Dagestan Chabad rabbi’s condition improves after shooting

(JNS.org) The Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and chief rabbi of Derbent in the Republic of Dagestan, who was shot near his home and underwent emergency surgery, on Friday was upgraded from serious to “satisfactory” condition.

Click photo to download. Caption: The region of Dagestan on the map. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Rabbi Ovadia Isakov, 40, was leaving his car after having performed the ritual slaughter for kosher meat when he was shot, sustaining a gunshot wound to his right lung and liver.

Over the weekend, Isakov’s condition continued to improve, and after Shabbat he received a visit from Rabbi David Lau, the newly elected Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel.

“I would like to strengthen you to continue your shlichus (emissary work),” Lau told Isakov, according to Chabad.org.

Conflicting reports indicated that there were between one and three assailants who escaped from the crime scene. Isakov’s Jewish appearance “is among the possible motives investigators are considering for the attack,” said Russia’s Investigative Committee in a statement.

Dagestan is a predominantly Muslim Russian territory bordering Azerbaijan. The attack was condemned by the acting head of the region and blamed on “extremists and terrorists.” Israeli Army Radio reported the attack was most likely criminal, not terrorist.

Israeli doctors and medical assistants assisted with Isakov’s treatment.


Posted on July 25, 2013 .