Meah Shearim Mother Can Stay Home, Media Continues to Pass Judgment


chaimkeh-smallThe Yerushalayim District Court today rejected the prosecution’s demand to order Mrs. Yenty Markowitz, unfairly accused of starving her three-year-old son Chaimkeh to serve the remainder of her house arrest away from her Meah Shearim home.

The prosecutors said they may appeal the court ruling.

The child will remain in the care of relatives, where he has been since he was discharged from hospital last week, while Mrs. Markowitz will be allowed to stay with her other children.

Prosecutor Ma’ayan Rimon claimed that only if Mrs. Markowitz was under arrest outside Meah Shearim could the affair be dealt with like any other criminal case. Defenders of Mrs. Markowitz question this, saying that there is no reason that an efficient investigative team wouldn’t be able to conduct their work in any area, including Meah Shearim.

After a possible appeal against the court ruling, prosecutors say they plan to submit a petition for a second psychiatric evaluation to determine whether Mrs. Markowitz is fit to stand trial.

The Tale Behind Bars

Decades ago stories of kidnapped Yemenite children, snatched away from hospitals and sold, while their grieving mothers were told that they suddenly died, sent waves of shock and horror across Israeli society.

And now, a young mother of five, Mrs. Markowitz, was arrested and treated worse than a hardened criminal. The Israeli media passed justice on her, and the wardens carried it out, with brutality and efficiency.

On Wednesday, July 8, Mrs. Markowitz – the so-called “starving mom” at the center of the case that has ripped Eretz Yisroel apart – came home from a brief vacation in Netanya, and was summoned to the local child welfare office. When she arrived, she was handcuffed without warning, and hauled off to jail in the so-called Russian Compound.

The wardens announced, to the entire jail, that she was a dangerous woman who tried to starve her child, and would kill anyone in her cell. As a result, this ‘danger to society’ was placed in a cell together with an Arab murderer, named Yardena, who had tried to kill her husband several times.

And so, without being told what was going on, this kind and gentle mother’s nightmare began.

Until Shabbos, Yenty Markowitz, in her fifth month of pregnancy, was not given mehadrin food, and did not eat for three days. She was taunted and harassed by her jailers without letup.

Every time she was taken out for interrogation, she was chained hand and foot with metal handcuffs, and dragged from one room to the next, as if she was a dangerous criminal. She was thus interrogated about twenty times.

One interviewer named Ilana threatened her that she will stay in jail for 46 years. Dr. Levi Pluris, the doctor at the center of the scandal, sadistically warned Yenty that she will never see her children again, nor merit to marry them off.

In order to break her spirit and encourage her to admit to fictional crimes, they told her that the Gaon Av Bais Din of the Eidah Hachareidis, Rav Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss, had written sharp words against her, and that the Toldos Aharon Rebbe warned women during a special lecture not to follow in her footsteps.

They also ‘revealed’ to her that her husband is furious at her and wants to divorce her.

No lie was too callous or farfetched to try and achieve their aims.

(Similar tactics were used on R’ Yisroel Asher Vallis, a yungerman falsely accused of murdering his child. He was not allowed any visitors and was told that nobody wanted to visit him, in order to break his spirit.)

Yenty’s family members, who wanted to bring her clothing and food, were cursed and sent home. They begged to be allowed to send her contact lens solution, but the prison wardens refused. As a result, her eyes became red and infected. She was not allowed contact with her family – not even a brief phone conversation – during the entire time.

For Shabbos, her family succeeded in sending her food, but Yardena, her cellmate, stole most of the food and drink, guzzling it before the famished woman’s eyes. Yenty was too frightened to complain, and she knew it wouldn’t help in any case.

But the nightmare got worse. On the following Tuesday, when the story was publicized on TV, Yardena, her murderous cellmate, began to taunt her and stole her mattress. The wardens turned a blind eye to her pleas, and Yenty was forced to sleep on the hard and dirty floor, swarming with bugs. The cell was tiny and cramped; there was scarcely enough air for even one person.

During her entire stay in the cell, Yenty was terrified of Yardena’s threats. On one occasion, the murderer threatened to kill her within five minutes. Yenty knew the jailers would not come to her aid, so she crouched in a corner of her cell and began to sob to the Ribono Shel Olam to save her.

A miracle occurred, and two minutes later, an official came to speak to Yardena, to check on her welfare. The murderer began to shout that she didn’t want to be in the same room with a woman who “starved her baby.” Fortunately, they removed Yardena, and thus Yenty’s life was spared.

But Yardena wasn’t the only threat. Jailers and wardens continued to taunt and threaten Yenty. When she cried that she didn’t feel well and needed medical treatment, they refused to let her be seen by a doctor, against prison protocol. Even the worst criminals are given access to medical care.

On the final Thursday of her incarceration, Yenty was taken to the distant and notorious Ramle prison, even though her jailers knew that she would have to return to the courthouse in Yerushalayim on the following day. They subjected her to the exhausting ride, in order to further humiliate and destroy her spirit.

Yenty asked to speak to her lawyer, because she didn’t have the strength to travel to Ramle, but the wardens refused. The chained her, hand and foot, and dragged her into a van without windows or enough air.

During the ride, she was nauseous and kept on vomiting, but the officials refused to give her a drink of water or a towel to dry her stained clothes.

Once in Ramle, her troubles began anew. Yenty was interviewed again, as if all the days of interrogations until then had been in vain. Then she was thrown into a stinking cell smeared with excrement, and left there for five hours, until ten at night. Later, they took her to a cell with a moldy bed that was impossible to sleep on. When she complained, they told her, “For someone like you, this is also too good!”

On Friday, they took her back to Yerushalayim, with her hands and feet in chains, to face the judge. Even when she was ordered freed, they first took her back to the Russian Compound, and left her in a small cell for nearly two hours, bound hand and foot.

During the ten-day ordeal, Yenty barely had anything to eat or drink, until she grew weak and listless. Finally, she was released to her family, destroyed both in body and spirit by the Israeli justice system. Yenty had merely been their korban upon which to pour their rage against the datim.

Yenty’s harrowing tale of suffering has largely been ignored by the media, who are out to demonize her, along with her community.

{Yair Israel}





    unfortunately even other frum media and been copying the irreligious media’s assault on this poor mother. A “frum” site reported: The prosecution also told the court the Eida Chareidit is interfering in the investigation.”

    WHY WOULD frum media report that? what do they keep spitting out the junk that the left-wing anti religious media keeps offering up.

  3. #3 you think a little yerushalmi women has nothing better to do than make up stories?? these are facts. you think she was hiding for ten days-no , she was in jail.everyone close to her saw what was happening, but unfortunately the world doesnt care that much. too many of our own are embarrassed to stand up[ for each other

  4. #3 Curious Person (or are you Furious Person – furious that the truth is coming out)?

    How do we know that the whole starving mom accusation is not a made up story made up by the anti chareidim????

  5. #6 Even if it is true, She should not be treated that way. She should never have been thrown into jail. There is such a thing as a mental institution, if she’s not well, they should send here there.

  6. “The prosecution also told the court the Eida Chareidit is interfering in the investigation.”

    WHY WOULD frum media report that?”

    Well the frum media reported quite proudly that the Eidah appealed to boycott the Meuchedet health insurance because some Doctors/nurses working for Meuchedet are going to testify.

    So if this is not interfering with witnesses, what is??

    In the end, it makes not difference who reports it and how it is reported. It is enough to use your sechel to learn what is happening.

    I actually learn negative things about chareidim almost only in the chareidi press. The secular press, international press could not care less.

  7. I am sad to hear she was treated that badly and I think that what she was subjected to should be publicized. Maybe if she had known what the consequences of her actions would be when she was abusing her son she would have made different choices.