Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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7 Nissan 5760 - April 12, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Mass Prayer Rally in Bnei Brak for the 13 Iranian Jews

by A. Cohen

This past Monday, 5 Nisan, an announcement signed by maranan verabonon the gedolei Yisroel of our times was circulated. It calls for everyone to beseech Hashem to have mercy on the thirteen Iranian Jews whose trial is scheduled for Thursday 8 Nisan, and for them it is certainly an issue that is a matter of life or, Rachmono litzlan, death. A central rally is to be held on Wednesday afternoon in the middle of Bnei Brak in Bartenura Square.

to the residents of Bnei Brak to assemble in Bartenura Square in for a massive rally, in order to cry out to HaKodosh Boruch Hu to have mercy

The letter states: "Our hearts ache over the terrible decree which hovers over the 13 Iranian Jews, two of whom are in danger of . . . Rachmono litzlan. Ki hishkif mimorom kodsho, Hashem miShomayim al eretz hibit, lishmo'a enkas osir lepesach bnei temusoh. The affliction of the 13 Iranian Jews is the affliction of the entire community.

"As a result, we appeal to Jews everywhere to cry out to Hashem to cancel the wicked decree, prior to the trial which is scheduled for 8 Nisan, 5760. For this purpose, let us all assemble on Wednesday, 7 Nisan at 4:30 in the afternoon, in Bartenura Square in Bnei Brak, as one man with one heart, for a central prayer rally, at which mincha, selichos and Tehillim will be recited. Keil kabir will not reject the prayer of the masses.

"May Hakodosh Boruch Hu answer us from Above regarding the swift release of the prisoners, and rid us of all the illnesses and suffering which have recently been visited upon Beis Yisroel. May He accept our prayers with mercy."

Signers included, Yosef Sholom Eliashiv, A. Y. L. Steinman, Shmuel Halevi Wosner, Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, S. Y. Nissim Karelitz, Yitzchok Eizek Rosenbaum -- Admor of Zutschka, Avrohom Landau -- Admor of Strikov, Shmuel Auerbach, Shimon Baadani, Boruch Rosenberg, G. Edelstein, Shlomo Silberstein, Yisroel Don Taub -- Admor of Modzhitz, Yitchok Shlomo Ungar, Nosson Gestetner, Shlomo Machpoud, Menachem Mendel Hagar, Machlouf Pachima.

The residents of the city were asked to come en masse to this prayer rally, and to pray for rachmei Shomayim for the Jews of Iran whose lives are in danger. Women were asked to convene only on Hashlo Street. Men with shofars were asked to assemble beside the amplifier system.

Trial on Thursday in Shiraz

The judge of the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz has told a French press agency that the trial of the 13 Iranian Jews who are accused of undermining the security of Iran and of espionage on behalf of the United States and Israel will open on Thursday, April 13, 8 Nisan.

In relating to whether trial will be open or closed to outside observers, Judge Norani said that the court will very shortly state its decision on the issue in a written announcement.

A spokesman on behalf of the court in Shiraz told a French news agency reporter that the four lawyers were appointed by the accused themselves and will defend eight of them. At first the accused were supposed to use only lawyers appointed by the court.

The 13 Jews, three of whom have been released on bail, were arrested in Shiraz a year ago. Eight Moslems who were also accused of the same crimes and were also arrested, but they will be tried separately.

Judge Norani visited the prison to wish the prisoners a happy Pesach. Three of the prisoners, Shachrok Paknahad, Asher Zadmar and Nasar Levi Chaim, sent a letter to the judge expressing their appreciation of his visit.

Former French Justice Minister and current member of the French Senate Robert Bedinter and French Judge Dominique De La Grandrei applied for a visa to go observe the trial of the thirteen Jews accused of espionage. Their request was ignored.

Observers said that the trial may be very short with the verdict apparently determined by authorities not present in the court room. There is no doubt that the Iranian government is sensitive to world opinion on the matter, but there are different and conflicting elements within the Iranian power structure, and the outcome is far from certain.

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