Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

30 Nissan 5764 - April 21, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Storeowner Accused of Killing Rav Yehuda Samet Acquitted
by Betzalel Kahn

The Jerusalem District Court exonerated Elchanan Chakon, former owner of Photo Allen, who was charged with the murder of Rav Yehuda Samet zt"l two-and-a- half years ago. Judge Yoel Tzur determined that Chakon was acting in self- defense when he struck the victim, who passed away one week later.

Two-and-a-half years ago wide-scale public protest was organized against the owner of the photo shop on Jerusalem's Yechezkel Street after all efforts to prevent him from selling offensive items to local adolescents failed. During a demonstration held outside the store Chakon began to hit the demontrating avreichim and then attacked Rav Samet, who had happened upon the gathering and was trying to calm things down.

The entire incident was documented on film by a private investigator and Chakon can be seen striking Rav Samet for several minutes, during which a policeman at the scene did nothing to intervene. Rav Samet was hospitalized in serious condition and passed away eight days later. The massive levaya for the kodosh was held in Jerusalem and a few days later murder charges were filed.

According to the indictment, Chakon pushed Rav Samet, causing him to fall and strike his head against the sidewalk. In his decision Judge Tzur writes Chakon was "in a state of pressure as he was trying to save his life from the avreichim threatening him." Chakon gave Rav Samet "a relatively light push," he writes.

Jerusalem's chareidi residents were pained and angered by the judicial system's defense of a low individual who first caused spiritual harm to many youths and then, shortly before his store closed down, displayed extremely violent behavior toward protestors at demonstrations held outside his store and also caused the death of an innocent passerby. Neighborhood residents were deeply disturbed that the court apparently sought to clear the defendant rather than putting him behind bars for many years.


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