Egypt Foils Attack on Kever of Rav Yaakov Abuchatzeira zt”l


rav-yaakov-abuchatzeirah-keverEgyptian prosecutors arrested 25 Muslim extremists suspected of forming a new group that planned to carry out terrorist attacks in the country, including at the kever of Rav Yaakov Abuchatzeirah according to Egypt’s independent Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.

One of the group’s targets was the kever of Rav Yaakov,  who was the zaida of the Baba Sali, Rav Yisroel  Abuchatzeira,

Rav Yaakov Abuchatzeirah, also known as the Avir Ya’acov, was buried in Nechraha, located in the Nile Delta, at the end of the 19th century. Rav Yaakov Abuchatzeirah served in Morocco and was niftar in Eretz Yisrol.

There is a yearly pilgrimage to his kever on 19 Teves, which was less than a month ago. Apparently, Muslim extremists had planned to attack Israelis visiting the site on the yahrzteit, but the plans were foiled by Egyptian security officials.

According to a member of the Abuchatzeira family who preferred to remain anonymous, only 500 people were allowed to visit the site this year, compared to several thousand who usually make the trek to the kever.

He speculated that the smaller number had something to do with the arrests of the 25 extremists.

Last year, during Operation Cast Lead, no pilgrims were allowed to visit.

He said that this year a last-minute permit was obtained from Egypt after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu intervened on behalf of the Abuchatzeira family during a visit to Cairo.

Asked if visits to the grave would stop, the family member said that they would not.

“People on their way to do a mitzva are never hurt,” said the source, paraphrasing a talmudic saying. “Obviously, we will continue to take all the necessary security precautions, including coordination with both Egyptian and Israeli security officials.”

Menachem Gisaid, an aide to Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman (United Torah Judaism), helped rebuild the Avir Ya’akov’s grave site several years ago at the request of Rav David Abuchatzeira.

Rov of Ramle, Ra  Yechiel Abuchatzeira, organizes the annual trips to the site. Gisaid said that Egyptian officials have done their best to protect the site.

After many years during which the trip to the Abir Ya’acov was forbidden to Israelis, Egypt permitted the renewal of the tradition to make pilgrimages to the site starting in 1979, after the signing of the Camp David Accord, the unnamed family member said.

{JPost/Yair Israel}