Above: Rabbi Zamir Cohen, left; Amnon Yitzhak, right
Followers Of Kiruv Rabbi Assault Rival Kiruv Rabbi In Shul Brawl
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A Sefardi haredi kiruv (missionary outreach) rabbi, Zamir Cohen, was assaulted by followers of rival outreach rabbi Amnon Yitzhak Tuesday night in a synagogue in Tel Aviv.
According to a report in Yeshiva World, Cohen had been invited to speak to the congregation by the synagogue’s Sefardi haredi Shas Party-affiliated rabbi, Moshe Maya.
When Cohen finished speaking, five men entered the synagogue and began to verbally and physically attack Cohen and his entourage.
A melee resulted, police were called, and the five men – all followers of Cohen's rabbinic rival Yemenite haredi kiruv Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak – were arrested.
One of Cohen’s assistants was injured by the attackers and had his eyeglass broken.
A few days before the attack, Yitzhak lashed out at Cohen in a video “brutally and without restraint,” an aide to Cohen reportedly said. That attack came “in addition to [other] attacks [by Yitzhak] in recent years against leading haredi rabbis. This incitement encourages elements who believe the false accusations…and the unfortunate results we saw last night [when Cohen and his entourage were beaten],” the aide said.
Cohen responded to Yitzhak’s new video by instructing his followers not to listen to Yiyzhak’s lectures.
After the attack became public, representatives of Yitzchak announced they work to stop the violence.
“We will work to stop all violence. It should be clear that has absolutely nothing to do with us,” Yitzhak’s representatives reportedly insisted.