Sensationalist Headlines vs. Reality: Looks at the Case of the Meah Shearim Mother

18 speaks with Rebbetzin Yocheved Grossman

We are once again seeing the power of distortion at play. We see how the power of evil in this world is triumphant over the power of truth. The continuing saga of the mother who has been accused of starving her child has captured the attention of Yidden all over the world. spoke at length with Rebbetzin Yocheved Grossman of Yerushalayim who knows the family and is leading the effort to disseminate the true nature of what has happened in this case. Rebbetzin Grossman, who has been in touch with MK Yaakov Litzman and all the other Israeli officials and askanim involved, has said that at this point, all Yidden should simply pray for the mother and child as the family awaits a meeting at the court tomorrow. The family has been broken, the children are devastated, and the mother is forlorn.

As we spoke with Rebbetzin Grossman a short while ago, she was heading out the door to attend a kinnus for women at Ulamei Bet Yisroel, which is going to addressed by Rav Stein from Petach Tikvah. Discussing specifics of the case today, said the Rebbetzin, is not beneficial for the child or the mother, whom she described as “caring and devoted.” For legal reasons, those involved in helping the woman will keep things under wraps until tomorrow afternoon, but reiterate that it appears that a massive cover-up and besmirching campaign has succeeded in spreading untruths.

Working with little to no money and limited resources, Rebbetzin Grossman and those who are assisting her are determined to reach out to communities all over the world that have been bombarded with the falsities and reports coming from secular sources and information provided by the hospital.

Not surprisingly, the mainstream media has gobbled up all information that paints the mother as a monster and the chareidi community as irresponsible and reckless. More disturbing is the fact that even Jewish media outlets and online news sites have reported the information being provided by others in the media or have translated such information found in Hebrew language media.

And now, reports have shifted somewhat and are focused on boycotts of Hadassah Ein Keren Hospital and other information such as alleged infighting among segments of the frum community. This is all secondary to the main story here which has left tens of questions unanswered. Information is thrown at the reader just for the sake of reporting, obscuring what should be the main focus in this case: revealing the truth and bringing to the fore what still seems to be some sort of significant cover-up by the hospital and medical personnel and an attempt to show that the mother was negligent and uncaring. continues to do its own independent research into this matter. We are speaking to people who know the family and are aware of the medical condition of the boy. The only way to report the truth is by trying to ascertain the truth.

It is astonishing how one-sided the media coverage of this story has been, especially in the English language online media. Jewish blogs – and we’ve reviewed dozens of them – are chock full of conjecture and plainly inaccurate information regarding the mother, the child, and the efforts to get to the bottom of what happened. Lies are stated as fact, and unwitting readers believe it all. After all, we’re dealing with ‘backward chareidim‘ here. There is little, if any, desire to answer the glaring questions that have yet to be answered about the hospital’s apparent strange handling of the boy. There has been no explanation given as to why the police and jail personnel allegedly treated this pregnant mother as though she were a hardened criminal.

Here are some of the details of this case that beg for answers or explanations:

• The expectant mother was placed in a cell with an Arab woman, a convicted murderer, who was constantly threatening to kill her.

• She was not given appropriate food, and had almost nothing for three days.

• The jail personnel showed her food sent to her by her mother – and then tossed it in the garbage in front of her eyes.

• The jail personnel ensured that she would not be able to sleep a wink by using strong lights and creating noise around her cell constantly.

• There was no bedding in her cell, forcing her to sleep on the concrete floor with no cushion or blanket.

• The jail personnel told her that her baby was dead.

• She was never informed that the city of Yerushalayim was up in arms in protest over her imprisonment.

• She was not allowed a change of clothing during the entire period of her incarceration.

• Her eyes became infected, because they would give her the lotion required for her contact lenses.

• She was locked away for 10 days – with no one being permitted to visit her. Not family and not lawyers.

• It broke the mother’s heart to see her baby starving and she couldn’t bring herself to eat anything whenever she was in the hospital.

• A number of other people who had children in the same ward of the hospital have come forward with signed statements saying how they watched this mother’s utter devotion, commitment and care for this child. Several hospital volunteers have given written statements supporting the mother 100%.

• The child hasn’t left the hospital for the past seven months. Didn’t the nurses and doctors notice that he was starving? Where were they all this time? Why didn’t they do something about it?

• Why did so much time pass before suspicions emerged that the problem has to do with the mother and not with the child? What sort of needless and damaging treatments did he undergo? What did the hospital’s social work department do about the case? Was there an effort to handle this grave matter in cooperation with the community?

Hopefully, the truth, and the whole story, can eventually emerge here. Until then, as Rebbetzin Grossman urged, all can continue davening for the little boy, Chaim ben Yenta, and the mother, Yenta bas Yocheved.

{Yair Israel with Dovid Bernstein of Newscenter}


  1. Why did so much time pass before suspicions emerged that the problem has to do with the mother and not with the child?

    Answer: It did not dawn on anybody in the hospital that a charedi mother would hutr her child. Therefore they kept looking in the wrong place for the cause.

  2. I know the mother and the entire family from both sides personally, she’s a great women, and all that don’t know her, and believe the secular media including Hamodia, should shut their traps!

  3. you are so right. take headlines like “Tnesions Mounting BNetween Eidah and Toldos Aaron”
    and this from frum media!
    a bizayon
    they are lies, and are not whatmnatters here
    what matters is the welfare of nthe molther and child and the bloood libel being spread

  4. Munchausen mothers generally appear to be utterly devoted and caring– far more so than the average parent.

    Not a single one of the objections raised in this article have any bearing on hether or not this mother does, in fact, have this terrible psychiatric illness. They are all “after-the-fact” arguments, all of which need be addressed, but not to the exclusion of uncovering the “facts.”

    The only way to dteremine the reality of the situation would be for the mother to meet with the metal health professional again, as requested.

    If she is indeed ill, then she can start getting the help that she needs.

    As long as she refuses to do so she is possibly endangering her life and the lives of her other children, AND perpetuating the stereotype of “backward chareidim.”

  5. Why did so much time pass before suspicions emerged that the problem has to do with the mother and not with the child?

    You might find an answer to this question in the report published here:

    I do not know whether this report has any validity, but if it is authentic, it says that the doctors tried to do everything they possibly could, with all due diligence, in order to find out the mysterious disease of the child.

    Since they did not suspect anything for a quite long time, it obviously took them time to find out that someone was sabotaging on purpose.

    Here is a summary of what the report says:

    The child weighted little over 8kg when he was admitted to the hospital in February, had (recurrent) fever attacks and (open) wounds on the hands and mouth.

    They tried antibiotica and steroides to treat him (which seemed to help, as far as I understand). Then they tried an anti-rheumaticum, because they suspected the fever attacks were caused by an auto-immune disease.

    They did a series of (very expensive) checks: CT, MRI, Angiography, but could not find anything

    The serologic analysis for antibodies did not present anomlies, so I guess this excluded the auto-immune disease hypothesis.

    However, every time they tried to feed the child, the stomach aches worsened. On the images of the stomach they could not find anything.

    They tried to feed him by gastric sond, then they bypassed the stomach and fed directly into the intestine, and still the stomach ache increased. So they ended up feeding him intravenously.

    They could find no occlusion, nor variculitis in the gastro-intestinal tract, and still it took a full week for a contrast liquid to get to the rectum. Later, it took only 10h.

    According to what emerges from this report, it seems very probable that someone who had unhindered access to the child tampered the artificial feeding…

    So of course: as long as they did not suspect anything, the could not find the real cause.

  6. as I said before if u don’t know her, shut your trap! and u can go to a dr. let me c it happen in your family and I’ii send u to a dr. selfish rat what you are!

  7. If we don’t know the details and can’t ascertain them , why do we need to have any information? There’s no point in an article that says “Everyone is wrong, we’ll tell you why when we figure it out.”

  8. go riot i wish i was in eretz yisroel now that bein hazmanim started time to burn down the police station give those rishoim what they deserve how dare they treet her like that my blood is boiling where is pinchas ben elazar when you need him

  9. There are a list of assertions about the treatment of the mother, especially during her time in jail.

    Have these been verified? If they are true, the prison personnel were in violation of the law and should be prosecuted/sued. If they are being reported as hearsay, this should be noted. Righteous indignation can sometimes serve as an unfortunate stimulus for the imagination, which can get quite flowery after it has passed through telling by several different people.

    If these assertions are true, there are legal issues which should be pursued. If they cannot be verified, they should be reported as hearsay, not as fact. Please note: verification does not mean “I heard from my second cousin whose brother-in-law is a chavrusa of her next-door neightbor.” It should be something that would have a chance of standing up in an impartial Beis Din / court of law.

    As to why the doctors did not suspect anything for so long, No. 1 is right. It is the usual case for a mother to do everything possible for her sick child. This is especially true for the Hareidi sector, which is known to treasure their children. It would take a very long time for a doctor to comsider a Hareidi mother could be harming her child – it would be unthinkable under normal circumstances. This should be taken as a credit to Hareidim.

  10. ruth writes facts. some of the others just write insults. It is very disturbing to me to read the prustkeit of some of your commenters.This is a serious charge and there are legal ways to deal with the charges, not by rioting and burning garbage cans and destroying public property. How do your writers think breaking traffic lights will help. The way that some of your people write is in itself a chillul hashem.

  11. ruth – -that report was put out by the hospital, which continues to block a transfer to another hospital and access to medical records. They had the child on an oncology ward. The nurses didn’t feed the child? How could the mother keep supposedly withholding food if the child was in the hospital — don’t nurses do anything at all in the hospital over there? The hospital put pictures of the child up for the media, so they don’t care about shielding the child’s privacy — why then don’t they release every single shred of documentation to what experimental treatements they tried…

  12. I can’t understand how after hearing from erliche yidden who personally know her that she is innocent and this is a massive cover-up, people can still be influenced by the secular media.

    The fact that she was mistreated is only additional proof of the cover-up. However the main reason to believe the chareidi version is because erliche yidden have neamonus and not the secular biased press.

  13. I heard that on Radio Kol Chai there was a story on Monday about a child treated in Hadassa 5 years ago who was going through surgery after surgery with no apparent purpose. The father suspected that the doctors were experimenting on the child and decided to transfer the child to Michelov Hospital. As soon as Hadassah realized they’re in hot water, they accused the father of attempting to kill his child. The matter came to court and the father was aquitted. The child was transfered to Michelov and fully recovered.

    The difference between that case and this one? The father was irreligious.

    Being closely involved with this case, I’d like to share some tidbits.

    A while back Yenty (mom) had been to a big doctor who told her, when he heard the name of the chemo Chaim is given, “I wouldn’t give such a strong drug to a child so young.”
    That’s when she realized her child is being used by Hadassah as a human guinea pig. Once the doctors realized she was up to their scheme, they turned around and pounced on her with this despicably false accusation. She was doing a regular procedure to clean the device, which the doctors cleverly made to look like she was trying to kill her own child.

    A similar story happened a few years ago with the Valles child, who was left to die because of hospital negligence, and in order to escape accusation, the hospital accused the father of negligence. The case is still pending in Bagatz. One of Valles’ askanim predicted a while ago that one of these days a frum parent will be charged with child murder, so as to influence Bagatz’s verdict. “Chacham adif minavi”.

    It seems to me Israeli kids, especially frum ones, are hefker as training material for Hadassah’s medical students. If caught, the hospital can always go on the offensive. After all they’re only charedim, about whom everybody, including religious groups, are ready, willing and able to believe anything.

    Yenty’s mother goes to the hospital every day and she says they now treat Chaim like a prince. He wears a nice suit instead of hospital pajamas, he’s showered with toys and gifts, stuffed with food… the works. Methinks the hospital doth protest too much.

  14. “How could the mother keep supposedly withholding food if the child was in the hospital ?”

    1) When it came to hospital, according to this report, it had a weight of 8.14 kg.
    So it did not starve in hospital, but it came to the hospital already starved, and doctors made all efforts to feed him up, but somehow it did not work. When given solid food, he vomited, when given food directly into the stomach, he had strong stomach aches, when given food directly to the intestines, he had strong stomach aches, so they ended up feeding him intravenously. Here the first page of the report stops, and I have no further information.

    2) I think in general, when you feed (a child) through gastrostomy (directly into the stomach), it is a certain quantity of nutritional liquid which has to drip slowly into the stomach. So the nurse comes, hangs up a bag with nutritional liquid, connects it to the tube, and then she leaves. The liquid will be delievered by small drops, within several hours. So there is no actual “feeding” involved.

    And: he had care, remembre, his mother did not leave his bedside (during daytime, as far as I understood), on young volonteer girls were with him in the evening…

  15. #7, funny that you call yourself “jew”. Jews don’t talk like that. The name calling is fitting for goyim, not yidden. Even if you are angry, learn to restrain your ka’as and talk like a mentch.

  16. Why are some people so quick to give frum yiddem musser before knowing the facts while they condone the horrible actions of the secular?

    No matter if the woman is mentally ill or not (and the facts will prove that she is a healthy, caring, devoted mother), there is absolutely no justification to lock up a pregnant woman with terrorist murderers! Similarly, there is no justification to torture her by denying her food etc.

    The most they could justify would be to hospitalize her or put her under house arrest.

    This is what should be the focus of our outrage.

    BTW the traffic light breaking etc. is not done by the peaceful charedi demonstrators but by trouble makers who take advantage of the situation. I was told that a secular reporter on Israeli radio said that he saw a street light being broken by someone who wasn’t even wearing a kipa.