Frum Man Attacked by Two Gunmen in Thompson

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sullivan-countyfrum man from Brazil, who is visiting in Sullivan County, was attacked  this morning as he walked near 127 Cold Spring Road in the Town of Thompson. The victim, in his early 50s, was approached by two African-American males in their late teens, one of whom had a handgun. They demanded money and when the man said he didn’t have any because it is Shabbos, he was struck on the head with the butt of the gun.The assailants fled on foot empty handed.

Deputies assigned to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Marine patrol were en route to the Swinging Bridge reservoir when they heard the call on their police radio.

They spotted a youth fitting the description of one of the assailants in the area of 16 Woodcliff Avenue in Monticello and gave chase. The suspect ran into the woods behind a house. Additional police from Monticello Village and State Police responded along with a sheriff’s K-9 unit, but the suspect eluded the officers.

The victim was taken by Mobile Medic to Catskill Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released.

Sheriff’s detectives are asking anyone with information to call their confidential tips line at 845-807-0158 or the sheriff’s patrol main number at 845-794-7100.

{MidHudson News/Noam Newscenter}


  1. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 301:33) says that it was mutar for many to allow one to carry money on their person on Shabbat if there was a concern that if they left the money in a lodge they were staying in, it would be stolen. There is discussion whether it can be carried or sewn into the garment, but the Rama says “Nohagin L’ Hoikel”- it is customary to be meikil on this. If this is brought down as the halacha, then carrying money on Shabbos for the sake of pikuach nefesh may be acceptable, as when many yidden were being mugged years ago on Shabbos, rabbonim gave a heter to carry $10 bills.

    In the interest of self-defense and pikuach nefesh, it should be noted that Rav Shlomo Goren in Meishiv Milchamah allows a gun to be carried on Shabbos, as does Rav Neuwirth (Shmiras Shabbos Kehilchoso, who writes that carrying a firearm on Shabbat is allowed since it has a definite value as a deterrent – discouraging enemies from attacking Jews on Shabbat. Therefore, it is needed for the observance of Shabbat. Furthermore, since carrying a firearm is a deterrent, there is no need for immediate danger in order to carry one. When the enemies of the Jews know that we are ready to defend ourselves, mobs are less likely to rise up against us.

    However, carrying bills may be less problematic, as this doesn’t involve the issur of creating a fire.

    Of course, there is the famous story of Reb Shlomo Carlebach. When a gunman threatened him for money, he said to the mugger, “Holy brother, I feel so sorry for you that you have to do this. I don’t carry money on Shabbos. You can come to my shul after Shabbos and I will pay you then.” Remarkably, the mugger spared him, later came to the shul, was paid by Reb Shlomo, and was never to be seen again. It is remarkable that the chesed and sociological acumen exhibited by Reb Shlomo in the form of pure chesed was for him a yeshua and also a learning moment.

    Nonetheless, let’s daven for this man’s refuah sheleima and hope that we can be spared of such tzores in the future.

  2. To clarify, the Ramo I mentioned, according to the Shearim Metzuyanim BeHalacha, applies in a situation where one cannot absolutely remain at home to safeguard their belongings; there is the fact that he is now confined to his home and unable to associate with others is not enough of a reason to permit his going out with them. Says the Shearim, Ramo is discussing a one-time occurrence, where the individual happened to have valuables in his home over a particular Shabbat. However, the halacha does seem to allow one to carry muktze items for the sake of self-defense. A better option that I raise is this- we should learn the techniques of martial arts (karate, ju jitsu, fighting skills, etc.) solely for the sake of self-defense so that we can be makpid on both shmiras shabbos and pikuach nefesh. While carrying a gun would be permitted according to Rav Shlomo Goren and even Reb Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, this does involve issur mavir. Learning self defense skills would enable us to avoid hotzaah and mavir while enabling us to defend ourselves and one another. For a person who could not defend themselves with fists, feet, etc., it would be mutar for them to carry guns, etc. to defend themselves. (R’ Doniel Sayani, shlita).


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