A funeral for murdered Brooklyn Rabbi Yosef Raksin was held in Miami Sunday, the day he was shot and killed on his way to synagogue in what police said was an attempted robbery. Approximately 300 people attended the ceremony and eulogies.
Following the funeral Sunday at the Bais Menachem Chabad synagogue, where Rabbi Joseph Raksin was headed when he was shot by two assailants on Saturday morning, the body was taken to the airport. A funeral and burial will take place Monday afternoon in Brooklyn.
Hundreds of men, women and children attended Sunday’s funeral, the Miami Herald reported. Raksin had arrived on Thursday in Miami for a week-long visit with his daughter and her family. Rabbi Raksin, 60, is the father of six and a leader in the Crown Heights community.
Police said he was shot several times following an altercation, though witnesses told NBC reporters that there was no altercation and the assailants were African-American males. Raksin was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center, where he died.
Miami-Dade police have said they do not believe the murder was a hate crime, rather a robbery gone bad. Members of Miami’s Jewish community are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Raksin’s assailants.
Raskin’s daughter Shuly Labkowski told local media outlets she believes her father was targeted because of his religious affiliation. “I believe it was a hate crime,” said Labkowski. “[He was killed] simply because he’s a Jew.”
A nearby synagogue, Torah V’Emunah, was the target of vandalism on July 28, with swastikas and the word “Hamas” spray-painted on the front pillars.
Miami Jewish community members have posted a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of two black male suspects who murdered a visiting New York rabbi after an apparent botched robbery as he walked to synagogue on the Sabbath.
The Jewish Day of rest turned into a day of mourning for the Jewish community of Miami and family of 60-year-old Rabbi Joseph Raskin of Brooklyn, New York.
One man who rushed to his aid after he was shot said that the rabbi told him he was accosted by two men. There are conflicting on whether there was an altercation between the rabbi and the suspects, one of whom shot the rabbi to death. Rabbi Raskin died after being evacuated by helicopter to a nearby hospital.
Orthodox Jews do not carry money with them on Shabbat, but this may not have been known to the two men. Despite statements by police officials that the murder was not fueled by anti-Semitism, many local Jews are skeptical, especially since a nearby synagogue was recently vandalized.
Local Rabbi Moshe Druin told the Miami Herald that many Jews in the community don’t believe anti-Semitism was not behind the crime. Noting that Orthodox Jews do not carry money on the Sabbath, he said, “There hasn’t been a robbery on Sabbath for the past 35 years.”
At this time there is no indication of this being a hate crime,” said Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Elena Hernandez. The Florida branch of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) stated that the murder followed what “appears to be a robbery that went badly and that “currently no evidence has been brought to light that it was motivated by anti-Semitism.”
Rabbi Raskin was visiting his granddaughter and other relatives, and was killed while walking to the Bais Menachem synagogue around 9 a.m. Saturday.
The murder of Mohammad Abu-Khdeir has shocked the Jewish nation because this is something Jews do not do.
Yes, some critics have repeatedly named the same handful of Jewish terrorists from over the past 20 years as examples of brutal acts of Jewish murder, but it’s always the same handful of names and no more, because simply put, we aren’t a nation of terrorists and murderers.
Our leaders, our rabbis, and our citizens instinctively, without coercion or outside pressure, and without waiting, condemned the murder, as we hoped and believed it could not be one of our own.
These weren’t empty words that ring hollow as some pundits claim.
These are the words of a people, that despite suffering through horrible terror attacks, and the strong, very natural desire for revenge it creates, almost always maintains the moral high ground that our society has ingrained into us through our Torah and value system.
We face an enemy that does horrible things. It’s an enemy that blows up its own children to kill us, that brainwashes its children into hating us, that publicly supports and celebrates the kidnapping and murder of innocent Jewish children.
We face an enemy that forces us to fight them to protect ourselves.
Our nation searched for the killers of the Arab boy, expending and redirecting resources we needed in the search for the terrorists who killed our own children and for fighting Hamas who continued to launch rockets on us throughout the entire ordeal.
Our nation unanimously condemned the murder, without qualifications or hesitation.
We didn’t destroy trains and infrastructure, we didn’t hand out candies in celebration, we didn’t post photos of praise on Twitter and Facebook, we didn’t provide support and succor to the killers. We won’t be giving them salaries in jail, we won’t be naming streets and schools after them, we won’t be demanding their release for peace. Our mother’s won’t be saying they are proud of them, our leaders won’t have photo-ops with them, we won’t parade them through the streets as heroes, they won’t be portrayed as role models for our children, and we won’t be painting murals of them on the walls of our schools.
The fires we lit were for memorial candles, and not firebombs.
Because, we are not the same.
We are a moral and righteous nation that has ingrained in itself the differences between right and wrong and good and evil, and we act on those moral impulses.
I look back on these past few day, and past few weeks, and despite this incomprehensible, sick hate crime committed by a few people, whom I don’t even know how to categorize, I see the Jewish nation – a moral nation, devoted to peace, to goodness, and to doing right.
And I am proud.
I believe in the Jewish People, if for no other reason than that it has consistently proved itself through the most difficult of trials.
The residents of Gush Etzion are uniting to show their resilience in the face of terror with an initiative created in part by Israeli media mind Ari Abramowitz, ‘One Flag.”
Gush Etzion residents are blanketing their loose-knit cluster of communities with Israeli flags to show of solidarity with the families of the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and murdered there June 12 by Hamas terrorists.
“Rather than calling for hatred and revenge, since the very beginning of this nightmare each of the three bereaved families have been calling for national unity,” Abramowitz explained. “They have unified us, now it is our chance to stand united with them.
Each resident receives a message with their flag: “We, the Gush Etzion family are hanging flags from our windows. We are raising the flag in solidarity with the Sha’ar, Frenkel and Yifrach families who are mourning the murder of their beloved sons. Our nation was united in tears, prayer, and hope for their sons safe return. And now, as we mourn them, they continue to unite us.”
Gush Etzion resident Jeremy Gimpel, the other organizer of the campaign, added that Israelis, especially the youth in Gush Etzion, needed a positive way to harness both the grief of these devastating murders and the feelings of love, empathy, and support they all feel for the victims’ families.
“Jews have always made meaning out of pain and brought light out of the darkness of anti-Semitism and hatred. This united initiative is a truer reflection of the settlers. It’s peaceful, powerful, and regal. By the end of the Shloshim (30 day mourning period), it wouldn’t surprise me if this becomes a national campaign,” he said.
“The irony of this incredible campaign is that we were initially concerned with how the youth were dealing with the trauma of the murder in their neighborhood. As soon as we got the ball rolling, it was pushed forward almost entirely by the youth here who are mobilizing with impressive efficiency to distribute flags throughout their communities,” Abramowitz added.
Yitchak Nesh, a 17 year old activist, also noted, “We thought it was important to launch this campaign here in the Gush, where our friends were abducted. “Our enemies need to understand that while they have succeeded in murdering three innocent boys, they have failed at their greater goal of trying to scare us and weaken us.”
“So many people are confused by the violence and accusations in the media,” explained Mottle Wolfe of Tekoa. “Now is not the time for rifts and divisions, it is the time for healing and unity. That is what this ‘One Flag’ campaign is all about.”
The campaign has also engendered widespread support from the local community leadership and from mayor Davidi Perel, who strongly encouraged the initiative. The region’s “Orly Print,” agreed to print all materials at cost.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke this morning with Hussein Abu Khdeir, the father of 16 year old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, whose burned body was found last week in the Jerusalem forest.
The prime minister promised the grieving Arab father that his son’s murderers would face the ‘full weight of the law’ – a clear difference between the behavior of Israeli leaders and those of the Palestinian Authority, who name public squares after terrorists who murder Jews.
“I would like to express my outrage and that of the citizens of Israel over the reprehensible murder of your son,” said Netanyahu. “We acted immediately to apprehend the murderers,” he pointed out.
“We will bring them to trial and they will be dealt with to the fullest extend of the law,” he promised.
“We denounce all brutal behavior; the murder of your son is abhorrent and cannot be countenanced by any human being.”
The prime minister’s behavior was in stark contrast to that of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who took days to condemn the kidnapping of three Israeli teens in the same age group by terrorists from his own population, members of Hamas.
Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16 and Gilad Sha’ar, 16, were kidnapped and brutally murdered on June 12 in Judea by a group of Hamas terrorists as they were hitchhiking home from their yeshiva in Gush Etzion. A recording of the murder was made because Gilad called the police in desperation from his cellphone to say that the boys were being kidnapped. As the terrorists realized the call had been made, the phone was dropped and the boys were beaten and then shot to death – the entire event, meanwhile, was heard by police and recorded by the central dispatcher’s office.
Nevertheless, Palestinian Authority police have done little – if anything – to track down the killers of the three Israeli teens, whereas Israel has already caught those responsible for the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a Jerusalem Arab.
The difference makes crystal clear which of the two parties is a “partner for peace” and which obviously is not, regardless of attitudes abroad.
Just to clarify and calm the nerves on all you liberal or pro Palestine readers.
I want to make something very clear, the person or persons who were responsible for the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir are murderers of the worst kind and should be dealt with just like we SHOULD be dealing with Islamic terrorism.
That being said, there is a huge and very fundamental difference between what happened to the three Israeli teens that were abducted and murdered and the young Arab teen that was abducted and murdered. The difference lies on three different levels.
National backing of terrorists activity
NATIONAL BACKING FOR TERRORISM
Fatah, Hamas and every other Arab organization that exists in the PA territories has one time or another called for the destruction of the State of Israel. The original PLO charter clearly calls for the violent dismantling of the JEWISH STATE (no not Zionist but Jewish).
The school system under Fatah promotes martyrdom and murder through curriculum and even through the names of their educational institutions. As clearly demonstrated by Palestinian Media Watch
The most common school name PMW has found is the name Al Khansa – with at least 8 schools given her name. Al Khansa is the honored mother of Islamic tradition because she expressed joy over the Shahada (Martyrdom) deaths of her four children.
A PA schoolbook for Grade 8, explains her importance this way:
“Al-Khansa witnessed the Battle of Al-Qadisiyah with her four sons. She urged them to fight… They fought until all of them fell as Shahids. When the news reached her she said, ‘Praise be to Allah who has honored me by theirShahada.’” [Reading and Texts Part II, Grade 8, p. 13]
Al-Khansa’s celebration of her four sons’ deaths makes her a perfect role model for Palestinian girls, as Palestinian society has chosen to teach that death is a greater value than life.One example of this teaching is in Palestinian Authority schoolbook for 13 year-olds that teach children: “Your enemies seek life while you seek death.” [Reading and Texts Part II, Grade 8, p. 16]”
Streets in Fatah controlled areas are named after Islamic terrorists of the worst kind.
Abu Mazen the “Moderate” has never been shy to tell it like it is and often honors mass murderers and arch Islamic terrorists sitting in Israeli jail.
While the Israeli murderers of the Arab teen will be jailed, ousted and stained for life like they deserve, Arab terrorists are honored, revered and even featured on the most popular talk shows.
Here’s how an official PA government member reacted to the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens!
How does it work in Israel?
Even before any evidence was collected, many from the government already condemned the murder is the most clear tones possible. After the details were publicized, there was not a siingle Israeli leader who did not condemn this horrific murder!
We didn’t wait for facts to speak of our disgust, we did it right away with no excuses, because MURDER IS MURDER!
2. World Reaction
I have absolutely no expectations from the world and certainly not from the White House at this time.
I am not complaining or expecting change, I am simply pointing out the horrific level of hypocrisy.On June 12, 2014, three Jewish Israeli teens, Naftali Frenkel (16,), Gilad Shaer (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19), were abducted as they were on their way home from school.
Naftali Frenkel happen to hold dual citizenship and was a citizen of the United States of America. There was complete silence from Obama, the world and the UN and only on June 18th (a week later!) did the State department release a statement where they stated their concerned about the Israeli operation and demanded Israel exercise restraint.
What was even more unbelievable was the US State department would not even confirm that it was talking about a kidnapping and when asked about the American citizen involved, they did NOT even have his name!
Watch and be disgusted! (You can watch the whole thing but the embarrassment starts at 1:40)
The UN? The 3 mothers went to the UN to beg for their help.
The UN reaction?
Go ahead, Google UN reaction to kidnapped Israeli teens.
Let me know if you find anything! Hamas Condemned? No! Palestinian incitement condemned? No! Anything? NO!
When it came to the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir it took both Obama and his sidekick Kerry under 2 hours to make a statement, charge and indict Israel. It took them over a week to say boo about the 3 Israeli boys and when they did say something they said they were concerned with Israel’s reaction!
Read Kerry’s statement HEREI am not even going to begin talking about the press coverage of both murders. I had to constantly update my friends overseas since not a single major news network was covering (more than a couple of seconds) the Israeli kidnapped boys.
When it came to Muhammad Abu Khdeir, front page and feature story on EVERY single media outlet. I guess Muslim killing Jew is no story but it’s not every day you see a Jew do what you usually see a fanatic Muslim do.
3. Nation’s Reaction
Naftali, Eyal and Gil-Ad were missing for two weeks and while the army was out searching for their killers and figuring out what happened, the civilians of Israel were busy comforting the families and praying.
Now let’s take a look at our neighbors; the fanatic Muslims. When news spread of the kidnapping of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, there were no prayer groups or singing, this was the reaction:All videos were seen originally in Israel Video Network
Fire bombing random Jewish homes in the middle of the night
The Jerusalem light rail that runs through the Arab neighborhood was completely destroyed and millions of dollars of damage was caused by Muslim fanatics.
The Arabs actually worked for hours to rip up the tracks while trashing the train stops in their own neighborhoods.
So yes, both are horrific acts of murder and the victims families and friends will feel the pain, but NEVER compare the terrorism of individual Jews who are ousted, villainized and jailed by their country, to the fanatic Islamic and Arab terrorists who are backed, honored and encouraged by their religious and national leaders!
When it comes to track records, check the world’s most wanted terrorist lists, count the fanatic Muslims, then count the Jews.
Let me know what you come up with!
One more small detail that most of you probably forgot, we found and arrested the murderers of Muhammad Abu Khdeir in less than a week, we are still waiting for the terrorists who kidnapped and murdered Naftali, Eyal and Gil-Ad. Perhaps Abu Mazen wants to find an empty street to name after them before handing them over to the Israeli authorities.