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Har Nof Diary: A First-Person Account

Malka Freiman

After last Tuesday’s massacre, a neighborhood in mourning searched for meaning amid scenes of carnage and brutality. Life is forever altered — but life goes on — and as the days go by, residents draw strength from bereaved heroes who just a few days earlier were ordinary neighbors.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday Morning, 10:30 A.M. Crowds are milling around outside Kehillas Bnei Torah, Rav Yitzchak Mordechai Rubin’s shul on Agassi Street where, three and a half hours earlier, two Arabs wielding a meat cleaver, axe, and a gun massacred innocent, unsuspecting men wrapped in their talleisim and tefillin during the Shemoneh Esreh prayer. It’s only been a little while since word came that it’s safe to leave home. The terrorists were killed hours earlier, but police have been combing the neighborhood by foot, in patrol cars, and helicopters for hours, unsure if a third terrorist might still be on the loose. Since Har Nof is built into the side of a hill, most buildings straddle two streets, one above the other, and have entrances on both. It makes catching a fugitive extra complicated. Traffic is stopped all over the city as police check every single car for possible involvement in the horrific attack. People are rushing to hospitals to see if a missing loved one is there. Shaken locals are outside, sharing their fears, their near-miss stories, and their conjectures about who was hurt. “Kalman wouldn’t have been there — he davens k’vasikin!” “Yakov davens in that minyan every day but Tuesday!” “Please, could you go see if my father is in the shul?”

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