Luke Ford reported this weekend that Young Israel of Century City’s Rabbi Elazar Muskin was held-up on Shabbat. If so, add one more to the long list of observant Jews who have been mugged walking to and from shul. I wrote this spring about a spate of these attacks that had shaken LA’s Orthodox community and reminded them of a more frightening time 15 years ago.
“It was like an epidemic,” said Isaac Naor, Mordechai’s son. “Every week, somebody else was getting mugged. Everybody was walking to shul with a gun.”
Among those attacked was the then-president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, Rabbi Jack Simcha Cohen, who also was the leader of the Naor’s synagogue.
On Shabbat, Cohen was walking near his home with his son when two strangers approached, one asking for directions.
“Before I knew what was going on,” Cohen said, “he put me in a stranglehold and started banging my right arm across the sidewalk. Just kept smashing it and snapped it.”