Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Tammuz 5761 - June 27, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Russian Immigrant Assaults Bnei Brak Passersby on Shabbos
by S. Bruchi

On Shabbos 25 Sivan, a Russian immigrant wielding a steel rod attacked innocent passersby in Bnei Brak with intent to murder. Several of the victims were severely injured.

HaRav Aharon Slar, a ram and menahel ruchani in Yeshivas Chochmas Shlomo, told Yated Ne'eman that he left his home on HaRav Kook Street at 4:45 AM to daven in the Beis Knesses Hagodol vosikin minyan on Rabbi Akiva Street. He noticed that someone was walking behind him, carrying a bag. HaRav Slar continued a number of steps, and suddenly felt a strong blow on his head. Before he was able to react, he was struck again and keeled over.

"I suddenly noticed that the assailant, a Russian immigrant, was advancing toward me, trying to hit me again. I tried to resist and to kick him, but he beat me again and again with a large iron rod, inflicting blows all over my body.

"By the time I reached the shul, my clothes were drenched with blood from deep gashes in my forehead and under my eye. Rabbi Benzion Firer, the chairman of Ezra Umarpeh, who davens in the shul vosikin minyan, managed to stop the strong flow of blood. Then I went to Ezer Mitzion, where an on-duty doctor sutured my forehead and the wound under my eye."

HaRav Slar filed a complaint against the assailant with the Ramat Gan Police. The officer who received the complaint said that the Russian assailant had attacked four passersby. One victim was injured severely on HaRav Herzog Street and had to be hospitalized. The officer told HaRav Slar that the assailant was arrested by the police and would be detained without bail until the end of proceedings against him.

The investigator also told HaRav Slar that the man had been arrested last week for attempted assault, but had been released. On Shabbos night, he came to Bnei Brak for a Shabbos meal, and in a mad frenzy began to attack whoever he encountered. "One of the investigators said that antisemitic literature that apparently egged the assailant to commit insane acts had been found in his belongings," HaRav Slar added.

HaRav Slar told Yated Ne'eman: "I felt death before my eyes. He beat me mercilessly with the iron rod, inflicting blows on my head and my entire body, but I couldn't defend myself. I shouted for help, yet in that early morning hour, no one came to my aid. I would never believe that Jews could be attacked because of antisemitism here in Bnei Brak."

HaRav Slar made these remarks on motzei Shabbos, after he had been sent to the Maayanei Hayeshua Hospital for comprehensive tests since he had felt ill and dizzy on Shabbos.

Israel Police spokesperson told Yated Ne'eman on motzei Shabbos that according to Police records, the assailant attacked two residents of Bnei Brak on Shabbos and was taken to court on motzei Shabbos for an extension of his arrest. Apparently, he will be sent for psychiatric examinations.

The attack and the attempted murder were widely discussed in Bnei Brak on Shabbos, and residents expressed shock over the insane deed. City residents say that the Russian media incites the Russian immigrants against the chareidi and religious sectors, and that the path from incitement to the actual committing of violent deeds is a short one.

Rabbi Moshe Gafni told Yated Ne'eman that this grim trend is spreading throughout the country. "I hope that the police and the judiciary will punish the culprit in full, and will take the steps necessary to curb the trend," he said.


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