Shas ministers trying to prevent Breslov man's autopsy

Yishai and Margi contact Ukrainian authorities to ensure the body of Shmuel Menachem Tobol, 19, is returned to Israel without an autopsy.

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
September 26, 2010 18:35
2 minute read.
pilgrimage to the gravesite of Rabbi Nahman.

Rabbi Nahman supporters in Ukraine 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

 
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Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced Sunday that he would intercede with Ukrainian authorities to prevent an autopsy from being performed on the body of stabbing victim, Shmuel Menachem Tobol.

"If it is necessary, I will fly to Uman to prevent the autopsy," Yishai said.

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Tobol, 19, was a follower of Breslov Hassidism on a pilgrimage to the grave of the Bresolv Rebbe in Uman, Ukraine when he was allegedly stabbed to death by a Ukrainian local.

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Yishai along with Shas Religious Affairs Minister Yaakov Margi agreed to try to prevent the autopsy by Ukrainian authorities as requested by Tobol's family. The Shas ministers have already contacted the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Ukrainian cabinet members to assist with the effort.

Tobol was stabbed to death in Uman late Saturday night, during an altercation with local residents.

The incident, which was first reported in the Haredi press in Israel, reportedly took place near the grave of Rabbi Nahman of Breslov in the small Ukrainian town three hours south of Kiev, on the exact date of the Rabbi’s death 200 years ago.

According to initial reports, the victim, 19 year old Shmuel Menachem Tobol of Jerusalem gave chase to a group of locals who were throwing rocks at his family’s car, when one of them pulled a knife and stabbed him in the chest. The victim reportedly managed to scream for help and his brother came to his assistance and was stabbed and lightly wounded as well.

The victim only recently became engaged and his family is very well-known among Jewish pilgrims to Uman. They operate a minimarket in the Jewish compound which services the thousands of pilgrims who come every year on Rosh Hashanah. According to reports in the haredi media, the deceased was scheduled to be married in two months.

Breslov community members have stated that they will work to ensure that the police investigation is carried out responsibly. At the moment, Israeli diplomatic staff in Ukraine are working to return the body to Israel for burial, while officials from ZAKA in the country are trying to prevent an autopsy, in order to assure that the body arrives promptly for burial in Israel.

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