Parisian Jews were shaken by news of the petirah of Mrs. Lucy Halimi, Hy”d, 66, a member of the city’s Orthodox community who was found murdered outside of her home. A suspect, who lived in the same building as the victim, is presently in custody. Police have not given any indication as to a motive and it is unclear if anti-Semitism played a role in the crime.
“We are all in shock,” said Rabbi Moshe Lewin, executive director of the Conference of European Rabbis and special advisor to the Chief Rabbi of France. “We still do not know exactly what happened here, but for a woman to be killed in her own home shakes us all. It is very sad.”
Rabbi Lewin has been working closely with Mrs. Halimi’s children and with authorities to ensure kvod hameis. He spoke to Hamodia from the airport in Paris, where the body was en route to Eretz Yisrael for burial in the Givat Shaul cemetery on Thursday. He said that Mrs. Halimi worked for many years as a beloved teacher of young children in one of the Jewish community’s schools.
Mrs. Halimi’s body was found on the street beneath her third-floor apartment Tuesday morning at approximately 4:00 a.m., but the incident was not widely reported by media until the next day, after an arrest was made. According to reports, she died from wounds incurred as a result of being pushed from a window in her home. A 27-year-old man of Arabic descent is the chief suspect and is in custody. The suspect was undergoing psychiatric evaluation to see if mental instability played a role in the crime.
Authorities have not indicated any motive for the murder and officials of the Jewish community are cautioning the public from jumping to conclusions until more information is known.
A levayah was held on Wednesday afternoon in Paris.
Mrs. Halimi lived in Paris’ 11th district, which is home to a large population of immigrants from North Africa and is one of the most densely populated areas of the city. The neighborhood was also the site of the 2015 shooting at the Bataclan Theater that claimed the lives of 131 victims and wounded many others.