions of the man, despite the objections of the state to the will of the elderly man, who recently passed away at age 88.
The state had objected to the will, claiming that the yeshiva student had cynically exploited the mental state of the elderly man and created a dependency on him when they prayed in the same Jerusalem synagogue. The state also claimed that the fact that he had left all of his property to the student and not to his own wife (who has since passed away) proved that the elderly man’s mental state was not lucid. It was also claimed that the student had submitted a request to be appointed guardian of the possessions of the elderly couple and had tried to steal 660,000 NIS from a bank when they sold an apartment, a move which was prevented by alert bank clerks.
The Custodian General claimed that large sums had been withdrawn from the elderly couple’s account including a 120,000 NIS check for a car as well as a large sum for purchasing a Sefer Torah.
Attorney Ehud Weisbrod representing the yeshiva student denied the charges and explained that the yeshiva student and the elderly couple had been acquainted for 18 years and have lived next to each other. The student used to spend time with the couple then and although they had not been in touch while he was in yeshiva, they had reconnected later and the elderly man had asked for help in routine activities. The couple received constant assistance from the yeshiva student who listened to them, inquired after their welfare and performed acts of kindness for them without expecting remuneration.
The man was independent, did not take advice from the yeshiva student and operated his account by himself. The social worker testified that the elderly man used to go to the Machane Yehuda market and purchase food for himself and his wife and that the yeshiva student had withdrawn money at their behest.
The sale of the apartment was initiated by the man’s wife who only agreed to return from a senior citizen’s home where she was placed if the couple would move to another place. The yeshiva student suggested that they sell and buy another house but the old man insisted on selling and renting another apartment. The Sefer Torah was purchased at the request of the elderly man, who was delighted to be able to buy a Sefer Torah and donate it to his synagogue.
The attorney succeeded in bringing a number of other legal claims after the widow passed away which forced the Custodian General to remove the state’s claim on the couple’s possessions. The judge ruled in favor of the yeshiva student, and it is possible that the couple also owned an additional asset – a plot of land in central Tel Aviv, which will now belong to the yeshiva student.