Messianic Man Planned to Kill Rav Ovadia Yosef for Speaking Against Lubavitcher Rebbe


rav-ovadiah-yosefSome will say it is Providence: “I came to the Kotel to kill Rav  Ovadia Yosef,” a mentally ill man admitted to police when he was arrested for questioning. Based on his previous history, it is reasonable to assume that he was serious.

The mentally ill man (50) is known to the authorities. He lives in the north and was once a member of the messianic sect of a Chassidic group.

In 2000 he ran his car over then Safed Chief Rabbi Levi Bistritsky and left the rov severely injured. “The Rebbe commanded me to do it,” he said when interrogated by police.

After the incident he was sent to a closed psychiatric ward – which he was release from a few months ago. It was then that he decided to kill Rav Ovadia, setting the date for Tisha b’Av.

Boruch Hashem, the chacham cancelled his visit at the last minute because he was feeling unwell.

The disappointed man went home where he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s bureau in which he announced that he had put a Pulsa Denura curse (a Kabbalistic death curse) on the PM, like the one taken out on former prime minister Yitzchak Rabin before he was murdered.

The man was located, sent to observation and in the psychiatric ward reiterated his intentions towards Rabbi Ovadia. He is now under arrest awaiting trial for attempted murder after he stabbed another patient who had ripped up a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

During his interrogation, the man told police of his plans to kill Rav Ovadia: “On Tisha b’Av I equipped myself with a sharp shard of glass and went to the Kosel to assassinate Rav Ovadia.

“I knew he was supposed to visit there and planned on getting close to him by pretending I wanted a blessing from him and then tearing his throat. At the end, he never came.”

When asked about his reasons for seeking to kill the rav he said: “Rav Ovadia spoke against the Lubavitcher Rebbe, He humiliated him so I had to assassinate him.”

Close associates of Rav Ovadia were made aware of the threats and placed a metal detector at the entrance to his home.

Since the rav does not receive a bodyguard from the State, Shas party ministers who do receive State funded protection, decided they would accompany the Rav when he left his home so that someone would be on hand to respond should he be attacked.

{Ynet/ Newscenter}


  1. Moshe Eluzur: Believe me when I say that I have no respect and little sympathy for messianics. That being said, It is an unfair stretch to blame the philosophy(?) for a clearly disturbed man’s actions.

  2. #3, this has nothing to do with the messianic cult. This has all to do with an insane nut job that should have been locked up in a mental assylym under solitary confinement and never released.

  3. Insane?

    He was clever enough to realise that he would need to take glass not metal because of the security.

    Seems he is not a mental case who does not know what he is doing, everything was planed and worked out with a lucid brain!

  4. This is truly a strange story in that the “mentally ill man” has no name. In all the communications media here in EY (including the charedi ones) he is identified as Meir Barness, well known as the guy who tried to run down HaRav Bistritsky – and was involved in the past in other crazy deeds. Why is he suddenly anonimous on this web site?

  5. It’s not the messianicm per se that is to blame. It happens that nutjobs are the kind of people who are drawn towards those sort of movements. And, in fact, it was the messianism that many Rabbonim decried. We are seeing a vicious cycle. And it is probable that only the Ge’ulah can take us out of it, ironically.

  6. The insanity mutation could certainly breed in any group, but it is more likely to breed in a group that has lost its bearings and has succumbed to a cult of personality disorder.