BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — A Buenos Aires rabbi was injured scuffling with a homeless man following Shabbat services.
The attack took place Friday night at the Mikdash Yosef Orthodox synagogue in the Palermo neighborhood.
A woman entered the building during services and was told by worshippers that she could not remain. After the service, as some of the worshippers stood talking on the sidewalk in front of the synagogue, a homeless man identified as a friend of the woman broke a bottle and threatened them, shouted insults and threw stones.
The rabbi, Uriel Husni, grappled with the man and suffered injuries to his arms. The worshippers held on to the man until the police arrived, according to reports.
The Jewish umbrella organization of Argentine Jewry, DAIA, called the attack anti-Semitic and blamed it on the social deterioration of the country’s society.
“The impoverished situation of our Republic provokes, in some sectors of society in a situation of marginality, the invocation of old prejudices installed in society,” DAIA said Monday in a statement.
According to a poverty index released at the end of March by the Catholic University in Argentina, poverty has risen in the last year to 31.3 percent from 26.6 percent, with 12.7 million Argentines now living below the poverty line.