“In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him…” (2 Kings 20:1)
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the Temple Mount activist who was the target of an assassination attempt late last month, is improving steadily, and received the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, as a visitor on Monday. He spoke to the Chief Rabbi for the first time about his ordeal.
The gunman, Mutaz Hijazi, “approached me, stood opposite me, and of course I naively trusted him,” he told his visitor, recounting the moments of the attack.
“He said to me: ‘I’m terribly sorry, but you are an enemy of Al Aqsa,’ and then he shot – boom boom… and then I saw someone, Shai [Shai Malka, CEO of Likud MK Moshe Feiglin’s Jewish Leadership faction], and he said to me ‘Yehuda, we need you here, come!’ so we ran…”
Glick was rushed to hospital in critical condition, while Hijazi was later shot and killed. All told, Glick was shot four times, and the bullets penetrated his chest, arm and throat, cracked ribs and damaged his intestines. He spoke of the intensive treatment he has been receiving while in hospital.
“I’m not in hospital because I have appendicitis, I’m not here because they shot me for being ginger,” the red-headed Glick joked to the Chief Rabbi.
“I’m here because someone thought he could ‘defy the armies of God’,” he went on, a reference to King David, another famous red-headed defender of Jerusalem.
Lau assured the injured man that the 16-member council of the chief rabbinate continues praying for his speedy and complete recovery. “Even after a week we did not stop praying,” he said. It seems to have made a difference, as Glick is now breathing on his own and fully communicative.
Glick advocates for Jewish access to the Temple Mount, something that is now largely limited. Lau believes that, due to laws of purity, Jews should not be ascending the Mount at this time. Although the two men do not see eye-to-eye on Jews visiting the Temple Mount, Lau expressed his wish that the two be able to offer thanksgiving to God at the site when Glick recovers fully.
“I have not yet succeeded in finding the right place to say that at this moment I am able to go up. But I pray together with you that with the help of God the two of us will stand there to give thanks.”
“Remember, we will stand together to give a thanksgiving offering (in the Temple),” he added.
It is difficult for Glick to receive visitors at this time, just weeks after his near-fatal shooting. Although he received many requests from prominent figures, Glick specifically asked that the Chief Rabbi be his first public visitor. The meeting was video-taped.