The Monsey And Har Nof Attacks -Taking A Page From The Book Of The Chazon Ish


In my previous Blog, I agreed with Yosef Neumann’s family, expressing confidence that Hashem has a unique plan for Yosef, one of the five victims of the Monsey attack on Erev Shabbat Chanukah Parshat Miketz. Could the Chazon Ish have been referring to this very incident in his book entitled “Faith And Trust”?

On Page 52 of his book “Faith And Trust” which is dated 2008, translator Yaakov Goldstein reveals that the Chazon Ish, when trying to explain having Trust In Hashem; refers to a reference about Parshat Miketz.  Yosef makes the mistake of asking the Chief Butler to remember him when he saw Pharaoh after he correctly interpreted the Chief Butler’s dream. It was for this lack of trust in Hashem that caused Yosef to sit in jail for a further two years to the day, before Pharaoh had two dreams which no one could interpret and made it necessary for Pharaoh to call for Yosef to interpret them which resulted in Yosef’s release.

It is therefore amazing that the Chazon Ish would choose Parshat Miketz and mention the name Yosef that played out during the Monsey attack. Could this be a sign from Hashem that someone with the name Yosef would be key player (s) in G-d’s plan?

My First Visit To The Kever Of The Chazon Ish

Before going any further, I want to call your attention to a previous Blog I wrote about my grandson Simcha Zissel who was given only a 2% chance to survive because he was born without a diaphragm. My son Dovi Pinchas was told by his Rav that he should concentrate on the 2% and not the 98%, which means there is still a chance that Simcha Zissel will survive.  And the fact that Jews have survived despite being less than 2% of the world’s population with many enemies wishing for our destruction.

Dovi’s Rav suggested that we form a minyan and go to the Kever (grave) of the Chazon Ish in Bnei Brak, to say the whole book of Tehillim (Psalms) which I did along with Dovi and some of our children and his wife’s family.  In addition, we also formed a minyan to say the whole book of tehillim at the Kotel.

My experience at the Chazon Ish’s kever inspired me to buy a copy of “Faith and Trust”. Just to think that our grandson was able to survive such odds was an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life. And that book inspires me to continue having the courage to know that Hashem is constantly in control, no matter how difficult the situation he puts us in appears to be.

Repentance, Prayer And Charity  

On Yom Kippur we say a prayer that gives the formula for helping our cause against a negative decree handed down during the ten days of repentance from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.  It was referred to in at least one commentary I saw regarding the Monsey attack. The formula is simply Repentance, Prayer and Charity.

Yosef Neumann was a strong giver of Charity, so that leaves the question about Repentance and Prayer, which I am confident that Yosef Neumann was also very strong in their performance. Perhaps this Monsey attack, and all other attacks before Monsey, are a wakeup call by Hashem that we should all continue to unify together in one voice against Hate, Anti-Semitism and Terrorism.

Perhaps this also is a call to all of us to attend Shul more and Pray together that we as Jews will see the end of this Hatred, Anti-Semitism and Terrorism once and for all in the very near future.

So Now Let’s Look More Closely At What Took Place In Monsey – Two Yosefs

During the attack, at least two Yosef’s were confronted by the attacker.  Yosef Neumann suffered the most serious, life threatening injuries while Yosef Eliyahu Gluck was a hero as he chased away the attacker and took down his license plate number which led to the attacker’s arrest.

As mentioned many times before, when two events take place in close proximity to one another, then it appears Hashem is sending us a very special message. In this case there are two people named Yosef that are involved in the same incident.

When Compared To The Har Nof Attack Here In Israel, The Monsey Attack Could Have Been Much Worse

Stop and think about this for one moment.

Despite the severity of all those injured in the Monsey attack, perhaps we all must look at this in a different light, when comparing the Monsey attack to the massacre that took place in the Jerusalem suburb of Har Nof.

On Tuesday morning, November 18, 2014, during Shacharit, two Palestinian attackers killed four men while they were davening and wrapped in their tallis and tefillin. This was five years before the current spate of attacks in NY and NJ.

In the Monsey attack, there was one attacker armed with a clever, while in the Har Nof attack the two attackers were armed with much more than a clever.

Here are the names of the four Rabbis who died at the scene the Har Nof attack-





Policeman ZIDAN SAIF, was one of the first to arrive at the scene. He was critically wounded by one of the terrorists in the gunfight in which the terrorists were killed, and died of his injuries that night.

A fifth member of the minyan was so severely injured,  he never recovered from his wounds and died 11 months later. His name was


At his funeral, Bnei Torah’s Rabbi Mordechai Hacohen Rubin eulogized the 55-year-old Rothman.

“It’s been almost a year and our hearts are boiling again,” Rubin said. “It’s been a year since the attack and we cannot forget what our eyes have seen or return to a normal routine. Again death is at our window, as if the heavens are reminding us to ‘remember, and not to forget,’” he said.

“Remember what Ishmael did to you,” he added, evoking the biblical commandment to commemorate the atrocities committed against the Israelites by the Amalekites.

Rothman’s daughter Yaffa confirmed her father’s death in an emotional Facebook post, and praised him for confronting the terrorists and saving others during the attack.

“Dad is gone… He was killed by animals lacking humanity”. “But he fought them, and saved other worshipers. May his memory be a blessing, and please, come join us in honoring the best man there is one final time,” she wrote.

In Conclusion-

Given the severity of the Har Nof attack, Monsey attack victims should feel fortunate that no one was killed. But unfortunately, from what I understand, Yosef Neumann remains the only victim with life threatening injuries.

I am confident the doctors are doing everything in their power to heal Yosef and enable him to have a speedy recovery. There are many stories where doctors who originally thought a certain patient had very little chance to survive, were astounded when those patients did in fact recover to lead a normal life.

At this stage, since the doctors are not very hopeful, it does not mean the family or any one of us should give up hope.

I experienced this with my very own eyes. When Simcha Zissel’s chance for survival was very uncertain, I spoke to Dovi to ask his Rav if we could have an additional minyan at the Kotel to say the whole book of Tehillim, and Dovi’s Rav agreed.

So if I were confronted with a similar situation, which Yosef Neumann’s family is facing at this moment, I would suggest not only going to both the Kotel and the Chazon Ish’s grave, but also the grave of “Mama Rachel”.

After all, in Parshat Vayishlach, which was read a few weeks earlier, Mama Rachel died and was buried on that very spot where she passed away. And it was noted that Rachel had two children, one of those children was Yosef.

My family often goes together to the Kever of Mama Rachel to pray for many things. It is always busy and as I understand, always open. On any given day, many people are there praying next to her Kever.

Hopefully Yosef Neumann’s family will be able to make the trip together to pray for the speedy recovery of Yosef Ben Perl.









About the Author
Born and raised in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. Married to a South African, we lived in Johannesburg from 1979 to 1996. Made Aliyah with our seven children on Parshat Lech Lecha. BSB Accounting Degree from the University of Minnesota. Investment Portfolio Manager and Analyst. Served in the US Army Reserves Semi Retired spending quality time with my wife, children, grandchildren and attend Kollel while analyzing current events as they relate to Torah and Mitzvahs.
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