JERUSALEM (JTA) – A Canadian-Israeli rabbi injured nearly a year ago in a terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue has died of his injures.
Thousands of mourners gathered Saturday night for the funeral of Haim Yechiel Rothman, who went by “Howie.” The funeral procession started at the Bnei Torah synagogue in the Har Hof neighbourhood where the attack occurred on Nov. 18, 2014 during morning prayers.
His death brings the number killed in the attack by two Palestinian terrorists to six, including a Druze-Israeli police officer who died in a shootout with the assailants.
Rothman, 55, a Toronto native and father of 10, never regained consciousness after the attack, during which he fought the terrorists to prevent them from harming fellow worshippers. The UJA Federation of Greater Toronto raised more than $100,000 to assist the family, which it presented to relatives in January.
Visitors to his hospital room said in recent weeks that Rothman, a dual Canadian-Israeli citizen who immigrated 30 years ago, seemed to be aware of the people around him. His wife, Risa, spent every day at his bedside. In March, one of his sons was married.
The assailants, cousins from eastern Jerusalem, entered the synagogue and rabbinical seminary in western Jerusalem and attacked worshippers with a gun, axes and knives. They were killed in the shootout.