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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
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18 Year Old New Square Chasid Sentenced to 7 Years

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Young New Square chasid Shaul Spitzer was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison for firebombing a neighbor as part of a religious dispute.

Spitzer, 18, was charged with attempted murder of Aron Rottenberg but pleaded guilty to assault in February.  Spitzer attacked Rottenberg outside Rottenberg’s home last May, after Rottenberg defied grand rabbi David Twersky by attending prayers at a local nursing home rather than at the community’s main synagogue.

Defense attorney Kenneth Gribetz expressed concern for Spitzer, who has “never seen TV, never been on the Internet, doesn’t know who Babe Ruth and Derek Jeter are.”

Rottenberg, a plumber, alleged that Rabbi Twersky was behind the firebomb attack, but the rabbi was not charged and denied any affiliation with the crime.  The lawsuit was settled for $2.3 million.

Rottenberg asked Rockland County Court Judge William Kelly for leniency in sentencing Spitzer, who also suffered burns in the attack.

About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

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