Some will say it is Providence: “I came to the Kotel to kill Rav Ovadia Yosef,” a mentally ill man admitted to police when he was arrested for questioning. Based on his previous history, it is reasonable to assume that he was serious.
The mentally ill man (50) is known to the authorities. He lives in the north and was once a member of the messianic sect of a Chassidic group.
In 2000 he ran his car over then Safed Chief Rabbi Levi Bistritsky and left the rov severely injured. “The Rebbe commanded me to do it,” he said when interrogated by police.
After the incident he was sent to a closed psychiatric ward – which he was release from a few months ago. It was then that he decided to kill Rav Ovadia, setting the date for Tisha b’Av.
Boruch Hashem, the chacham cancelled his visit at the last minute because he was feeling unwell.
The disappointed man went home where he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s bureau in which he announced that he had put a Pulsa Denura curse (a Kabbalistic death curse) on the PM, like the one taken out on former prime minister Yitzchak Rabin before he was murdered.
The man was located, sent to observation and in the psychiatric ward reiterated his intentions towards Rabbi Ovadia. He is now under arrest awaiting trial for attempted murder after he stabbed another patient who had ripped up a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
During his interrogation, the man told police of his plans to kill Rav Ovadia: “On Tisha b’Av I equipped myself with a sharp shard of glass and went to the Kosel to assassinate Rav Ovadia.
“I knew he was supposed to visit there and planned on getting close to him by pretending I wanted a blessing from him and then tearing his throat. At the end, he never came.”
When asked about his reasons for seeking to kill the rav he said: “Rav Ovadia spoke against the Lubavitcher Rebbe, He humiliated him so I had to assassinate him.”
Close associates of Rav Ovadia were made aware of the threats and placed a metal detector at the entrance to his home.
Since the rav does not receive a bodyguard from the State, Shas party ministers who do receive State funded protection, decided they would accompany the Rav when he left his home so that someone would be on hand to respond should he be attacked.