An Israeli Lubavitcher who was active in anti-missonary and intermarriage causes is rumored to have been found handcuffed and murdered. Refael Miriashvilli, a single 25 year-old coordinator for Yad L’Achim combating anti-Jewish activity, went missing three weeks ago, leaving few traces or clues to his whereabouts. Before leaving his parent’s home in the city of Lod, he told his sister Sarah he was taking a train to the north of Israel. “I got a new job. Tell mom I prepared her dinner,” he said.Four years earlier, Miriashvilli was sentenced to a year in prison by a Tel Aviv court for kidnapping an Arab man who was involved with a young Jewish girl.
This past weekend, a truck driver reported finding a partially decayed body near the road entering Kfar Chabad. Homicide detectives from Rishon Letzion who came to investigate found the body in an abandoned building near the road. The body, which seems to have been left there for several weeks, was handcuffed. The police have ruled it a homicide.
This tragic episode began when K. a young Jewish girl, from a Persian family, became acquainted with M. a Muslim young man, who was allegedly abusing her, courted him and eventually moved in with him in his apartment in the Hatikvah neighborhood in Tel Aviv.
The grief stricken family of the girl tried to do everything in their power to stop her, but their efforts were to no avail.
Out of sheer desperation, the girls mother, called into a radio show speaking about intermarriage and poured out her heart.
Three activists from the Yad L’Achim organization approached the mother and offered their assistance. One of these activists was Refoel Miriashvilli.
The trio, wearing IDF uniforms, stormed into the apartment and informed the Arab bfriend that he was “under arrest”.
During the ensuing ride in their vehicle, the Arab realized that his arrest was a hoax and that he was being kidnapped, and sprang from the speeding car.
Hitchhikers who were nearby administered first aid to the Arab and called an ambulance. Meanwhile, the Yad L’Achim activists sped off, as the girl was with them, safe.
Several days later, a lawsuit was submitted against the activists and they were charged with kidnapping and impersonating IDF personnel. Refoel and the others were sentenced with year and a half prison terms. After six months or so, they were released early, on account of good behavior and required to commit to doing community service.
Three weeks ago, Refoel was reported missing, and this weekend a body was found handcuffed and partially decayed in an abandoned structure near Kfar Chabad by a truck driver. Police have not positively identified the body, but they strongly suspect that it is the body of Refoel.
Friends of the Muslim boy were arrested and are prime suspects.
The Chabad community in Lud, Refoel Miriashvilli’s hometown, is in shock since news of Refoel’s disappearance, and even more so since Friday morning when news of the body was publicized.
Various reports also quote Yad L’Achim’s Rav Sholom Dov Lifshitz as stating despite the obvious dangers, his organization’s work will continue towards rescuing women from such situations.
While many sources have publicized that the body is indeed that of the missing man, a number of points remain unclear while additional information cannot be published after a gag order was slapped on the investigation surrounding the discovery of the body.