Shmuel Goldstein, who was seriously wounded in the attack in Har Nof, is recovering, and on Wednesday he was telling family members and doctors at Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem about the harrowing experience.
“He’s speaking, communicating and remembering,” Shmuel’s mother-in-law, Rebbetzin Tzipora Heller, said.”
“Now that he’s talking, he described the feeling of facing someone who seems like an ordinary human being, and yet he doesn’t mind taking an ax and wanting to kill people without an ounce of humanity. The word fear doesn’t describe it,” she added.
Master Sergeant Itzik Weizmann, the first policeman on the scene in the Har Nof attack, was hit in his leg with two bullets and is in moderate condition.
The traffic policeman recalled: “I heard an initial report on the police scanner about a shooting at a synagogue. I raced there on my motorcycle even before we thought it was a terrorist attack,” he told his family. “Civilians pointed me to the place. I saw a man lying on the stairs at the entrance and I realized I was facing a terror attack.
“Zidan Seif arrived with a policewoman. They were on the right side of the entrance and I was on the left. The terrorist came outside shooting; Zidan was hurt. I kept shooting and the terrorist fell.”
Weizmann, a father of four and expecting another baby, told his family members that he was acting “out of the desire to save people and get them out of there. I realized there’s a serious incident and I had to act as quickly as possible.”
Another survivor, Haim Yechiel Rotman, who was brought to the hospital in serious concition, told reporters that “we’re all having a hard time right now. What keeps me and my family going is the support we get from those around us. We shouldn’t be afraid to go out on the street, we should be strong and believe it will be okay. It’s not natural. I have a four-year-old brother and he shouldn’t live in this reality.”
President Reuven Rivlin spoke on Wednesday of the terrible tragedy.
“The entire House of Israel stands right now, lamenting the fire, the murder and hatred which harmed these precious souls and turned a beit medrash into a slaughterhouse. We mourn with an aching heart for the pure, innocent Jews, adorned in prayer shawl and phylacteries, who were brutally murdered as they murmured and cried out ‘Shema Yisrael!’”
“In the place where the blood of holy men was spilled, our answer is clear,” said Rivlin. “We will not let them overpower us. They cannot extinguish the flame of faith and prayer that is being passed down from generation to generation.”