Religion A Possible Factor In Beating of Williamsburg Mechanech


yoel-weinbergerA local Williamsburg mechanech has been hospitalized after a brutal beating, and his three attackers may have targeted him simply because of his religion. R’ Yoel Weinberger, a 26-year-old father of four, has swollen eyes, a broken leg and his jaw has been wired shut. His difficulty talking about what happened to him was both physical and emotional.

Family spokesman Isaac Abraham filled in the details, saying the attack happened on Thanksgiving at about 7:30 p.m.

R’ Weinberger left his workplace, a yeshiva on Harrison Avenue, and rounded the corner onto a desolate street one block from his home. There, he was confronted by three men.

“They were offered his wallet, and they were not even interested,” Abraham said. “They were there for one reason only – it’s to hurt him because of his religion.

“All his religious articles – his hat, his jacket, his tzitzis – were ripped apart. He was basically undressed on the scene,” Abraham said.

The nearest security camera to the attack, belonging to a car rental business, was too far and at an angle which prevented it from catching the crime on tape. However, the video may provide a glimpse of the three suspects before or after the attack.

The suspects took R’ Weinberger’s cell phone, and CBS 2 has learned that detectives are checking cell phone records. In the meantime, they will wait for R’ Weinberger to be alert enough to give them a detailed statement.

“He is a very good person,” R’ Weinberger’s coworker, R’ Yoel Weiss, said.

“Life is not safe,” one woman said. “We thought it’s a safe place, but we have to put more eyes, more lighting.”

“It’ll happen again if they are not taken off the streets quick,” Abraham said.

The search for suspects is complicated because R’ Weinberger did not get a good look at his three attackers, telling friends and family it was too dark and he was jumped from behind.

For now, the case is being classified by policy as an assault and a robbery. That could change to a bias attack, after investigators get a chance to speak at length with R’ Weinberger.

Watch a video report here.

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  1. I don’t understand the meshugas of “bias” crime. Pursue the perpetrators for the act, regardless of their motivation. Has anybody ever attacked anybody out of love or respect?

  2. i think we need to be reminded every now and then- however painful this might be- that we are still in golus, even in this “safe” medinah shel chesed, even in Williamsburg.

    We’ve become too complacent living in this wonderful golus America.

    By the way: Whatever happened to “Chaptsem”?

  3. The messages min haShamayim will come faster and ever more furious. When will you diaspora bnei Torah start listening? It’s PAST time to leave your meshuganeh American golus and come back home to Eretz Yisrael…NOW! What are you waiting for? Like the Germans Jews prior to 1933, you have your heads in the sand and are in denial about what is happening all around you (remember that Arab woman, in Fort Lauderdale of all places, screaming “Jews back to the ovens?”) PLEASE do not stubbornly cling to your beloved American golus until, chas v’shalom, it will be too late. The geula is happening now…be a part of it!

  4. Aliya Now,

    Please stop being an alarmist. We follow our Gedolim and not Zionism. I have a large family, bli ayin hara, with three teenage girls. All responsible Torah leaders that I am familiar with advise against making aliya, but you know better?!?

    The Rambam says clear as day that we should see the world as perfectly balanced between tov and ra, and you think that it only speaks to us “diaspora bnei Torah”? If you were to do proper teshuva in Artzainu HaKadosha, where your obvious clarity shines so brightly, you could be the one to bring moshiach and then we could finally get out of this bitter galus. But, instead, you comment about us on matzav. Where’s your rachmonus on us?!? Please help us to leave by doing a proper teshuva. Stop rushing through your tefillos. Cry for us. Learn for us. Please do us some real favors instead of your self righteous rant.

    The one with his head in the sand is the one that speaks/writes so irresponsibly. Please get your hashkafos straight. Hatzlacha raba!

  5. Bahtlahn:

    I would never have the chutzpah to suggest that I “know better” than our Torah leaders. And as far as my “hashkafos” go, they are indeed “straight”…straight from the mouths of our Gedolim. If you accuse me of speaking “irresponsibly,” then you are (inadvertently) accusing our Gedolim of the same thing (chas v’shalom). For my hashkafos, I stand on mighty shoulders:

    1) Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld zt”l wrote: “Because of our sins were we exiled from our country and distanced from our Land. This we have done VOLUNTARILY. Many times have I directed that the religious Jews in the diaspora be instructed that anyone who has the ability to come to Eretz Yisroel and doesn’t, will have to account for his FAILURE in HaOlam Haba.” (Ha’ish Al Hachoma, vol. II, p. 149)

    2) The Chazon Ish zt”l asked a golus yeshiva student who had come to bid farewell: “Is one permitted to leave Eretz Yisroel? We are trying to devise methods to get bnei Torah to SETTLE here and you are involved in finding ways to be able to leave?!” (Peer Hador, vol. II, p. 42)

    3) Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetsky zt”l personally told Rabbi Sholom Gold: “I hold that it is a mitzvah today, as it always was, to live in Eretz Yisrael and if I could I would go to the airport now, get on a plane and go.” (Viewpoint, Vol. 52/No. 3)

    4) I asked my Moreh d’Asra (a noted talmid chacham and talmid muvhak of Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman zt”l) about making aliyah, not only for myself but for our generation. His response: “really, we should go.”

    The bottom line is: every individual needs to ask a shila of a competent Rav to cut through the fog and determine whether or not they have a valid excuse to put off making aliyah. In my humble opinion, the problem is that too many frum yidden are afraid of the answer. They just don’t want to hear: “really you should go.”

    So, instead of accusing me of a “self righteous rant,” go ask a shila of a talmid chacham if you should stay in golus-America or not. If he says “stay,” then you have an answer, but ONLY for yourself.

  6. P.S. to Bahtlahn:

    “Please stop being an alarmist” you advised. This is EXACTLY what the Fatherland-loving Jews of Germany said to those who started crying out in alarm…that is, until the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, and finally Kristallnacht in November of 1938 (72 years ago this month). In the words of historian Max Rein, “Kristallnacht came…and everything was changed.” So…you plan to hang around until the next Kristallnacht? Oh right…it could never happen here. (Gee…I think they said that in Germany, too. Stop being an alarmist indeed!)

    “Those who don’t come to Israel while they still can may be lucky to escape from the USA with a plastic bag and a pair of pajamas.” Rabbi Shalom Arush, November 2008

  7. aliya…
    It may be a mitzva to live in EretZ Yiroel, but you are still in golus…there too. In case you are not aware, the golus ends when Moshiach comes.
    The Satmar Rebbe ZTL….was against settling in Eretz Yisroel….and if anything, he was a great tzadik with a great following. And this that you said that Rabbi Yakov Kamenetzky was for settling there…..why didn’t he go???? If it’s such a big thing…why wasn’t it of utmost importance for him to go???
    The point is….and what I think we are trying to say is….yes, it is a mitzva to live there, as are other mitzvos…but right now, we are in golus….everywhere.