Chabad rabbi attacked in Boston: 'A miracle I survived'

Chabad emissary recounts being confronted by terrorist with a gun and knife near Chabad center in Boston. 'This wasn't just a robbery.'

Tal Polon ,


Rabbi Shlomo Noginsky on Sunday morning spoke to Galei Tzahal about his harrowing experience on Thursday afternoon, when he was attacked by a terrorist in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston.

"If you want to see a miracle, look at what happened to me, because a terrorist tried to stab me multiple times for several minutes," the rabbi, who is from Israel but now serves as a Chabad emissary in the Boston area, explained.

He said he was stabbed 8 times.

"Most of the wounds are in my hand, despite the fact they are also in my stomach and ribs, but thank G-d, they did not penetrate deeply. Truly miraculous.

Rabbi Noginsky was later treated at the hospital and released.

Describing the minutes of the attack, the rabbi said, "I was standing near the synagogue speaking on the phone and he came up to me, took out a pistol, and asked me to open up the car."

"At first, I thought it was a robbery so I told him, 'take the keys.' But he said, 'No, I want you to go to the car.' I started to realize that it wasn't a robbery because he wasn't asking for the keys or for money, and I began to think how I could get away from him and thus distance the danger from the school - it doesn't just serve as a synagogue," he said, explaining that the "synagogue" is actually a multi-purpose facility in which many children are also present.

"We advanced toward the car as he pointed his gun at me. I turned to a man passing on the street and addressed him calmly, as if I needed an English translation, so that [the terrorist] wouldn't get irritated and start shooting.

"But when he saw me turning to someone, he put his gun in his pocket. Then he realized that his plan had gone off course and he got really upset, he pulled out a knife from somewhere and started to stab me.

The rabbi explained that at that moment he drew strength from his emunah (trust) in G-d.

"I pushed him away and ran but I saw that he had almost caught up to me so I was forced to stop and we confronted each other.

"He started to stab me. I tried blocking him with my left hand and pushing him away with my right. He stabbed me several times but I managed to push him away and run to the road and call for help, because there weren't many people around at the time - or maybe there were people but they were afraid to approach.

"Cars stopped, but the minute they saw [the terrorist] they drove away. And I again was forced to confront him alone after he had caught up to me.

"He again tried stabbing me many times, I was covered in blood. But at a certain point he must have realized that time was not on his side, and he fled.

The terrorist was eventually caught by local authorities and indicted. But the indictment does not mention anything of a "hate crime" or "anti-Semitism," only that the circumstances are still under investigation.

The rabbi said the indications of an anti-Semitic attack were clear.

"He had the keys, he could have taken what he wanted. But he kept chasing me and trying to kill me. I don't see any other explanation."