'Illegal Arab aliens burned my husband's tefillin'

Be'er Sheva woman's husband loses his tefillin and tallit, which are later found burned.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

Nati Shohat/Flash 90

Shani Cohen Orki, a resident of Be’er Sheva, says that illegal Arab aliens who were employed as construction workers in the city burned the tefillin and tallit case belonging to her husband after he forgot them, Israel Hayom reported Friday.

"Last Monday my husband boarded Route 4 in the Ramot neighborhood of the city. After he got off the bus he didn’t notice that he forgot his tefillin," said Cohen Orki.

An hour after he forgot the tefillin, the husband arrived at the bus stop and inquired with the workers who were working on paving and renovating the station. "He asked the worker on the tractor and asked him if he had seen a pair of tefillin. The driver said he did, but claimed he did not know where they were now. The other workers said they did not see the tefillin."

When he returned home and told his wife about the incident, she suggested that he return the next day and offer the workers payment for the tefillin, but the workers refused to cooperate with him. Threats from Cohen Orki’s father, who speaks Arabic, did not produce results either, she said.

"We offered them 500 shekels, because the tefillin were very important to us, but they refused."

On Wednesday morning, two days after the tefillin went missing, Shani herself arrived at the bus stop to try to pressure the workers to return them, but to no avail. "One of the workers started screaming, threatened and swore at me,” she said.

Hours later, the tefillin were unexpectedly discovered. "We received a phone call from someone who was studying at a nearby kolel yeshiva, who said that they found the tefillin. My husband was happy and arrived there immediately, but then he realized to his shock that the tallit and tefillin bag had been burned. There were two pairs of fancy tefillin, which only by miracle were not burned. The tallit was burned on the top."

Cohen Orki filed a complaint with the police, and after police arrived at the bus stop, it was discovered that the workers had no permits to work in Israel. "These were illegal aliens, and one of them was arrested. I do not know how such a thing happens in Israel," she said, adding that she is convinced that the workers burned the case and the tallit and tried to burn the tefillin. "These human animals tried to set them on fire,” she stressed.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)