Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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29 Adar 5762 - March 13, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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HaKodosh Yisrael Meir Yehiye, Hy"D
by S. Bruchi

Thousands of roshei yeshiva, rabbonim, talmidim of Yeshivas Mir in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak residents accompanied the holy Yisrael Meir Yehiye Hy"d, to his final resting place on Sunday 26 Adar. The bochur was murdered on motzei Shabbos parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei in a terrorist attack in Netanya. A nine-month old baby was fatally wounded in the same attack.

Yisrael Meir, Hy"d,was twenty-eight years old at the time of his murder. He was the son of HaRav Shlomo, zt"l, and Esther, tichye. He was brought up in a home of Torah, fear of Heaven and good character traits. His late father was one of the outstanding avreichim in the Kollel Chazon Ish, as well as a ram in Yeshivas Mesillat Yeshorim.

As a youth, he learned in the Shtilei Zeitim Talmud Torah and later in Yeshivas Kehillos Yaakov Letze'irim, where he pored over his studies with remarkable diligence. He later transferred to the yeshiva in Zichron Yaakov, and then to the Yeshiva Gedolah in Beit Chilkiya. He was known as one of the yeshiva's most outstanding students, who toiled in Torah with exceptional diligence and was also known for his remarkable character. Two years ago, he began to learn at Yeshivas Mir, where he continued with his diligent study and was known for his warm relationships with his fellow students as well as his love for all Jews.

Yisrael Meir, Hy"d, initiated a daf yomi shiur for yeshiva students held after the regular study sessions. The shiur was a great success, with scores of participating students.

During bein hazmanim he was active in the kiruv organization, Arachim, arranging seminars for those wishing to return to Yiddishkeit. His work was both admired and appreciated. He was also active as a volunteer in ZAKA.

He had been one of the staff of an Arachim seminar during Shabbos parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei at a hotel in Netanya.

At the end of Shabbos, shots were heard outside of the hotel. As soon as he heard the cries of the wounded, Yisrael Meir ran to their aid. Somehow he was swept along with the terrorists as they ran away. Police think that he was taken as a hostage. He hid with the terrorists behind the hotel. It was not clear if he was murdered by the terrorists or killed by mistake along with the terrorists by police fire. The family refused an autopsy which could have determined what happened.

The news of his tragic petiroh was a shocking blow to the heads of Yeshivas Mir and his fellow talmidim who were so close to him. Thousands participated in the levaya on the afternoon of 26 Adar. They bitterly mourned the loss of a young bochur whose life was snuffed out at the pinnacle of his spiritual growth.

Friends of Yisrael Meir, Hy"d, relate that since the death of his father zt"l two years ago, Yisrael Meir became head of the household, acting as a father to his younger brothers and sister and tending to their spiritual needs.

At the start of the <>levaya, HaRav Dovid Menachem Schneider, menahel ruchani of Yeshivas Grodno Yismach Moshe recited pirkei Tehillim. The crowd of thousands repeated after him, verse by verse.

Hespedim were delivered by HaRav Shlomo Zalman Ulman, moro de'asro; HaRav Mordechai Karelitz, mayor of Bnei Brak; HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi, one of the heads of Yeshivas Mir in Jerusalem and HaRav Yehudah Jospe of Arachim.

The niftar's brother, Sar Shalom, was the last of the maspidim. In a tear-filled voice, he said, "Two years ago, we witnessed Hashem's judgment at the time of the death of our father zt"l, and now we see that, `Your judgments are a mighty abyss.' My brother Yisrael sacrificed all of his physical and spiritual strengths for the benefit of others. And everything he did was done unpretentiously. During bein hazmanim, he used to leave the house for a couple of hours during the afternoon. When I asked him where he was going, he would say, `I'm going to see a friend.' I found out later that he had been sitting and learning with his chavrusa. `My beloved has gone to the scented flower beds to gather roses.' He had planned to spend Shabbos elsewhere, but HaKodosh Boruch Hu sent him to Netanya. Here the `rose was gathered.' Although he was busy at the Arachim seminar, he heard screaming, and wanted to do anything he could to help the wounded. There he was murdered."

Sar Shalom continued amidst the heart-rending cries: "Before the petiroh of our father zt"l two years ago, he told us, `I am leaving behind a houseful of children, but you have nothing to worry about: you have Yisrael Meir.' This father has also left us. We are remember how he took care of his younger brothers. . . with such dedication he served as our second father. What will happen to mother now? How will she be able to bear it? Instead of leading him to his chuppah, we are accompanying him to his eternal rest. May Hashem help us that `death will be eternally blotted out and Hashem will wipe the tears off every face.'"

Following the hespedim, the thirteen middos were fervently recited, along with the piyut Ezkeroh E' Ve'ehemoyoh and the prayer Acheinu kol beis Yisroel. The levaya moved slowly through the streets of Bnei Brak, passing the Shtilei Zeitim Talmud Torah to the Yarkon Cemetery where Yisrael Meir Hy"d was buried alongside his father zt"l. Hespeidim were recited at graveside by HaRav Yisroel Yacobson, former friend and chavrusa of the father, and his friend, the avreich Rav Refoel Manat.

He is survived by his mother, tichye, brothers and sister, and hundreds of friends and acquaintances who bitterly mourn his passing.


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