On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Rochel Leah (Boteach) Taktuk, 24, an Orthodox Jewish Instagram influencer and daughter of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach posted a quick story that said: “@realcandaceowens @kanyewest Don’t mess with the Jews.”
Rochel Leah was happy; Adidas had canceled their contract with West after he made a slew of antisemitic remarks. There were going to be consequences for the rapper’s egregious behavior.
“I finally felt like we were winning,” she told the Journal.
After posting the story, she focused her attention on celebrating her second anniversary with her husband. But then, she started to receive a huge amount of hateful messages and death threats on her Instagram.
“Hitler should have finished the job,” one person wrote.
“You hate Black people,” another person said.
It turns out that Candace Owens, a conservative commentator at The Daily Wire, had blasted out a screenshot of Rochel Leah’s story to her 3.1 million Twitter followers. Owens wrote: “I have been fielding threats for two weeks straight. How is it possible that any person is allow to openly message ‘don’t mess with the Jews’ to me? Rochel Leah is just one of many who have been openly threatening me and many other black podcasters. Why is this okay?”
I have been fielding threats for two weeks straight. How is it possible that any person is allow to openly message “don’t mess with the Jews” to me?
Rochel Leah is just one of many who have been openly threatening me and many other black podcasters. Why is this okay? pic.twitter.com/vXipcwdaYK
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) October 25, 2022
Rochel Leah’s face and Instagram username, @thethirstysouls, appeared on the post. In just seven hours, Owens’ post received more than 1,600 comments, 5,000 likes and 1,200 retweets. According to Rochel Leah, Owens also privately messaged her.
“She wrote to me ‘Do you mean this as a threat? ‘Don’t mess with the Jews?’ You have absolutely NO RIGHT to threaten me,’” Rochel Leah said. “It’s so crazy how Candace can enable Kanye, who has been threatening the Jewish people for two weeks.”
Now, Rochel Leah is fearing for her safety.
“Some of the messages say, ‘Send me your address, and we’ll send you a gift for your anniversary,’” she said. “They say they’re coming after my husband and I.”
The Instagrammer is also frustrated with Owens; before the past two weeks, she was a fan, and paid The Daily Wire to hear the commentator talk about women’s issues.
“I didn’t always agree with Candace politically, but I thought she spoke up for what was right,” she said. “I was personally let down. I was sure she was going to say Kanye is making a mistake after he went full-blown antisemite. But she defended him and enabled him. Every time he makes a mistake, she gives him the confidence to keep going.”
““I didn’t always agree with Candace politically, but I thought she spoke up for what was right. I was personally let down.”
-Rochel Leah Boteach
Owens has sported a necklace that reads “Ima” (mom) in Hebrew during her appearances on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” In 2019, she got in trouble for saying, “If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well — OK, fine.”
“I have no fear of Candace,” Rochel Leah said. “The real fear I have is of God. Am I making a chillul Hashem (desecration of God)? That’s my main fear. I know for a fact that I’m doing the right thing. And my husband, who is the most moral human being I’ve ever met, stands behind me 100%.”
Rochel Leah also said that many people are taking her side during this stressful time.
“I hope the whole world sees you cannot get away with being a Jew hater anymore,” she said. “For thousands of years, Jews were killed. Our blood was spilled. No one cared. But now, Candace is scrambling. Candace thought she could be antisemitic. Kanye did too. You come for us, and we will come back and defend ourselves in every way we can.”