Friends Say Murder-suicide in Tel Aviv Was Likely Caused by Failed Arranged Marriage

An arranged marriage gone awry may have caused the dispute that led to the death of two Haredi men in an apparent murder-suicide in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, friends of the deceased said yesterday.

Ohad Rosenberg and Eliyahu Aberman were found shot in a car in Tel Aviv's Montefiore neighborhood. They were laid to rest yesterday.

Police investigating the case believe that Rosenberg, 31, shot Aberman and then turned the gun on himself. Associates of both men denied that the two were engaged in a romantic affair.

Friends of Rosenberg said he was depressed in recent weeks after an arranged marriage with a woman in Aberman's Hasidic sect did not go through. The associates said Rosenberg, who in recent months made every effort to ensure that the wedding would take place, suspected that Aberman's family sabotaged the deal.

"His dream was crushed to pieces," said Moshe Gomro, Rosenberg's boss at the ZAKA rescue organization, where he worked for the last year and a half.

"He came to me quite shaken emotionally. He told me that the would-be bride's family did a thorough check on him with the Hasidic heads and that negative things were said about him. He said his name had been besmirched due to fabricated stories from the past, so the match fell apart."

Rosenberg was also said to be angry with Aberman because he had allegedly reneged on an agreement over the use of Rosenberg's car. Due to health issues, Rosenberg had agreed to allow Aberman to use his Fiat on condition that Aberman agreed to drive Rosenberg whenever he needed to run errands or meet with potential brides.

Last week, Rosenberg was scheduled to meet with the Hasidic woman he was due to marry. When Aberman failed to show up, Rosenberg tried to reach him for hours, but without success.

"Ohad was totally bitter because of this," Gomro said. "He felt that Aberman did not abide by their agreement on purpose, and this is why he didn't answer the telephone. I always tried to get him to leave the Aberman family alone, but he clung to the belief that they were trying to undermine him in anything he did."

After the two men cut ties, Aberman sent a tow truck carrying the Fiat back to Rosenberg. Aberman had complained that the car's engine overheated.

"Ohad was furious over what he claimed were missing items from the car, esoteric things that cost somewhere between NIS 200 and NIS 300," Gomro said.

"I tried to calm him down and he said to me: 'These people are ruining my life.' I told him to look for a different Hasidic sect in which perhaps it would be easier to find a match. I saw how totally frustrated he was, but to think that it would escalate to killing? Nobody even considered this possibility."

On Wednesday, the two men took a drive in the car for a reason that has yet to be determined. Rosenberg took with him a licensed gun he possesses because of his work as a security guard in Rishon Letzion.

Police believe that Rosenberg shot Aberman at around 8 P.M. and then shot himself. It remains unclear whether the shooting was premeditated or whether an argument took place beforehand.