Benny Liss
Benny LissMoshe Shai/Flash90

78-year-old Benny Liss, a journalist with Channel One, was attacked in his home in the Ramot suburb of Jerusalem, apparently by a mentally challenged individual who, when he feared he had killed Liss, attempted to resuscitate him.

"I was working at my computer and at some point I got up to get a glass of cold water," Liss told Channel12. "When I returned to the living room, I found someone unknown to me sitting there waiting for me. Later I realized that he'd tried a lot of doors in my building until he found one - mine - unlocked."

The man had in fact entered another apartment in the building prior to Liss', where he was surprised by a woman who, alarmed, told him to leave. "He told her that he doesn't mess with married women and left," Liss said. "So he left her apartment and walked up the stairs and found me."

Liss told the man to leave, "but he insisted that he wasn't going anywhere. Then he asked for Chana. I have no idea who he meant, and I told him that there was no one called Chana there and that he should please leave. He didn't - instead he started to strangle me and while he was doing so he was mumbling all kinds of verses into my ear. It was then that I realized that I was dealing with someone who was mentally disturbed.

"The man let go of me, and I hoped he would leave, but instead he went into the kitchen and got a knife out of one of the drawers," Liss said. "He attacked me and we struggled together, and then I saw that he had managed to raise the knife and was about to plunge it into my neck."

Liss screamed for his wife but she didn't reply. "She was in the shower and she heard cries but thought that they were coming from next door so she didn't get out of the shower. I thought he was about to kill me. He grabbed my arm, and I think it was then that he dropped the knife, but I'm not sure, as at that point I was lying in the doorway, my legs in the corridor and my head in the living room."

Moments passed and Liss' wife emerged from the shower to find her husband still prostrate. "She saw me lying there, turning blue, and this man trying to resuscitate me. She thought I was dead and she started yelling at him, 'Call MDA!' The man looked up, saw her, and fled."

Thinking back, Liss realized what a narrow escape he had. "That man had supernatural strength and there was no way I could have overpowered him. And he was clearly not 'all there.' He was mumbling things like, 'G-d is great,' and other weird stuff, all of it disconnected and jumbled. He wasn't actually talking to me. He was just saying stuff, and then he fell silent."

Police have yet to locate the intruder. "I sustained several injuries, including a broken shoulder, a bleeding leg, and I had blood coming out of my ears. I guess he must have thought I was dead, lying there on the floor like that, which is why he tried to rescuscitate me. After he fled, MDA and United Hatzalah arrived and found me still prostrate, and they evacuated me to hospital. The police are overstretched right now and on high alert in Jerusalem, so I guess it will take them time to find him. But when they do, obviously he'll be admitted to a psychiatric ward," Liss said.

Asked what he's learned from his traumatic experience, Liss responded, "Everyone should lock their doors after coming home. You can never know who could be lurking behind that door, waiting for a chance to get in. Somehow, I managed to prevent him from stabbing me, but if I hadn't? It could have ended very differently."

Liss, at his age, will take some time to recover. "I'm going to need physiotherapy to recover the use of my shoulder, and my leg is still swollen. I also have some problems with my ribs. It was an attack that lasted minutes, not seconds but thankfully the man fled."