As Brooklyn Rabbi’s House Burns and a Potential Arsonist May Also Be a Victim

To the Community Looking for the Alleged Arson Suspect

We are asking, imploring upon you the readers and the law enforcement community, to please treat the suspect with care, kindness and compassion. If, with emphasis added, he was the victim of some wrongdoing, and that drove him to a breaking point, he has lived a lifetime of trauma.

There is little justification for committing crimes, but there may be mitigating circumstances.

There would be no justice for anyone if he is not given the opportunity to defend any actions he may or may not have taken in the fire as suspected.

LM

Brooklyn Rabbi’s House Burns Down in Suspected Arson, 13 Injured

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

 

The home of a Brooklyn rabbi erupted in fire early Friday in what investigators suspect was an arson attack by a man who accused the rabbi of being a pedophile.

Thirteen people, including a 6-week-old baby, were injured. None of the injuries were life-threatening, although 12 people were sent to the hospital, including nine civilians, two firefighters and an EMS medic.

The blaze erupted in a car outside a home in the Midwood neighborhood and spread to three others, including that of Rabbi Jonathan Max, the New York Daily News reported. 

Investigators are looking into Menachem Karelefsky as a suspect, according to the Daily News. The Pittsburgh resident, who also goes by Matthew, on his LinkedIn profile accused Max, a teacher at the Chaim Berlin Yeshiva, of being a pedophile.

A phone number listed on Karelefsky’s LinkedIn profile leads to a voicemail message in Hebrew that says “May the name and memory of Rabbi Max be erased, simply, really, forever.”

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4 thoughts on “As Brooklyn Rabbi’s House Burns and a Potential Arsonist May Also Be a Victim

  1. “please treat the suspect with care, kindness and compassion”?
    The suspect made up his complaint against Rabbi many years after it supposedly happened as another way to harm the Rabbi.
    He is using this complaint as a way to smear the Rabbi knowing that such complaints are always believed, no matter how false, and news media and sites like yours are giving credence to it thus assisting him in his quest to harm the rabbi.

    • Julie, you do know Karelefsky was also a Rebbi in Chaim Berlin, and also claims that he caught Rabbi Max in bed with his wife.

      Saying things such as “please treat the suspect with care, kindness and compassion” or saying that many other victims came forward is why your blog lacks any credibility and why people dont take REAL abuse seriously.

      • Eitan, if you believe that the blog lacks credibility than you might simply want to stop reading it. If you think that there are better ways to get “REAL” abuse to be taken seriously than perhaps you can make suggestions. With the ultra-Orthodox community sweeping abuse under the carpet, it is hard to have it be taken seriously. With judges and politicians (particularly in Brooklyn) in the pockets of the ultra-Orthodox and their heavily supported allies, even when it is believed trials get reduced to victim shaming. Perhaps you have a way to solve that problem. Clearly, the alleged arsonist had something happen to him. There is nothing not-credible in that. Your take on events? They are one of many circulating the internet. Hopefully a full investigation will be conducted. But compassion and kindness? Those should really not be such difficult asks, particularly of those supporting a rabbi and his family whose own suffering cannot be understated.

    • Actually, within that community and quite frankly within Brooklyn those complaints are rarely believed if heard. If his complaints are true, they mustn’t be ignored. If not, it is for a judge to decide. But acting as judge and executioner is not something we think appropriate.

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