Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Toronto kosher pizza shop murder of 2002 comes to court

The murder case of David Rosenzweig z'l, who was stabbed outside a Toronto kosher pizza shop in July 2002 has now come to trial. A drug addict, drunk and probably stoned, went to the pizza shop on a Motzai Shabbat looking to buy drugs. Some yeshivah bochurim sent him off on a false trail to a nearby gas station. Enraged, he returned to the shop and stabbed a highly respected member of our community, David Rosenzweig z'l, who had come out to help his son who was having trouble with his auto.
For me, it was then, and it is even more so now, difficult to characterise this as a 'hate crime' -- tragic as it was. The murderer did not come out to attack Jews. I think it is upsetting to see representatives of the community still making those allegations (see the material in the link). Much more germane to the tragedy was the role a) of the drug sellers in the neighbourhood (why did the murderer think that he could buy drugs in the pizza shop, which was opposite a large Toronto yeshivah???) and b) the people in the shop.
The local rabbis dealt with the first problem (suspected drug trafficking by yeshivah students) by ordering the shop to close early for a time on Saturday nights .......... No students were expelled from the yeshivah, and no investigation was made. I have no idea whether any of the people in the shop have the incident on their consciences.
Incidentally, to this day a local non-Jew maintains a small memorial of flowers at the site of the murder.
May David Rosenzweig z'l rest in peace.

  • Paternal note: The sad case of David Rosenzweig z'l was a journalistic scoop for one Miriam Shaviv, on duty at the breaking news desk of the Jerusalem Post that Sunday morning (Israel time). Because of the time difference, the online Jerusalem Post lead with the story, and young Miriam was interviewed and quoted in several different countries - not least in Canada itself -- as the story unfolded.

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