As fraud claims swirl, heart pains hit Paris rabbi

On Jan. 3, Farhi suffered stomach injuries following what he told police had been an attack at the synagogue by a man wielding a knife and shouting "Allahu Akhbar," or "God is Great."

However, a number of media reports began to circulate soon after the attack that cast doubt on the veracity of the rabbi's claims.

Last week, the television channel France 2 reported that Paris police investigating the stabbing incident had found the knife used in the attack — which, they said, had come from the synagogue kitchen.

That finding seemed to contradict the Islamic hypothesis behind the attack.

In addition, the channel reported that "in the corridors of the Palace of Justice, the view that the wound was self-inflicted is no longer being treated as a rumor but as a serious hypothesis."

The president of the synagogue, Francis Lentschner, blamed media reports for Farhi's current medical state.

"The violence of the attacks which he has been subjected to for more than two months has weakened his powers of resistance," Lentschner said.

Farhi's lawyer, Michel Zaoui, agreed, saying that stress resulting from the France 2 report probably was the cause of the illness.