“I was not willing to offer my soul for $20,000,” Joseph Gluck said.
By Aaron Sull, World Israel News
A Hasidic hero, who helped stop the Monsey attacked this past Chanukah, has refused to take a $20,000 reward because the benefactors are pro-Zionist.
Joseph Gluck, 32, was offered a $20,000 reward of thanks from the Jewish Federation of Rockland County and the Anti-Defamation League for his heroic act.
However, last week he told News12 Brooklyn that he decided to reject the money because it comes from “Zionist organizations that don’t represent the beliefs and values of his Haredi Orthodox community.”
“I was not willing to offer my soul for $20,000. My identity for $20,000 was not for sale,” he said.
On Dec. 28, 2019, Grafton Thomas stormed into the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg in Monsey, N.Y. and hacked five Orthodox Jews with a machete during a Chanukah party.
One of the victims, 72-year-old Josef Neumann, remains in critical condition after his skull was fractured during the attack.
In an attempt to stop the attack, Gluck threw a table at Thomas and chased him outside. Before Thomas fled the scene, Gluck was able to write down his license plate number. The license number helped the authorities track down and apprehend Thomas within two hours of the attack.
Last month, N.Y. Senator David Carlucci awarded Gluck with the Liberty Medal, New York State Senate’s highest honor given to a civilian, for his heroic actions.
On Jan. 3, Thomas was indicted on six counts of attempted murder and a federal hate crimes charge. The charges carry a maximum of 25 years in state prison.
If Neumann dies, federal prosecutors said they will consult with the U.S. Justice Department on whether to seek the death penalty, reports the Associated Press.
Thomas pleaded not guilty on all charges.
Thomas’s defense team is arguing that Thomas is suffering from mental illness.
“Grafton Thomas has a long history of mental illness and hospitalizations,” a Dec. 2019 statement written by Thomas’s lawyer said. “He has no history of like violent acts and no convictions for any crime. He has no known history of anti-Semitism and was raised in a home which embraced and respected all religions and races. He is not a member of any hate group.”