A rabbi wounded in a deadly shooting attack earlier today says he was returning home from morning prayers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City when he was hit by a bullet.
One person was killed and four wounded in the shooting before officers shot and killed the terrorist, an East Jerusalem resident whom Hamas identified as one of its members.
Rabbi Zeev Katzenelnbogen, a 46-year-old father of eight, says he was still wearing his phylacteries (tefillin) and prayer shawl (tallit) when the shooting started.
“I didn’t really understand what was happening… in a split second I got a really strong pain in the arm right at the spot of the tefillin,” he told reporters from his hospital bed at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Katzenelnbogen, who was moderately wounded, says he then turned back in the direction of the Western Wall to find a building to enter.
“I understand the great miracle, the benevolence that God did for me,” he says. “In a second I could have lost my life and I received it as a gift.”
“It’s written that the tefillin are connected to the heart… There’s a connection to God and you feel it, you feel covered, you feel protected,” the rabbi adds.
When asked by a reporter, he says he does not know if the tefillin slowed the bullet down.
The others wounded in the attack are yeshiva student Aaron Yehuda Imergreen, who is hospitalized in serious condition at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, and a pair of police officers who were lightly hurt and received treatment at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem before being released.