A man walks past the world headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, the scene of a stabbing at the Brooklyn synagogue in New York City December 9, 2014. New York police shot and killed a man armed with a knife early Tuesday after he stabbed a rabbinical student from Israel in the head in a Bro.
(photo credit: STEPHANIE KEITH/REUTERS)
A man confronted Chabad Rabbi Uriel Vigler and shouted antisemitic slurs at him on Tuesday, as he walked to morning prayers at the Chabad Israel Center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. A security guard at the synagogue seemed to scare the man away.
"I've been walking the same way for 16 years," Vigler told The Jerusalem Post. "He started screaming at me, 'You f***kin Jew.' I moved to the other side of the street in order to not provoke him. He started approaching me saying, 'You nervous? You scared?'"
The rabbi uploaded a video of the incident to Facebook and has since been informed that the man may work at a Jewish institution.
"My kids go to the bus stop there every day on their own," Rabbi Vigler said. "I have to rethink that now."
Rabbi Vigler said that he did fear that he was going to be physically attacked at one point, but he believds that the presence of the security guard scared the man off.
The need for security guards and other security measures at places of worship, community institutions and schools has been widely discussed in wake of the shooting attack on the Chabad synagogue in Poway, California which occurred on Saturday.
The rabbi filed a report with the police and they are currently investigating.
"The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson) taught that we have to learn something from incidents like this," Rabbi Vigler said. "We have a person who sees me sees and sees I'm Jewish. He hates me. Now I have to find a Jew that I don't know and bring him unconditional love. Go from darkness to light. We don't succumb. We don't bow down."
Rabbi Vigler is the rabbi of the Chabad Israel Center of the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He and his wife Shevy founded the Belev Echad organization which provides support services to wounded IDF veterans and their families, including job placement, meetings with fellow wounded soldiers, scholarships and financial support for medical treatment.
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