Bangkok Jewish community on high alert, but still maintaining a brave face

The head of Chabad Bangkok says "the best way to send the darkness away is with light."

August 18, 2015 21:22
1 minute read.

Bangkok Jewish community on high alert, but still maintaining a brave face

Bangkok Jewish community on high alert, but still maintaining a brave face


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Tensions are high in Bangkok after a bomb killed 22 people on Monday night, in the heart of a city that is extremely popular with Israeli tourists.

But Rabbi Nechemya Wilhelm, director of Chabad Bangkok, kept a brave face.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Following the attack, he said his Chabad House immediately became a place of refuge for Israelis and tourists, especially since it has telephones with free calls to Israel and the United States. Just as worried parents from Israel called in, travelers were calling home to reassure those abroad of their safety.

Though there were a number of Israelis in the area at the time of the blast, none were hurt, he said.

Wilhelm said that after the attack members of police and the Thai military visited the Chabad House several times to ensure that everyone was okay.

He emphasized, though, that all Chabad houses throughout Thailand are guarded 24/7 by both local police and Israeli security guards.

Thai authorities on Tuesday were still looking for a suspect seen on closed-circuit television footage near the popular shrine where the bomb detonated.

The Thai government said the attack, during rush hour in the capital’s bustling commercial hub, was aimed at destroying Thailand’s economy. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“There were many visits from the army and from police [after the explosion] to make sure that we were okay,” Wilhelm said. “They understand that a place with so many Jews could be targeted.”

“We were sent by the Lubavitcher Rebbe and he always told us that the best way to send the darkness away is with light... bringing the Jewish spark to light up the darkness.”

Wilhelm recommended that tourists stay away from crowded areas for the next few days, though he quipped that “maybe it’s not so relevant because everywhere in Thailand is crowded, especially this time of year.

“Still, there are big shopping malls or the big centers where I would say, maybe wait a day or two to see that we are after the shock, then go on as normal,” he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Kesha at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, Las Vegas, 2018
September 24, 2018
Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspiration for Kesha's most recent song