A Hanukkah Slaughter Story

Suspect in Hanukkah celebration stabbings Grafton Thomas, leaves the Ramapo Town Hall in Ramapo Town Hall in Airmont, N.Y., Dec. 29, 2019.

Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Image

Suspect in Hanukkah celebration stabbings Grafton Thomas, leaves the Ramapo Town Hall in Ramapo Town Hall in Airmont, N.Y., Dec. 29, 2019.

Elizabeth Houlihan

The holidays, who doesn’t love them? You may be able to answer this question, or you may not, however, I can. 

On December 28th of 2019, five members of an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish Congregation were stabbed by Grafton Thomas with a machete and killed. 

Grafton Thomas barged into the rabbi’s Chaim Rottenberg’s house in New York City at random witnesses said. The rabbi was hosting a holiday party that held up to one hundred people on the seventh day of Hanukkah lighting ceremony. 

Police said that the next morning they found Thomas with blood stained clothes and the smell of bleach. 

Those who attended the holiday celebration were nothing short of horrified. 

Aron Kohn, one of those attending Rabbi Rottenberg’s Hanukkah ceremony, said he answered the front door of the rabbi’s house and was confronted by a tall, burly suspect wielding a knife so big that it was “almost like a broomstick.”, he continued on with “I asked, who is coming in, in the middle of the night, with an umbrella?” said Kohn. “While I was saying that … right away, boom, he pulled out the knife from the holder, from the case. And I’m throwing tables and chairs, that he should get out of here.” That is when the individuals began to sprint towards the back door, trying to escape the situation. 

Many of the victims began to explain what they saw, the horrors that they had to witness. One of the victims were Gluck, he volunteered to share his story. 

“He was just swinging his sword, knife — I don’t know what it was — back and forth hitting people. He didn’t say anything,” Gluck said. He then continued on with “It started a panic inside. Everybody started to run out the door to the back porch,” and “I opened the door and saw one older gentleman bleeding. I asked him to come out. He said, ‘I can’t I’m bleeding,'”

Gluck went on to explain how the suspect followed him, yelling “Hey you, I’ll get you!”. 

Gluck then explained how the killer went to the adjacent synagogue and tried to open up the two doors that were locked from the inside. Once he failed to enter, he went to his car and drove away. 

NYPD claimed that they were going to be advancing the security throughout New York Cities synagogues. 

The New York City community continues to mourn for those who had to see this inhumane tragedy, as well of the family of those who did. 

Many are beginning to question: when is enough? When will we accept those who are different? When will the world realize that we’re all the same? When will we put away our hatred? 

The sad thing, what many people don’t realize is that things are only going to get worse.  


*All quotes are pulled from NBC News