A man who helped stop a stabbing attack during a Hanukkah celebration in New York turned down a $20,000 reward because it did not line up with the beliefs and values of his ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Joseph Gluck was offered the reward from the Jewish Federation of Rockland County and the Anti-Defamation League, but after consulting with his rabbi, decided to reject the money.
“I was not willing to offer my soul for $20,000. My identity for $20,000 was not for sale,” Gluck told News 12 Brooklyn.
His rabbi, Dovid Feldman, described to News 12 that the ADL and Jewish federation planned to issue a statement "to encourage and promote the Zionist idea of Jewish self-defense, of fighting back, of fighting our enemies, which happens to be contrary to our tradition."
The stabbing spree which occurred during Hanukkah celebrations at Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg's house in Rockland County left five people wounded, one of them in critical condition.
Gluck threw a table at the alleged attacker during the Hanukkah gathering and chased him outside, then wrote down his license plate number.
The suspect, 37-year-old Grafton E. Thomas, was charged with five counts of attempted murder and has pleaded not guilty.
Thomas' lawyer and family said he has struggled for years with mental illness, saying he was raised in a tolerant home and hadn't previously shown any animosity toward Jewish people.
The Monsey attack was just one incident in a recent spate of attacks on the Jewish community in the New York area.
In December, two gunmen stormed into a kosher grocery store in New Jersey wielding five guns, including an AR-15-style rifle and a shotgun, killing three ultra-Orthodox Jews and a police officer.
In October 2018, a 47-year-old Pennsylvania man, Robert Bowers, was arrested and accused of bursting into a Pittsburgh synagogue with a semi-automatic rifle and shooting 11 people to death.
The massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue was the deadliest attack ever on Jewish Americans in the United States.
Bowers now faces the death penalty on multiple murder charges.