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Yeshiva Slaughter

Thursday evening, March 6, 2008, Ala Abu Dhaim, 25, a Palestinian gunman terrorist from East Jerusalem, entered the Mercaz Harav yeshiva, found the library crowded with students studying Torah, and pulled out his Kalatchnikov AK-47 from a box he was carrying. He fired his automatic weapon killing eight students and wounding nine others. Students scrambled under desks and jumped out the second floor window to get out of the range of the weapon fire. Yehuda Meshi Zahav, the head of the Zaka emergency service described the scene after the shooting as "like a slaughterhouse; the floor was covered in blood"

Emergency Medical Workers
Emergency medical workers carry out the wounded and dead.

The families of the slain students, their friends and friends of the yeshiva came to the yeshiva for the mass funeral. Rabbi Ya'acov Shapira, head of the yeshiva, eulogized the dead students. He said,

These priceless students were the best of the best, pure gold. Each one of them had unique and different good values in Torah studies, at work, in charity and kindness.

Slaughtered Students
The eight slaughtered students from the Mercaz Harav Yeshivah.

Library Slaughter
The library where the slaughter occurred.

Thousands Mourn
The families of the slain students, their friends and friends of the yeshiva came to the yeshiva for the mass funeral.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Weiss, head of the Merkaz high school, eulogized after Rabbi Shapira. In a voice breaking with emotion and tears, he said,

G-d is just, and His ways are just... We have questions; but the questions are so difficult, so difficult... How is it possible to eulogize one Torah scholar on Rosh Chodesh Adar? But two? and three, and four, and five...?? Your ways are so hidden, Master of the Universe! ... In Adar, we increase joy - look how much joy You gathered to Heaven! They were in the midst of studying Torah, such joy, such purity... We have been left with such a hole... I just want to tell You, Master of the Universe, what great people You took: Yehonadav - he gave [nadav, in Hebrew] so much; what purity and simplicity... You took Yochai from us - he lives [chai] in G-d, what Torah study he did; even while they were setting up for the Purim party, he came to learn Torah... You took Segev Pniel of the Avichayil family - what a family, and what valour [chayil] in Torah! ... You took Yehonatan [meaning "G-d gave"] - what prayer, what Torah, what beauty... You took our dear Avraham David - just two days ago I had a long talk with him in his room - what knowledge he had, what integrity, what music he gave us with his Torah reading... and the youngest, Neriah - the candle of G-d, his light will be missing from us...

Former chief rabbi, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu could not attend the funeral due to his poor health. But he sent his assistant to read his eulogy. He said in part,

When there are accusations against the people of Israel, God takes the righteous in order to atone for the sins. They are roses who were picked and thanks to them God will have mercy on us.

Following the concluding eulogy by Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky, the eight families of mourners tore their shirts and recited aloud the Kaddish prayer.

Friends Mourn
Friends Mourn

Palestinians cheered over the slaughter of the young students. Thousands took to the streets of cities in Gaza to celebrate. Hamas activists gave out candies and cakes to anyone who passed by.

Palestinians give out candy
Palestinians celebrated giving out candy on hearing about the Yeshiva slaughter

In Gaza City, Hamas militants fired their guns joyously in the air.

Militant Gazans Celebrate Militant Gazans Celebrate
Gazans Celebrate Gazans Celebrate

The celebration of the Palestinians is another example of the barbaric nature of their culture: They regarded the delibrate terror shooting and killing of innocent civilians as their political and military victory. They rejoiced at the deaths of innocent Jews, particularly those who are studying Torah in their yeshiva. One has to ask the question that Shmuley Botach asks:

Have you been so scarred by the Arab-Israeli conflict that you have ceased to see the image of God in those innocent victims? Have you become so hardened by this conflict that you could somehow justify the taking of innocent lives at prayer?"

The Kutwaiti newspaper Al-Watan wrote in an op-ed on Tuesday March 11, 2008

The attack at the yeshiva was a barbaric murder of eight children who were engaged in religious study. ... This odious and inhuman terror attack exemplifies the extremist and inhuman path of the terror organizations Hamas and Hizbullah.