Jewish Man Performs His Duty at California Synagogue Despite Suffering ‘Vile’ Hate Crime En Route

Jewish Man Performs His Duty at California Synagogue Despite Suffering ‘Vile’ Hate Crime En Route

Raphael Nissel had a duty calling him forward as he and his wife walked to their Beverly Hills synagogue on Saturday, keeping to the old way that driving is not proper on the Sabbath.

But in an America — where anti-Semitic incidents are rising — not even a sacred walk was allowed to continue without a price.

“My wife told me, ‘Watch out!’ All of a sudden, something hard hit my forehead,” said the 75 -year-old Nissel, who was wearing his yarmulke as they walked, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The attacker then switched his attention to Rebecca Nissel, Raphael’s wife. “Jew, give me your jewelry,” the attacker demanded.

“All of a sudden, I see the guy hitting my husband with the belt and screaming, ‘Give me your earrings, Jew,'” Rebecca Nissel said, according to KNBC. Over and over, the elderly Jewish man was struck with the belt buckle.

“At first, it was shock. It was a huge hard knock on my forehead here,” Nissel said, noting that his face was bleeding from the blows.

The couple gave the attacker nothing and then gave chase when he tried to flee.

“I was enraged, not because of the thing, but because I was hit as a Jew,” Nissel said.

WARNING: The following post contains a graphic image some readers may find disturbing. 

Police responded. Jarris Jay Silagi, 44, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, attempted robbery, hate crime and elder abuse. He is being held on $100,000 bail, according to KABC-TV.

“This despicable act of hate against a member of our community will not be tolerated,” Beverly Hills Police Department Chief Mark Stainbrook said in a statement.

Silagi had been arrested earlier that day on an unspecified misdemeanor, police said.

As the police did their duty, Nissel would not be distracted from his, the LA Times reported. A deep cut to his head was treated with four of what he called “staples.”

But a hospital trip was out of the question because on that day Nissel was scheduled to read the Torah at Young Israel of North Beverly Hills, an orthodox synagogue.

“My wife had to run to the house to bring me a new shirt. I walked to the synagogue and was able to perform,” he said.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called the attack a “vile act” in a post on X.

Nissel said he appreciated Bass’s response.

“I’m doing well,” Nissel said. “The most important part are the incidents we have to prevent in the future.”


Rebecca Nissel said there remains a war to be won.

“I hope that with the help of God and everybody who is at the head of states and communities, they will bring down evil, and the light will shine and next year on Hannukah. It will be a very bright light,” she said, according to KNBC.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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