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News Article

Sixth victim of Har Nof synagogue attack

Rabbi Chaim (Howie) Rothman, 55

Sixth victim of Har Nof synagogue attack

Oct 24, 2015 - Rabbi Haim (Howie) Rothman, 55, of Jerusalem was critically injured following an attack on worshipers in a synagogue of the Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. In a coma since the attack, he died of his injuries 11 months later.

At 7: 00 on Tuesday morning, two terrorists wielding a gun and butcher knives entered the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagoguge on Harav Shimon Agassi Street in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem. They began attacking worshipers, stabbing them before opening fire. About 30 worshipers were in the midst of the morning prayers, wearing prayer shawls and phylacteries. Four were killed in the attack. Rabbi Haim Rothman sustained multiple axe blows to the head and remained in a medically induced coma for 11 months until his death on October 24, 2015.

Toronto-born Rothman immigrated to Israel in 1985. He worked in the State Comptroller’s Office and would pray and study at the Bnei Torah synagogue. He was a regular participant in the 6:25 morning prayer service at the synagogue and served as one of the service coordinators. During the course of the attack, he is reported to have thrown objects at the terrorists and tried to fight them before he himself was struck down.

Rabbi Ephraim Stein, who was at the morning prayer service that day knew Rothman, noted that they had prayed together at the same service for many years. "He was very cheerful, very outgoing, full of life and he was always enthusiastic about everything he did. He would actually sprint to synagogue in the morning, pray and then go to work, while in the evening he would come and study Torah."

Rabbi Haim (Howie) Rothman was buried in the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem. He is survived by his wife Risa and ten children.

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