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Hanukkah attacker arrested

by Samantha Gobba
Posted 12/30/19, 11:02 am

The man accused in a Saturday night stabbing spree at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, N.Y., pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary. Authorities arrested Grafton Thomas, 37, based on witness descriptions of his license plate. Witnesses said Thomas entered Orthodox Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg’s home during a Hanukkah candlelight ceremony wearing a face mask and wielding a large sword. Thomas’ family said he has a history of mental illness.

How are authorities responding? Local police said they would increase the security presence in the Orthodox Jewish community, and Jewish-led security groups called for additional funds. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the stabbing “domestic terrorism.” Earlier this month, two gunmen in Jersey City attacked a kosher supermarket. They killed two people before dying in a firefight with police.

Dig deeper: Read Sophia Lee’s report in WORLD Magazine about increasing anti-Semitism in the United States.

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Samantha Gobba

Samantha reports on the pro-life movement for WORLD Digital.

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  • Eileen
    Posted: Tue, 12/31/2019 12:27 am

    I live just a short way away from Monsey.  There is a group of us here that have been praying fervently for the people of Monsey for a few years (but we have been concerned about the people of Monsey for many years). Monsey is made up mostly of large communities of Orthodox and Altra-Orthodox Jewish people.  We are heartbroken over what has happened.  According to the information I have, one person that was attacked at the rabbi's house on Saturday is still in critical condition.  This person is an elderly person.

    This is really the second stabbing incident in the Monsey area .  A man was beaten and stabbed about a month ago as he was walking to his synoagogue just before dawn.  He is a 29 year old man with quite a few children at home and, at one time, was in critical condition.  We are not sure what his status is now.  The perpertrator of that attack has not been found.   

    Needless to say there is a lot of fear and concern on the part of, not only the people in Monsey, but in the surrounding Jewish population.  Our county has a very high concentration of Jewish people on all levels of the spiritual spectrum (Altra-Orthodox, Orthodox, Reformed, Traditional, and athiest).   Some of us attended a meeting at the local Jewish Center as a show of solidarity with the Jewish people.  There were a very large number of very concerned people there.

    Please pray for the recovery of the injured people (and tramatized people) and that my group would be able in some way to reach out in love to the people in Monsey.  We need the Lord's help in this.