Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Square letter: Spitzer sought mischief, not murder, in Rottenberg attack

Shaul Spitzer
A community group has circulated a letter claiming Shaul Spitzer just wanted to make mischief on the early May morning that he's accused of trying to kill a dissident resident and burn down the man's house with his family inside.
 Spitzer, 18, is charged with trying to kill Aron Rottenberg, 43, who defied Skver Grand Rebbe David Twersky by not praying at the rabbi's synagogue in the village.Three board members of the New Square Kehila issued a "special letter for Skver followers and friends." The Kehila deals with charity and other communal affairs. The letter-writers state that after gathering the facts, "the most important thing we have learned is that the teenage boy did not intend to harm anyone." They argue that the incendiary device went off when Rottenberg went after Spitzer, who is accused of tossing one device on the back porch. "He never wanted to burn a house with five people inside," the letter says. "His design was mischief on Lag Be'omer night, not arson."The letter condemns violence, says Rottenberg was unjustly attacked, calls for community peace and says "disagreements in a community have to be solved by adults with reason, not by teenage boys with mischief."
Rottenberg and his family have said Rabbi Twersky and his inner circle control life in the community, authorized the violence and looked the other way when Rottenberg suffered burns over half of his body in the May attack.
The letter staunchly defends Rabbi Twersky and the New Square Hasidic Jewish community against criticism and ridicule. Rabbi Twersky is the dynastic leader of the worldwide Skver Hasidic who sets the rules and lifestyle for his followers. An attorney for Spitzer said Friday that neither Spitzer, the Spitzer family nor the defense team had anything to do with the community letter signed by Kahila board members Mordachai Schwartz, Avrum Moshe Silberman and Isaac Breuer. The members could not be reached for comment.

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