Meir Baranes Threatens To Murder Rav Ovadia Shlita

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Yediot Achronot correspondent Akiva Novik recorded a conversation with Meir Baranes, who was informed the conversation was recorded and consented. He told Novik that in 45 days, on 19 Kislev, the Chag HaGeula for Chabadnikim, he or a messenger of his would murder Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlita. Baranes is currently incarcerated in a psychiatric institution pending evaluation.

Kikar Shabbat reports that Novik is “quite concerned” since Baranes appears most serious regarding his threat and he for one does not think his words should be taken lightly or discarded. Novik stresses that he for one does not think authorities should take this threat lightly just because Novik is under lock at key at the moment.

In the late 1990s Baranes attacked Tzfat Chief Rabbi Levy Bistrizky z”l, and then April 2000, he ran the rav over with his car, traveling at high speed. For reasons few understand, he has never been held accountable for his actions because of his diminished mental capacity. In 2005, police launched an investigation against Baranes after he threatened the life of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. It appears that his mental state prevents the system from regarding Baranes as a murderer, and he is now threatening once again. He has been known as a deranged individual for a long time, yet the system does not address him accordingly.

In his conversation with Novik, he points to Parshas Noach, when the dove was released from the ark, stating on 19 Kislev he will release the dove from the “evil Rabbi Yosef” and begin the process of the redemption for Am Yisrael.

Novik:

Please, tell me in plain words for someone like me, a secularist, what you plan to do to Rav Yosef in 45 days.

Baranes:

What do you want to here? Do I plan to murder him, yes, indeed.

Novik:

Why?

Baranes:

First of all, because he has spoken out many times against the Rebbi from Lubavitch on the internet and elsewhere. Therefore, as a talmid of the Rebbe, I am compelled to act towards preserving his honor.

Novik:

How will you do this since you are incarcerated?

Baranes:

Don’t worry, I have many friends from my paratrooper days who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the Rebbe, for his honor, and if I cannot do it personally, someone will – there are many there who would do this, and if not, Hashem has his ways. Not to worry.

NOTE: Rabbanei Chabad Shlita have disassociated themselves with Baranes over a decade ago, proclaiming him to be the deranged individual he appears to be.

Kikar Shabbat reports that aides to Maran Rav Ovadia Shlita are not commenting on the story.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

5 COMMENTS

  1. Rav Ovoadia, shlita, has reconciled with chabad and the lubavitch shalichinm all over the world come to consult with chacham ovadia when in EY> There is no longer any animosity between rav yosef and the leadership of 770 Easter Parkway.

  2. Frankly, such an absurd story should not even be printed. First, its a disrepect to the Rav. Second, if you interview any phsycho-path you’ll probably hear things just as crazy…therefore in my oppion this shouldn’t be news worthty.

  3. Crazy or not, doesn’t he have the din of rodef?

    Not if he’s in custody. How do you figure he could harm anyone from there? Do you really think he has hordes of evil minions ready to do his bidding?

    By the way, he didn’t get off scot-free from his two attacks on R Bistritsky z”l. The first time he got three months probation and a 300 (or maybe it was 3000) shekel fine. The second time he was committed to a psychiatric hospital for a while, but eventually he “got better” and was released.

    Back in the late ’90s he used to place crazy ads in Israeli newspapers, styling himself “Chabad spokesman”. Eventually Chabad managed to persuade the newspapers to stop taking such ads, since he has never had any connection to any Chabad institution in the world, and is certainly not the movement’s official spokesman; but the damage was done. After he got out of the mental hospital he resumed placing ads, but this time he styled himself “spokesman for the Moshiach”. Nobody could protest about that, so he got away with it.

    The last time this person showed his face in 770 he was physically ejected — not by the normal people, who are nonviolent, but by the Meshichist thugs who give the place such a bad reputation! Even they consider him a pariah.