Last week was accompanied by renewed social justice protests in Israel. The week began with Moshe Silman setting himself ablaze at a motzei shabbos rally. His act, which left him in critical condition with burns launched a renewal of protests in a number of cities as well as an increased awareness regarding the desperate situation that has become a reality for some Israelis. Silman died of his massive burns on erev shabbos, Rosh Chodesh Av 5772.
HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Moshe Amar Shlita warned Israelis not to be too quick to judge Silman’s actions, explaining that if one’s situation becomes desperate enough chas v’sholom, one can lose touch with reality for enough time to do something one should not do.
State social workers reported that the number of distress calls directly linked to social economic issues is increasing and they responded to 60 calls of threatened suicide surrounding a bleak economic situation. Others threatened to set themselves on fire last week and on Sunday, 3 Av 5772, a wheelchair bound IDF veteran set himself ablaze and was transported to hospital in critical condition with third degree burns over 80% of his body. This latest tragic incident occurred in Yahud and the victim was transported to Tel Hashomer Hospital.
According to a brother of the latest victim, he has tried ending his own life in the past and this was not the first incident.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)