Chabad rabbi praying for neo-Nazi ill with Covid

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Chabad rabbi praying for neo-Nazi ill with Covid

Milan’s Chabad rabbi, Shlomo Bekhor has been praying for Mauro da Mantova, a well-known voice expressing extremist views against Jews and against Covid vaccinations

David Parenzo (left) and Covid patient Maurizio
David Parenzo (left) and Covid patient Maurizio

A neo-Nazi and anti-vax conspiracy theorist who is in hospital in Italy with Covid may be surprised to learn that among those praying for his recovery is Milan’s Chabad rabbi, Shlomo Bekhor.

La Zanzara (‘the Mosquito’) is a popular radio programme, co-presented by Giuseppe Cruciani, a ‘shock jock’, and David Parenzo, a Jewish journalist. The pair are well-known throughout Italy.

The radio station, Radio 24, belongs to the country’s premier economic newspaper, but La Zanzara looks at all the major news issues of the day — and there are regular phone-in slots.

One of the most frequent callers is Maurizio Buratti, who has become known as Mauro da Mantova. A coachbuilder in a town near Milan, where the programme is based, he became a well-known voice expressing extremist views, both against Jews and against Covid vaccinations.

Last week Buratti called in to the programme from a supermarket, where he said he had a temperature of 38 degrees. His voice, familiar to the presenters, was broken and hoarse. Together Parenzo and Cruciani persuaded the vaccine refusenik to go to hospital, where he now remains, intubated and said to be “critically ill”.

Rabbi Bekhor, who runs a Judaism publishing house in Milan, Mamash Publishing, is also a frequent contributor to the radio show, speaking about Jewish issues.

Parenzo asked the rabbi to say a prayer for Buratti, which was recorded on Friday and broadcast last Saturday.

Rabbi Bekhor said of Buratti: “He is a bit extreme – very right-wing and a bit antisemitic as well as being anti-vax.

“We as Jews pray for everyone. We give them respect, because mercy is one of the three pillars of Judaism. And antisemitism comes from stupidity and ignorance. We pray so that hatred will be nullified.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: