Yet another shocking story of a Jewish man unjustly incarcerated in a European prison was brought to the public eye this week, after Esther Batel released the details of her husband Dovid’s arrest. Dovid, resident of Netanya and father of 6, reportedly had his identity stolen and used for fraud.
“We were so scared but assumed it would all soon be over, because he is innocent,” reads the family’s public statement.
Their false sense of hope was soon dispelled – Dovid was denied a trial, and sat in prison, for two years. He was finally brought in front of a judge last week, after years of gruesome conditions and psychological torture. It was quickly determined that he was not guilty of the crime, and the court ruled that he could be released, on the condition that a fee of nearly $200,000 be paid, by September 8th.
The family are now engaged in a terrifying race – to raise a seemingly impossible sum of money, or accept that Dovid will never return. An emergency fund has been opened to help raise the money.
In previous times in history, the mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim was a rare opportunity. Now thanks to the internet and Jewish crowdfunding sites such as The Chesed Fund, individuals around the world have the opportunity to release Jewish prisoners from life-threatening situations.
Only six days remain to raise the money necessary to release Dovid Batel from prison. Those near to the family are watching the fund’s progress closely, as it is currently their only hope of reuniting.