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Victim of 2014 Jerusalem Synagogue Attack Dies of Wounds

Rabbi Chaim Yehiel Rothman becomes sixth fatality of November 2014 Har Nof synagogue attack • Rothman had been hospitalized in a vegetative state over the past year • “Chaim was an honest man and a dear Jew,” congregant says.

Rabbi Chaim Yehiel Rothman, 55, who was critically injured in the terrorist attack at the Kehilat Bnei Torah Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood last November, died from his wounds on Saturday.

Rothman, survived by a wife and 11 children, was laid to rest on Saturday night at Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul (Har Hamenuchot) cemetery.

Rothman’s death raised the total death toll from the November 2014 attack to six, including four worshippers—Rabbis Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Aryeh Kupinsky, Kalman Levine and Moshe Twersky—and Druze police officer Zidan Saif.

After sustaining numerous blows to his head from an axe during the attack, Rothman never regained consciousness and remained in a vegetative state. He received medical care at a number of hospitals over the past year and eventually passed away at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

The attack, which took place on November 18, 2014, was perpetrated by two Arab residents of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. They were identified as cousins Oudai Abu Jamal and Rasan Muhammad Abu Jamal. The terrorists attacked worshippers at the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue with axes, knives and a gun before being shot dead by security forces who rushed to the scene.

Rothman’s daughter, Yafa, said, “He was murdered by ruthless animals while trying to save his fellow worshippers.”

Hanoch Hirschowitz, a member of Kehilat Bnei Torah said, “We have accompanied the family during the past year and this is a great loss for them and for all of us. Chaim was a special Jew— a senior employee at the State Comptroller’s office—who studied Torah and taught his family the values of love of mankind and the Torah. Chaim was an honest man and a dear Jew.”

Rothman and his wife immigrated to Israel from Canada three decades ago.

By Yori Yalon, Edna Adato and Yehuda Shlezinger/Israel Hayom

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