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Among The Arson Terror Victims – Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkowitz

1Many Haifa area residents are homeless today, while others are dealing with significant damage and destruction resulting from the fires that rages last week. One of the Haifa victims is former cabinet minister Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, who also serves as President of Bar Ilan University as well as the Mora D’asra of the Achuza neighborhood of the city, which was hit hardest by the fires.

Rabbi Hershkowitz explains “We were in Medreshet HaGolan where they opened their doors to us all, embraced us during the difficult hour. The went above and beyond to see to our needs. We spent two nights there, from erev Shabbos to Sunday. We then returned to what we call normal life but the reality was a harsh one, quite different, one that demand refurbishing and rebuilding the entire house”.

The rabbi however remains optimistic, adding “Yes, our private home in which we lived needs a total overhaul and massive repairs in order for us to return. However, Baruch Hashem, we are all healthy and well. It is all from Above. Even these events which appear to come as part of nature are all directed from Above and we will continue fighting for Eretz Yisrael”.

On a more personal note, when the rabbi first returned and saw his home he stated “I will not lie. The feeling when seeing the house partially destroyed by fire is a difficult one. However, for some, their homes were burned to ashes along with all their memories, photos, and documents. By us B”H, despite the damage, the seforim were untouched and we have thousands of seforim (books) in our home. Documents and photos were also undamaged and even hundreds of folders of shiurim information that I have amassed over the years are undamaged. The feeling is difficult on the one hand, but on the other, we thank HKBH for his chessed as this was truly a catastrophic event for so many. We B”H are fine”.

The rabbi then spoke of Haifa, which was always known as a city of dual-existence between Jews and Arabs, pained over learning that a number of local Arab residents were arrested on suspicion of starting some of the fires as a new form of terrorism.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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