The terror attack at a kosher market in eastern Paris came to a bloody end just as Shabbat began in the city, with four hostages confirmed dead and 15 reportedly freed, several of them said to be in critical condition. The gunman responsible was killed by law-enforcement authorities.

The crisis came to an end after several loud blasts and rounds of gunfire were heard around 5 p.m. local time at the Hyper Cacher grocery store. The gunman, who French authorities said is connected to the Thursday shooting of a policewoman, was killed as police moved into the store.

A female suspect associated with the gunman and believed to be on the loose is being sought in the murder of the French policewoman.

Separately, the two brothers who murdered 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris on Wednesday are reportedly dead after a standoff with police in a town north of the city.

French police line up outside the Hyper Cacher market prior to storming the scene.
French police line up outside the Hyper Cacher market prior to storming the scene.

Light Candles, Give Charity

Earlier, Yoni Shlomo, a member of the Chabad community who lives less than 150 meters from the scene, described that “the street is full of police, and everyone is wondering and praying. Although nothing can be confirmed, I believe that I know at least one person inside, and I have friends who know others.”

The attack began on Friday afternoon, when many Jewish people were shopping for Shabbat, which began at 4:55 p.m in Paris.

Immediately, there were widespread calls for prayers, acts of kindness and the recitation of Tehillim (Psalms), particularly Psalm 20, on behalf of the hostages.

Before the onset of Shabbat, Chabad Rabbi Yisroel Lubecki of Beth Loubavitch Paris visited a wounded man who had escaped the shop and brought him fresh challah. The wounded man’s wife also lit Shabbat candles.

Chabad Rabbi Chmouel Lubecki reported that he and other Chabad representatives all over Paris had sent SMS messages to thousands of members of the Jewish community encouraging them to light Shabbat candles and give extra charity in merit of the hostages.

Concurrently, Chabad on Campus rabbis in Paris arranged a large Shabbat meal in the Jardin du Luxembourg area for students. Hundreds were expected to attend the event, which is being coordinated with police.

Just minutes before the onset of the holy day, French authorities asked synagogues to cancel Friday-night services.

Rabbi Emanuel Mergui, editor of, reported that many in his neighborhood would indeed be staying home, and that from social media it appeared that many synagogues would be shuttered. Yet he believed that many in some of the safer areas of Paris would be attending prayers as usual.

Meanwhile, in Jewish communities all over the globe, ad hoc prayer gatherings have formed. As far as Glastonbury, Conn., Rabbi Yosef Wolvovsky of the Benet Rothstein Chabad Jewish Center has invited his congregants to join a conference call that included prayer, Torah study and charity.

Hostages run out of the grocery store as police begin to enter.
Hostages run out of the grocery store as police begin to enter.