Thursday, December 4, 2014

The participation of Yeshiva Bachurim in the Six Day War - Yeshivat Hanegev

I recently found an insightful letter, photographed below. The letter was written by Rabbi Yisachar Meir, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Hanegev. R. Meir was born in Hamburg, though as a young man, he was a Rosh Yeshiva in Morocco with over 300 talmidim. Ultimately he settled in Netivot where he literally transformed a desert wasteland into a town that embodied the essence of Torah.

The letter was written on June 3rd, 1967, a few hours before the state of Israel declared war, on what was to become the six day war. Rav Meir describes in the letter the struggles of having a Yeshiva on the Gaza Border, in the then immigrant settlement of Netivot. He describes the time, as "this time of imminent danger".

From the letter: "At this crisis in addition to studying day and night and bringing moral comfort to citizens of the town to prevent panic our Talmidim who intend to become the spiritual leaders for the entire Negev, now guard the town at night, render first aid to the citizens, dig trenches and assist the mayor in administration and the importance of this fortress of Torah on the Gaza Border is now recognized by all".

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