The Terrorist Attack
On Thursday evening March 6, 5768 (Rosh Chodesh Adar b’) a terrorist penetrated into ‘Yeshivat Mercaz Harav’. The terrorist entered the yeshiva’s courtyard at 8:30 pm, while holding a television box. He placed the box on the rail of the stairs entering the dormitories, and took out of the box a Kalashnikov rifle and opened fire on a group of students from ‘Yashlatz’ (the high school that is right next to the yeshiva), and students from ‘Mercaz Harav’ that were standing by the entrance to the yeshiva. Among them were Yonadav Chaim Hirshfeld Hy”d Roei Rot Hy”d and Yonatan Yitzchak Alder Hy”d.
When the terrorist entered through the main entrance and started shooting in every direction, many were bewildered. In the beit midrash of ‘Yashlatz’, many students were getting ready for a Rosh Chodesh party, and students who wanted to take advantage of some extra time they had went to learn in the library. Therefore when the students who were in the library heard the shooting from outside, got up and hid between the aisles in the library. Then the terrorist turned and entered the library. The terrorist went from aisle to aisle and shot the students hiding there. Then the terrorist rechecked the aisles making sure everyone was dead. In the library five students were murdered:
Segev Pniel Avichiel Hy”d,
Yochi Lipshitz Hy”d,
Doron Maharta Hy”d,
Avraham David Moses Hy”d,
Nerya Cohen Hy”d.
Immediately upon hearing the sounds of shooting the students of Mercaz Harav who were in the beit midrash fled to houses in the neighborhood, while the students of ‘Yashlatz’ hid in their dormitories.
After fifteen minutes the terrorist was shot and killed by Harav Yitzchak Dadon an avrech who was in the beit midrash and by captain David Shapira who lives across from the yeshiva and came from his house.
In the terrorist attack eight students were murdered, three were from Mercaz Harav and five from ‘Yashlatz’, and nine students were injured, three of them were seriously injured.
The following Friday there was a huge funeral for the eight students that died through sanctification of Hashem’s name, the night before Those that came together with the mourning families included the yeshiva’s rabbis, students, and thousands of other supporters. During the shiva there were extensive eulogies in the yeshiva, and many people and public figures came to strengthen and be strengthened. The mourners houses were packed with all types of people who came from all over Israel remember together the memory of these eight holy neshamot(souls).
Since then the yeshiva has gone to strengthen the Torah learning and despite the attack the library remains a center of learning where students continue to gather to learn unabated. A weekly shiur with a guest speaker was established taking place every Thursday night in memory of those eight students with past speakers from the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Roshei Yeshivot, and others. The shuir is recorded and open to the public.
The great light that comes out of the Beit Midrash of ‘Mercaz Harav’ continues to lighten the world even more than before, finding in moments of darkness the catalyst to increase the light of Torah of Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael.