Another Death From Har Nof Attack

“The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil, He enters into peace; They rest in their beds, Each one who walked in his upright way. (Isaiah 57:1-2)

Almost one year after he was severely injured in the attack in the Har Nof Synagogue in Jerusalem, Chaim Yechiel Rothman succumbed to his wounds and passed away.

Rothman, 54 years old, had been in a coma since the attack. He was the sixth victim, including four who were killed in the attack and a Druze police officer who died one day later. He made aliyah to Israel from Toronto, Canada in 1985. Four other people besides Rothman were injured in the attack, and two policemen were injured in the ensuing battle with the terrorists.

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In many compelling ways, the ax and knife attack last November 18th presaged the present wave of violence. The two terrorists were Israeli Arab citizens from East Jerusalem, as are so many of the terrorists in the recent attacks. Hamas blamed the attack on Arab anger over Israel changing the status quo on the Temple Mount and, following the attack, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in response that Israel had no intention of changing the status quo. The attack during the morning prayers left horrifying images of bloody prayer shawls and prayer books, and it has been suggested that the present wave of violence also targets religious Jews.

Rothman will be buried tonight at the Har HaMenchot-Givat Shaul Jerusalem cemetery.