Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

12 Shevat 5764 - February 4, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Bloody Explosion Shakes Jerusalem Last Week
by Betzalel Kahn

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 maintain order.

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.


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