New Square residents react with sadness over arson attack

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Police say a violent arson attack has left one man critically burned, set on fire because of his family's choice of synagogue. Residents of the close-knit Hassidic community are now speaking out, condemning the religious dispute.

Aron Rottenberg, 43, was allegedly set on fire last weekend by 18-year-old Shaul Spitzer, who has since been charged with attempted murder, arson and assault. Police believe Rottenberg was targeted because he and his family don't worship at New Square's main synagogue. Residents have called the attack horrible and uncalled for, and are especially upset that it was caused by religion.

"You have freedom of speech and you have freedom of religion in this country, and to be told you have to pray in a specific place is unheard of," said Ruth Cobrin.

Police are still looking to question the synagogue's grand rabbi to see if he had anything to do with the attack.

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