Rabbi Ovadia Isakov, who was shot and seriously wounded in Dagestan, Russia late on Wednesday night, has been flown to Israel.
The ZAKA organization worked with Russia’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Berel Lazar, to bring Rabbi Isakov to Israel’s Beilinson Hospital. The medical flight was funded by Russian Jewish communities.
The hope is that Rabbi Isakov will receive more advanced medical care in Israel than in Dagestan. ZAKA coordinator Motti Goldstein explained, “From past experience, we knew that the first and most important thing was to bring an expert medical team… After the rabbi got initial treatment, he was taken to the local airport, and from there on a medical flight to Israel.”
For now, Rabbi Isakov remains in serious condition in Beilinson's intensive care unit.
His attacker or attackers shot him at short range near his home in the city of Derbent, then fled the scene. Police believe the attack was motivated by anti-Semitism.
Dagestan has suffered frequent terrorist violence in recent years as Muslim groups fight to enact Muslim law (sharia) in the region.