“For these things, I do weep – על אלה אני בוכיה“
Three young souls snatched from the world too soon are commemorated through a special day of learning at Midreshet Lindenbaum’s Tilles Campus
Midreshet Lindenbaum alumna Tzurit Yaron was killed in a car accident in 2008 during the course of her service as a non-commissioned officer in the IDF’s Torah Culture Department. Since then, the Yaron family has been joining Rabbi Ohad Tehar Lev, Director of the Israeli Programs at Midreshet Lindenbaum, in an annual pre-Tisha B’Av seminar dedicated to her memory.
When Teharlev’s own soldier son Sgt. Elchai Teharlev was tragically murdered in a car-ramming terror attack two years ago, the Yaron family decided that the annual seminar would be dedicated to the elevation of his soul as well. Aptly entitled ‘Al eleh ani bochiya‘ – ‘For these things, I do weep’ (lamentations from Megillat Eicha, which is read on Tisha B’Av) the day focuses upon studies related to the destruction of the Temple.
“Tzurit had a heart of gold which accepted everyone,” said her mother, Hadassah. “She never said a bad word; she helped everyone. She learned with great joy, and soaked up every word here in the beit midrash.
“I loved learning with Tzurit here once a week,” Hadassah continued. “Rabbi Teharlev always accepted my presence and greeted me with the warmest smile. Since her death he has done everything to commemorate her, so when Elchai was killed it was obvious that the annual seminar should commemorate him too. We will continue in the way of Tzurit and Elchai,” she said.
This year’s lecture was delivered by OTS President and Rosh HaYeshiva, Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, on the architecture of Jerusalem’s Old City and the Beit Hamikdash. But Rabbi Brander had been called in the wee hours of the morning in regard to another OTS student, Dvir Sorek, who had been murdered by terrorists in the middle of the night as he made his way back home to the Robert M. Beren Machanaim Hesder Yeshiva, where he had just completed his first year of study.
“It is extremely difficult to be here, but even on a day like today, the Torah learning must always continue,” declared Rabbi Brander, who left the scene of the attack near Migdal Oz in order to give the lecture in memory of Tzurit and Elchai. “Dvir went last night to buy books for his teachers as a way of thanking them. His body was found this morning, clutching those books in his arms. It’s hard to talk about it, but I thought it appropriate to dedicate this lecture to the elevation of Tzurit’s soul, to the elevation of Elchai’s soul, and also to the elevation of Dvir Sorek’s soul.”
After his lecture, Rabbi Brander concluded, “I made aliya exactly one year and two days ago. I am asked questions all the time about how I see things in this country. In the Beit Hamikdash there were sacrifices, and unfortunately, in our era, there continue to be sacrifices – even more difficult ones. Sacrifices which build our dream of being the nation of Israel in the country of Israel – Am Yisrael B’eretz Yisrael – sacrifices for our children and our grandchildren. I saw this today, and I hope I won’t see it any more. I hope that soon, in the merit of all those who have sacrificed their lives, we’ll be able to celebrate next Tisha B’av because it will be a festival. I pray that we will no longer have these difficult sacrifices.”