After five months of relative quiet a powerful blast shook
the center of Jerusalem last week when a suicide bomber blew
up on a Line 19 bus traveling from Hadassah-Ein Karem
Hospital toward downtown. Eleven people were killed in the
explosion, Hy"d, and over 50 were injured, including
13 who sustained serious injuries.
During the last several months security forces have
succeeded, besiyata deShmaya, in foiling many planned
attacks, but last week the sound of a major explosion was
again heard in Jerusalem--one of the bloodiest attacks
visited upon the city in recent years.
The bus was traveling on Gaza Street near the Prime
Minister's official residence in Rechavia when the bomb,
which contained a large number of nails and shrapnel,
exploded at 8:53 am last Thursday. At the time Ariel Sharon
was at his Shikmim Ranch home. The numerous emergency workers
who arrived at the scene encountered horrific sights.
Ofer Betzalel, who delivers mail every day in Rechavia, had
just begun his route and had entered a store when he heard
the deafening blast, which shattered his car windows. "We ran
out of the store and found a horrifying sight in another
store. People were badly injured, unable to talk. Those who
could talk cried bloody murder from the pain. Those who were
injured moderately and lightly cried out, `My arm!' or `My
head!' or `My leg!' I ran into the store to bring water."
The suicide bomber was identified as Ali Je'arah, 24, of Beit
Lechem, an active member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the
military branch of the Fatah. Je'arah was also an official
Palestinian policeman in uniform. On the day of the attack
Palestinian police began to enter West Bank cities to
Rabbi Yechezkel Isser Goldberg, Hy"d
by Betzalel Kahn
Thousands of stunned and horrified people participated in the
levaya of Rabbi Yechezkel Isser Goldberg Hy"d,
a Beitar Illit resident who was killed at the age of 41,
leaving behind seven children.
Goldberg was born in Toronto. After moving to New York and
marrying, he and his wife, ylct"a, moved to Eretz
Yisroel eight years ago. Soon after their arrival he formed
ties with HaRav Chaim Pinchos Sheinberg, rosh yeshivas Torah
Ohr, and was also close to the Bostoner Rebbe, and prayed
regularly in his Beitar beis medrash.
A man of chesed with constant cheer, he was very
involved in communal life in Beitar Illit, working
extensively on various issues for the sake of local
residents. R' Yechezkel was trained as a social worker and
provided much support and encouragement for youths in need,
as well as assistance for needy families. He was commuting to
his job in Jerusalem when the attack took place.
He regularly wrote articles on chinuch for an English-
language newspaper. His articles often discussed the
difficulties with which observant English- speakers have to
cope in adapting to life in Eretz Yisroel. His advice, which
helped many Americans considerably, was based on regular
consultation with his rabbonim.
His children, ranging in age from one to sixteen, all study
in Beitar schools.
When his name did not appear on the injured list his wife,
accompanied by City of Beitar Illit representatives, traveled
to the Abu Kabir Forensics Institute to identify the body.
Late Thursday night she broke the news of the tragedy that
had befallen the family to her children.
Later that night the levaya set out from Beitar's
Kikar Boston toward Har Hamenuchos in Jerusalem. R' Yechezkel
Isser Goldberg z"l was eulogized by the rabbonim of
the city who mourned over the tragedy visited upon the city
with the loss of a well-liked baal chesed who strove
to help others to the best of his ability and has now been
taken away, to everybody's great sorrow.