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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

November 21, 2014  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Terror victims mourned in Jerusalem and beyond

By Ben Sales JTA news service


Sergeant Major Zidan Saif, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Rabbi Kalman Levine, Rabbi Moshe Twersky and Rabbi Kupinsky Aryeh Sergeant Major Zidan Saif, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Rabbi Kalman Levine, Rabbi Moshe Twersky and Rabbi Kupinsky Aryeh TEL AVIV — They all lived on the same street. They had all moved there from abroad. They were all rabbis. They all prayed at the same synagogue.

And it was at that Jerusalem synagogue that they were all murdered on Tuesday morning, Nov. 18.

Rabbi Mosheh Twersky, 59; Rabbi Kalman

Levine, 55; Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 43; and Rabbi Avraham Goldberg, 68, were killed when two cousins from eastern Jerusalem entered Bnei Torah Kehillat Yaakov, in the haredi Orthodox neighborhood of Har Nof, wielding a gun and butcher knives. The attackers, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, injured seven others before they were killed at the scene by Israeli police.

A fifth victim, an Israeli Druze police officer — Sergeant Major Zidan Saif, 30, of the Druze village of Kfar Yanouch in the Galilee — died later that day of wounds suffered during the shootout with the assailants. Saif was married and the father of a 4-month-old baby.

Rabbis Twersky, Levine and Kupinsky were Americans. Rabbi Goldberg was from England. All of the rabbis were laid to rest in Jerusalem within hours of the attack.

“We are here, standing in front of these three holy men, the best of our community, Torah scholars whose blood flowed like water,” said Rabbi Yitzchak Mordechai Rubin, the chief rabbi of Bnei Torah, according to the Times of Israel. A separate funeral was held for the fourth rabbi.

Rabbi Twersky, the head of the Toras Moshe Yeshiva, was the eldest grandson of the influential American Orthodox scholar Rabbi Joseph Soleveitchik. Rabbi Twersky left behind his wife, five children and 10 grandchildren.

Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Orthodox Union’s Kosher Division and a student of Soleveitchik, knew Twersky for most of his life and told JTA “he was in every respect extraordinary” noting “his kindness, his stunning brilliance...He was a great scholar. You saw his devotion to his students and their love for him,” Genack said. “He was reserved, very insightful. He came from the most exalted rabbinic family and yet he was just so humble.”

Rabbi Levine, who is survived by his wife, nine children and five grandchildren, grew up in Kansas City, MO. He was born Cary Levine and attended the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy there. A friend told the Kansas City Star that he was a “gentle soul with a kind heart.” His son eulogized him as a diligent scholar.

“My father would study all day long and would return home at night only to learn some more until he would fall asleep in his chair,” the son said, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry. “Abba, you were in the middle of saying the Shema when your soul left your body and the terrorists came and murdered you.”

Rabbi Kupinsky, who also emigrated from the United States, leaves behind his wife and five children. He lost a daughter, Chaya Chana, who died in her sleep two years ago at 13. According to the Foreign Ministry, he was known to be very generous and was a daily worshipper at the synagogue.

Rabbi Goldberg, who moved to Israel in 1993, is survived by his wife, six children and grandchildren. A friend from the neighborhood, David Osborne, remembered him as devout and kind.

“He was the most wonderful person you could meet, a pillar of the community,” Osborne told the British Jewish News. “Avraham prayed there most days for the last 10 years or so. He was a devout Jew with no political agenda. All he wanted was to live a peaceful life.”


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