Rabbi Yosef Raksin Remembered- Shloshim


The South Florida Orthodox Jewish community came together Tuesday to remember a rabbi who was killed a month ago while walking to a Northeast Miami-Dade synagogue.

Under a crowded tent in the neighborhood where 60-year-old Yosef Raksin visited his daughter in early August, a new Torah scroll was started. Each letter of Jewish Scripture in the tome was painstakingly written by hand. “If one letter is damaged, erased, cracked or something happens to it, the entire scroll, all 300,000 letters of it, become invalidated,” said Abi Friedman, a friend of Raksin’s family.

The ceremony took place in the very spot where Raksin was shot dead Aug. 9 while on his way to temple, along Northeast 175th Street and Eighth Court in Northeast Miami-Dade. “One has been damaged, and [he] was taken away well before his time, and we’re going to actually turn that on its head,” said Friedman.

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“This is real, and that’s how I felt; my emotion overflowed, and I just started crying,” said Shuli Labkowski, Raksin’s daughter.

Raksin was visiting Shuli and her family from Brooklyn. Police said he left to walk to temple on Saturday, Aug. 9, when, police said, he was attacked by two young men. “That’s scary,” said Rochei Katz, Raksin’s niece. “It shatters the comfort that you have.”

When asked whether his father-in-law was targeted because of his religious affiliation, Izzy Labkowski said, “I do not know, and to say yes or to say no would be a lie.”

At the ceremony, rabbis, family members and even police officers tried to bring healing to a community shattered by the tragic loss, to, in their words, “dispel darkness into light.”

“Do more good things, and more good things to other people, and be there for them, just as they were here for us,” said Shuli.

As the mourners have entered the highest holy season of the Jewish faith, the rabbi’s attackers remain at large. “The moment will come,” said Izzy. “Justice will be made. The road of evil is behind me, and I’m trying to go on the road of kindness and the road of light.”

If you have any information on Rabbi Yosef Raksin’s shooting death, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.



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