March 22, 2008

Why Do We Fund The Terrorstinians? (BUMPED & UPDATED)

After all, they openly and proudly support deeds like this.

When a poll reveals all but a fraction of Palestinians support the murder of eight innocent Jewish seminarians, it shows a people wedded to evil. It's a short trip from this hate to the kind Hitler espoused.

The West Bank-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, a professional and independent polling agency that surveys Palestinians four times a year, has found that no less than 84% of 1,270 Palestinians questioned by the center in personal interviews said they supported the March 6 shooting inside Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav yeshiva.

The slaughter was carried out by East Jerusalem resident Alaa Abu Dheim, who was himself eventually killed during his attack. All but one of the eight he killed were teens, two of them only 15 years old. Another 11 were wounded.

Pollster Khalil Shikaki was understandably shocked at the results, which also found 75% support for scrapping Israeli-Palestinian talks and 64% support for the Hamas terrorist group's thousands of recent rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on Israeli towns.

In other words, these backwards barbarians support terrorists entering a school and shooting the teenage students inside. They support lobbing rockets randomly at civilians without regard to cease-fire agreements. And they have no interest in actually seeking peace with Israel.

And yet the US government is releasing more funding to the "government" of the Terrorstinian Anarchy. Seems to me that we are just funding more terrorism, not creating a "partner for peace".

UPDATE: A pointed reminder of those murdered in the Mercaz Harav yeshiva terrorist attack leads me to bump this post up -- please take the time to read the material below the fold, and to remember each of these young men,

Doron Meherete, 26, from Ashdod

"His face would glow with joy"

Friends of Doron Meherete, age 26 - the oldest of the eight students murdered at a Jerusalem seminary - say that his face would glow with joy as he studied with them. Doron, who came from Ethiopia in 1991 in Operation Solomon, studied for nine years at the yeshiva, where he was known for his trenchant mind and kind heart, challenging others intellectually and lending a helping hand whenever needed.

Three years ago he joined the army, under a special arrangement for advanced yeshiva (seminary) students, served nine months in the armored corps, and fought as a reservist in the Second Lebanon (Hezbollah) War.

On March 6, Doron was shot to death by an Arab terrorist as he was studying in his yeshiva's library, crowded with young students, most in their teens.

Doron and his family came from Ethiopia, where their community had been rooted in Judaism for 2500 years. Some believe that Ethiopian Jews are the descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Others hold that they belong to the lost tribe of Dan. Whatever the origin, Beta Israel (the Jews of Ethiopia) have always been Jewish and always believed in the faith of Moses and the Torah. Isolated from the rest of the Jewish world for a thousand years, Beta Israel were not aware that other Jews existed and that many of them were white.

The plight of Ethiopia's Jews became intolerable in the early 1980's, when the government forbade the practice of Judaism, imprisoned Jewish religious leaders, killed an estimated 2,500 Jews and caused another 7,000 to become homeless. Since then, approximately 60,000 Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel via covert rescues, such as Operation Moses, and later Operation Solomon.

These operations were a modern day Exodus, a large-scale rescue of the Beta Israel. The Ethiopian government refused exit papers, and prohibited flight over their airspace, so the rescues were performed with utmost secrecy and utmost speed. Doron was eight years old when his family, along with thousands of other men, women and children, made the journey (mostly on foot) from Ethiopia to staging camps in neighboring Sudan. Once in Sudan, they waited for transport to Israel . The Meheretes were able to realize the two-thousand-year-old dream of all Ethiopian Jews: a return to the land of Israel.

The Meheretes made their home in Ashdod, Israel. Doron hoped to attend Mercaz HaRav, one of the best yeshivas in Israel, and to be a rabbi. Because his early education had been in Ethopia, where the Talmud was not part of Jewish study, he was rejected when he first applied. Undeterred he asked, " If you won't let me learn Torah, will you let me wash the dishes in the mess hall?" For the next year and a half, Doron washed dishes, listened in on lectures, and spent every spare minute studying. One day he insisted that the head of the yeshiva test him on the most complex tracts of the Talmud. The next day, Doron was a rabbinical student.

Remembering his own experience as a new arrival, Doron was also a counselor at an after-school program for immigrant Ethiopian children. He took them on trips and taught them their first steps in Israel.

Three weeks before his death, he completed exams administered by the Chief Rabbinate on the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) and its commentaries, a major step on the path of rabbinical study. As columnist Naomi Ragen wrote, "Doron achieved in his tender 26 years what others don't attain in 88 years."

Rather than his ordination ceremony, his family, friends, hundreds of mourners and public figures attended Doron's funeral. He was remembered as "a very smart, honest person, with joie de vivre and excitement from anything that was new." Among those who eulogized Doron was Zvi Zilker, Mayor of Ashdod. "He lived for the land, and we say thanks to him for his contributions to the state.

May we remember Doron, a hope of the past and promise of the future, whose life was cut short by a terrorist's hatred and intolerance. May we REMEMBER ONE young man whose faith and hard work continue to be an inspiration.>

Avraham David Moses, 16, from Efrat

"Like an angel"

"God picks the most beautiful flowers for his garden," said the mother of 16-year-old Avraham David Moses. At his funeral, she thanked G-d for "the 16 years we had the privilege of raising him, 16 years of purity of heart and honesty." Avraham David's stepfather, David Moria, said the boy was "like an angel. He had amazing integrity."

Avraham David was one of eight young students killed when an Arab terrorist infiltrated the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva (seminary) in Jerusalem and opened fire in the crowded school library on March 6, 2008.

Avraham David, born in Israel, was a dual citizen of Israel and the United States. His parents, Rivka Moriah, originally from New England, and his father, Naftali Moses, from Long Island, raised Avraham David in Efrat, located 8 miles south of Jerusalem. It is an Israeli town with a definite American style as a large number of the families are professionals who immigrated from the U.S.

Avraham David took the laws of the Torah (first five books of the Bible) to heart and would not speak evil of anyone. A friend related that Avraham David was so careful of "lashon hara" (speaking evil of others) that he ran away from it as if it were fire. "At times when we spoke idle conversation in our dorm room, talk that Avraham David considered to be 'lashon hara,' he would just get up and leave the room. He would not return until he was convinced that the conversation had ended."

On March 6, Avraham David and his chevruta (learning partner), Segev Avichayil, were in the yeshiva library studying Talmud together, awaiting the start of a party celebrating the beginning of the month of Adar - a month of joy that includes the Purim holiday, which commemorates when Jews in ancient Persia, with the help of Queen Esther, were able to halt the genocide planned against them by their enemy Haman. When the Arab terrorist entered the library, Avraham David and Segev were so immersed in learning that their friends had to yell to both of them to run for their lives. Avraham David and Segev were murdered, along with 6 other students.

At his funeral, Avraham David's father recounted that his son had visited him at home last Saturday. "I blessed you, put my hand on your head and suddenly grasped how much you had grown in spirit. You did not break. The murderers broke you. You were not a fighter but a loving person - you loved the Torah and studying the Torah. You ended your life studying the Torah.

Avraham David, 16, left behind his parents and five brothers, aged between two and 11.

Remember Avraham David Moses, who died holding the holy texts he cherished. REMEMBER ONE young man and his refusal to speak ill of others. Remember, and in your memory he and his ideals shall live

Neria Cohen, 15, of Jerusalem

"Everybody always wanted to be with him"

Neria Cohen was one of eight students killed on March 6th when an Arab terrorist infiltrated the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva (seminary) in Jerusalem and opened fire in the crowded library. Neria Cohen grew up in the Old City of Jerusalem and walked the narrow stone streets as Jewish children had for thousands of years. His life was a continuation of many centuries of Jewish history and tradition. Neria Cohen was a Kohane, the descendant of Aaron, Moses' brother, who performed priestly duties. It is in Jerusalem - where Neria lived - that ancient Kohanim attended to the Temple and its rituals. Today Kohanim are given the honor of reciting the first blessing during each communal reading of the Bible and of blessing the congregation.

For Neria the traditions of prayer, good deeds and study seemed to flow uninterrupted from ancient times to his family. He was one of 12 children born to Ayala and Rabbi Yitzhak Cohen, who is a rabbi at the Esh HaTorah hesder yeshiva in the Jewish Quarter. Many in Neria's extended family are active in programs that combine religious studies with community outreach and education in poor towns.

Neria accepted the mantle of tradition with enthusiasm. "Neria's most striking quality was boundless joy. Everyone always wanted to be with him," said Eliezer Avni, a ninth-grade counselor at the Mercaz Harav affiliate where Neria studied. "He was a boy who lived all the ideals in the world, who enlisted for every mission, whether it was activity on behalf of communities, or the needy.

"He is God's light [the literal meaning of the name Neria], a perfect soul who connects to God all the time. He was a true son of the Torah and spent every moment with his study companion. When he understood the essence of the Torah, he was filled with happiness and joy," said Rabbi Ze'ev Schor, one of Neria's teachers.

On March 6th, the yeshiva students - mostly teenagers - had returned from prayers. They were about to begin a party celebrating the beginning of the month of Adar - a month of joy that includes the Purim holiday, which commemorates when Jews in ancient Persia, with the help of Queen Esther, were able to halt the genocide devised by their enemy Haman. Many of the students had gathered in the yeshiva library to study before the party when the Arab terrorist burst in, shooting to death eight and wounding 11.

Neria Cohen was buried with ancient and recent kohanim in the priests' section in the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem. He is survived by his parents, Yitzhak and Ayala, and 11 siblings.

Remember Neria Cohen, the boy who was a blessing to his family and community. Remember Neria Cohen, the child who was born to carry Jewish history and tradition. REMEMBER ONE and in remembering, his blessing will continue.

Yohai Lifshitz, 18, from Jerusalem

"A good soul with extraordinary ability"

Yohai Lifshitz was the second of six children born to Tuvia, a supervisor in Jerusalem's HaKotel Yeshiva and Zofiya, a teacher. Yohai lived in the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, a place with a rich history, with nearly continual Jewish presence since the eighth century B.C.E. Yohai devoted himself to studying ancient texts while searching for his own answers. "His most outstanding quality was his innocence," said Zvi Yehuda Herling, an instructor at the HaKotel Yeshiva (seminary) at the funeral. "He had a constant desire to search for his own truth, whether it was to rise before everyone and go to synagogue to study before morning prayer or practice for his army service

On March 6, Yohai returned from prayers to study in the library while he and other students awaited a party celebrating the beginning of the month of Adar - a month of joy that includes the Purim holiday, which commemorates when Jews in ancient Persia, with the help of Queen Esther, were able to halt the genocide planned against them by their enemy Haman. As Yohai was concentrating on holy text, an Arab terrorist entered the library, and shot Yohai at point blank range. Yohai and seven other students, all but one still in their teens, were killed and eleven others wounded

Yohai is survived by his father, mother, four brothers, and a sister.

"Thank you for everything you've done and given for 18 years," Yohai's father said.

Remember Yohai Lifshitz and his search for the truth. REMEMBER ONE young man whose future was cut painfully short. Remember Yohai, and in our memories, he shall live.

Segev Peniel Avichail, 15, from Neveh Daniel

"A pure soul with a good heart"

Segev Peniel Avichail, 15, grew up in a family of Jewish educators and rabbis. He was the son of Rabbi Elyashiv Avichail, and the grandson of two well-known rabbis: Rabbi Eliahu Avichail, who studied the Ten Lost Tribes and their disappearance and Rabbi Yehoshua Zuckerman, the founder of the El Ami movement. His mother, Moriah, was head of a girls' art school in the community.

As the oldest child, he set an example of conduct for his twin brothers Yifeh and Shahak, and sister Liat. "Segev was a gift that was given to me and to the entire family for 15 years. He had a pure heart, was a good son and exceptionally diligent in his studies. He loved his brothers and was close to his father," Segev's uncle Yair Tzukerman said, describing him as a "serious student, a pure soul with a good heart."

He followed his parents' and grandparents' passion for scholarship and religion. "When he was informed that he had gotten into the [Mercaz HaRav] yeshiva he was the happiest person, he proudly ran and told everyone he was accepted," said Ya'akov Tzukerman (no relation), Segev's friend. Mercaz is one of the most prestigious centers of Jewish learning in Israel.

He understood more than most people his age, the dangers of hatred and terrorism. A few years ago, Segev was slightly wounded in a shooting attack as he was driving on the Telem Road with his father. This young man searched for understanding in the ancient biblical text, the Gemara, which is a complex extended commentary on the Jewish laws. He put his faith in law and justice. His father found a poem of Segev's on his desk the night of the murders. The esoteric composition speaks of a row of souls, crying out "There is justice and there is a judge!"

On March 6, 2008, Segev joined his close friend Avraham David Moses and other students in the library, where they were about to begin celebrating the start of the month of Adar, a joyous month that includes the holiday of Purim which commemorates when Jews in ancient Persia, with the help of Queen Esther, were able to halt the genocide planned against them by their enemy Haman. The two study partners were so engrossed in the holy text that they did not notice that an Arab terrorist had burst into the library until friends called out to them.

The terrorist killed eight young students. Segev died alongside his friend, Avraham David, studying the books they cherished.

Remember Segev and his faith in justice and the Judge. Remember him and in your memory he shall live.

Yehonadav Haim Hirshfeld, 19, from Kochav Hashachar

"He was the kind of student who always asked the thoughtful question."

Yehonadav Haim Hirshfeld was the fifth of 13 children born to one of the founding families in Kochav Hashachar, a community in Samaria overlooking the Jordan Valley. His father, Zemah, serves as a mohel (one who performs circumcisions) in the community and its surroundings. His mother, Elisheva, is a homemaker.

Yehonadav went to a high school yeshiva (seminary) near Mercaz Harav and later continued to study at the yeshiva itself. "He was a talented young man with broad horizons, intelligent, and an admired guide in the Ariel youth movement," Haya Meir, a neighbor, said. Even after he left the movement, he kept up his relationships with the kids, Meir said. "He was the kind of student who always asked the thoughtful question and had a good answer in class," she said

On March 6, the yeshiva students - mostly teenagers - had returned from prayers. They were about to begin a party celebrating the beginning of the month of Adar - a month of joy marked by the Purim holiday. Purim commemorates how, with the help of Queen Esther, Jews survived a planned annihilation in ancient Persia. Yehonadav gathered with many of the students in the yeshiva library before the party when an Arab terrorist burst in and shot to death Yehonadav and 7 others. Eleven more students were wounded.

Remember Yehonadav Haim Hirshfeld, the young man who was about to celebrate Jewish survival and was gunned down instead. REMEMBER ONE young man, Yehonadav, and in our memories, he shall live.

Yonatan Yitzchak Eldar, 16, from Shiloh

"Full of joie de vivre"

Yonatan Yitzhak Eldar came into this world 16 years ago with a flourish and great public notice. He was born during the legendary blizzard of 1992, when snow blocked the roads in Shiloh, Israel for days. His mother had to be helicoptered out to deliver him. His birth, the sixth in a family of eight children, was a favorite family story.

With such a spectacular start, Yonatan was a happy boy whose smile seemed to say there is something quite wonderful about being alive. He studied with joy, often until late at night. The night of his murder, he returned from evening prayers, and despite the celebration scheduled at his Yeshiva (seminary) later that evening, he went to the library of the yeshiva next door, Merkaz HaRav, to study the Nedarim Tractate of the Babylonian Talmud. He didn't want to miss learning his daily page. He celebrated his 16th birthday the previous Saturday by reading a portion of the Torah (first five books of the Bible) in his synagogue.

Yonatan had many interests and pursued them all with enthusiasm. He had recently started serving as a counselor in the local branch of the Bnei Akiva youth movement.

"Usually you think of someone so young who is so deeply involved in Torah study as being square, but Yonatan wasn't at all like that," said Rabbi Uri Bayar, an educator in Shiloh and a friend of the Eldar family. "He was full of joie de vivre and had many interests," Bayar said. After the funeral his friends gathered and told stories about their friend. They recalled his love of hiking.

On March 6th, an Arab terrorist infiltrated the yeshiva and began a killing spree. Yonatan was shot almost point-blank in the chest, killing him. Eight students, all but one in their teens, were killed and eleven injured.

Yonatan is survived by six brothers and one sister, his father, Dror, and his mother, Avital

Remember Yonatan Yitzhak Eldar who came into the world with joy and whose smile brought happiness to his family and friends. REMEMBER ONE young man and his joy for life, so that in our memories he will live.

Roee Roth, 18, from Elkana

"He felt very close to God"

Roee Roth was born, raised, and educated in a biblical environment. In his birthplace, Kfar Saba, ("Grandfather's Village") is the tomb of Benjamin, son of Jacob, and head of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. His family moved to Elkana, in the Samaria region, in ancient times part of the Kingdom of Israel (circa 884 B.C.E.), and he studied in Jerusalem at Mercaz Harav, one of the most prestigious yeshivas (seminaries) in Israel.

Roee's friends described him as very spiritual. "He felt very close to God, and about every problem he would say, 'That, too, is from God' and tried to understand what God wanted from him," Eyal, his roommate and friend from home, related. "He prayed long and loud and everyone in the beit midrash [study hall] could hear his 'Amen,'" another friend from Elkana and fellow student at Mercaz Harav, Menashe Zimmerman, said.

Roee's decision to study at Mercaz Harav, with its high demands, was part of a spiritual journey that began in high school. In 11th grade Roee stopped studying Jujitsu, in which he already had a brown belt, because he felt it was cutting into his study time.

On March 6th, he was in the yeshiva library awaiting the celebration of the month of Adar- a month of joy marked by the Purim holiday, which commemorates when Jews in ancient Persia, with the help of Queen Esther, were able to halt the genocide planned against them by their enemy Haman. As Roee and the others students were engaged in study and discussions, an Arab gunman infiltrated the building, entered the library and opened fire, shooting to death eight young students, including Roee, and wounding eleven.

Roee was the son of Orly and Yaakov Roth. In addition to his parents, he is survived by four siblings.

Remember Roee Roth, the young man whose “amen” filled the air. REMEMBER ONE who felt close to G-d and now is. Remember Roee, and in our memories, he shall live.

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