Source: New York Daily News
The worried mother of the yeshiva student who survived being attacked by a knife-wielding madman at the Lubavitcher headquarters in Brooklyn was reunited Wednesday with her battered boy.
Levi Rosenblatt’s mom thanked God for a “miracle” after she flew in from Israel.
“He told me he was okay,” Reizy Rosenblatt told The Daily News, as she recounted her telephone conversation with Levi right before she took off from Tel Aviv. “His head is in a little pain. He cannot understand the miracle.”
The mother of eight spoke with the News in the baggage claim area at Newark Liberty Airport moments after she landed.
Slightly hunched over and dressed in a beige sweater and black dress, Reizy said she was “shocked” and “lost herself” when she first heard about the attack.
She said she cried when she talked to her son on the phone.
But as she waited for her bags, the determined mom said she was anxious to get to Bellevue Hospital. She also appeared stumped when asked whether 22-year-old Levi would be safer back home in the contested West Bank, where they live in a Jewish settlement.
“I’m not sure,” she said. “The Rebbe said Israel is the safest country in the world. Also, in the Bible it says that.”
Rosenblatt was referring to the Rebbe Menachem Schneerson, who is revered by the Chabad sect.
Levi’s 47-year-old uncle, Shmuel Gelbshtein, said the wounded scholar didn’t get, at first, why they were flying to New York City.
“He didn’t understand why we were coming,” the uncle said. “He was shocked. His mother hasn’t been here in 25 years. We caught the first flight.”
Shmuel Gelbshtein said the entire family was shaken when they learned Levi was stabbed at the Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters in Crown Heights.
“All over the world is dangerous,” he said. “We trust in God and pray (to make it through) each day safe.”
Rosenblatt was in mid-prayer early Tuesday when a deranged Calvin Peters yelling “I want to kill the Jews!” barged into the building and stabbed him in the head and neck with a knife that had a 5-inch blade.
Battered and bloodied, Rosenblatt managed to get away before Peters was shot dead during a confrontation with a trio of NYPD officers — a scene that was captured on cellphone video.
“That thing took less than three minutes to occur,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. “I think, tactically, these officers faced what they were dealing with well. Again, this is all an initial perspective. There will be a more significant review later.”
Rosenblatt was in critical condition when he was first rushed to the hospital Tuesday. He is now listed in serious but stable condition.
Friends who visited him said he was on the mend.
“He was very happy, he was singing,” Mendy Notik said via a Hebrew translator after visiting his pal at Bellevue Hospital.
“It’s a miracle from God,” added Notik, who witnessed the horrific attack on Rosenblatt. “It’s a miracle that he lived, the Rebbe helped him.”
A man who identified himself as Rosenblatt’s first cousin said the family is relieved he’s on the mend.
“It’s a very big miracle,” said the cousin who did not want to give his name, and also spoke in Hebrew.
“It could have been much worse, but thank God, it’s okay, it’s finished,” said the cousin. “In the end he got out of it easy.”
Peters was shot in the stomach by Officer Roberto Pagan, 29. It was the first time Pagan fired his weapon on the job since joining the NYPD in 2008.
Police still haven’t revealed a motive for the mayhem, but Peters was 49 and suffered from bipolar disorder, his family’s lawyer said.
Peters also had a lengthy rap for drug and other offenses. His most recent arrest was in 2005 for violating an order of protection.
But Peters’ neighbors in Valley Stream, L.I., described him as a married stay-at-home dad who doted on his two sons and gave no sign of being mentally ill.