One Day Later, Jews In Har Nof Return to Prayer
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One Day Later, Jews In Har Nof Return to Prayer

After an attack that left five dead, services resume. Regaining normalcy is the goal.

Hannah Dreyfus is a staff writer at the New York Jewish Week. She covers abuses of power in non-profit and religious settings. She heads up the Investigative Journalism Fund, an initiative to fill a gap in investigative and enterprise reporting. Reach her at hannah@jewishweek.org

One day after the attack on Bnei Torah synagogue in Har Nof that left five dead and seven injured, some in critical condition, about 30 worshippers returned to the synagogue Wednesday morning to resume prayer services.

Two security guards stood outside the entrance to secure the services, infiltrated yesterday by two Palestinian assailants armed with guns, axes and knives.

According to the Israeli newspaper Arutz Sheva, several of the worshippers who returned were wounded or present during yesterday's attack.

Har Nof resident Akiva Pollack, who was working as a Magen David Adom paramedic at the the time of the attack and was one of the first to the terror scene, also returned Wednesday morning to the synagogue, Arutz Sheva reported.

"This morning I went into the synagogue. On the street before entering, I gave a good look around for fear someone would do it again," he said.

Pollack, who knew two of the victims, stressed the importance of returning to normal. “What we need to do is come back here and pray,” he told Arutz Sheva.

“I was in the synagogue and then we heard the shooting,” Yitzhak, a doctor at Shaare Zedek hospital, told Israeli news outlet Ynet. “I didn’t know what happened. I saw terrorists enter the synagogue. They chased me with an ax and I didn’t even see that we were wounded.”

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home party and U.S.-born Yesh Atid MK Rabbi Dov Lipman also attended the Wednesday morning service.

In a statement he issued about the experience, Lipman wrote, “It was important for me to pray at the very minyan, at the very time that the attack happened yesterday to demonstrate support for the regular minyan attendees and to send the message that 'am yisrael chai' and that the terrorists accomplished nothing by their horrific murders."

Har Nof's Director of Community Uriel Elbaz said after the services that "we will be dealing with this difficult trauma for a long time."

hannah@jewishweek.org

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