For those of you not in the know, let's begin at the begining: Yisroel Valis is an Israeli, 19 years old, and recently arrested for killing his three month old son. According to the police, Valis has confessed to biting, beating, pinching and punching the infant since birth because he "did not accept him." The word of the police, unfortunately, carries zero weight in Valis's community, the staunchly anti-Zionist and hostile-to-the-state Edah Haredit, which answered the arrest with three days of rioting, and the obnoxious claim that the Israeli police had fabricated a "Pessah-eve blood libel identical to those concocted by the Europeans against the Jews."
Now, Rabbis Shalom Elyashiv and Haim Kanievski have inserted themselves into the mess.
Their psak, or halachic ruling, issued today, declares that Valis is innocent. Essentially, the ruling states that the fact that Mrs. Valis continues to support her husband is proof positive of his innocence. Can this shaky argument really have been intended to supersede the Israeli court system, and to sweep away the state's evidence? Did the Rabbis think their word was enough to cause Valis's cell door would fly wide open? Surely not. So what then?
Whatever it the Rabbis may have intended, their declaration serves to trivialize both logic and due process, and by doing so, the Rabbis have also trivialized our reputation as a learned, pious, and respected people.