(December 29, 2019 / JNS) A black male carrying a long machete allegedly entered a home and prayer hall known as Rabbi Rottenberg’s Shul in Monsey, N.Y., on Saturday night, slashing and injuring five of the dozens of celebrants at a Hanukkah candle-lighting party.
According to eyewitnesses, the man’s face was covered by a scarf as with a machete he slashed and stabbed at ultra-Orthodox attendees at the intimate gathering, who threw chairs and tables at him and whisked children away to safety.
After the attacker fled the home, he attempted to break into a neighboring synagogue, but found the doors locked after worshippers barred themselves inside.
Four of the five victims have reportedly already been identified, and at least two are reported to be in critical condition. Three of the victims are reportedly members of the family of the rabbi in whose home the attack occurred: Chaim, Meir and Shlomo Rottenburg, and the fourth is Rabbi Yosef Neiman.
New York police announced that they had apprehended the stabbing suspect, after his getaway car’s license plate number was reported by eyewitnesses.
“Israel strongly condemns the latest expressions of anti-Semitism and the cruel attack in the middle of Hanukkah at the home of the rabbi in Monsey,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting. “We send wishes for recovery to those injured. We will cooperate in any way with local authorities to help wipe out this phenomenon. We offer this help to all countries.”
“I am horrified by the stabbing of multiple people at a synagogue in Rockland County,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “We have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism in New York, and we will hold the attacker accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
“We will NOT allow this to become the new normal. We’ll use every tool we have to stop these attacks once and for all,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The NYPD has deployed a visible and growing presence around Jewish houses of worship on the streets in communities like Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park,” he tweeted.
At least five additional anti-Semitic attacks have been reported across New York City and Brooklyn since the beginning of Hanukkah, including a brutal assault on a 65-year-old man, an attack on two Jewish children, harassment against a Jewish man by a gang, a violent assault against a man by a gang and an attack on a Jewish male by a lone attacker.
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