First Time in Years, Thousands of Gerer Chassidim Visit Har Hazeisim on Yahrtzeit of Lev Simcha


Thousands of Chassidim of Gur visited the kever on Har Hazeisim of Rav Simcha Bunim Alter zt”l, known as the Lev Simcha, on his 24th yahrzeit.

This was the first time in recent memory that the current Rebbe of Gur, Rav Yaakov Aryeh Alter, permitted Chassidim to visit the grave on the yahrzeit. The Lev Simcha lies in an enclosed cave, which was previously the site of many attempts at vandalism by Arab marauders. He is buried alongside the 5th Rebbe of Gur, Rav Yisroel Alter zt”l, the Bais Yisroel.

The Rebbe’s change of heart followed a briefing by Avrohom Lubinsky of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeisim (ICPHH) indicating that conditions on the 3000-year old cemetery were vastly improved and that there were few if any incidents on the holy cemetery since October 2015. Joshua Wander, the local ICPHH representative, assisted with the security arrangements as did Police Deputy Superintendent Chaim Shmueli who provided police and Border Police reinforcements to secure the cemetery.

Nearly 20,000 chassidim recently visited Har Hazeisim to mark the yahrtzeit of the Zvhiller Rebbe. There has also been an appreciable increase of visitors to Har Hazeisim in general and at the kever of the Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh in particular.

Mr. Lubinsky, the founding chairman of the ICPHH, told, “This is a remarkable turnabout of conditions on Har Hazeisim thanks to the 6 year-old effort of the Committee which has now has strong committees all over the world. We are taking back Har Hazeisim albeit that there is much to be done including building a Visitor’s Center and providing matzeivos for 23,000 neshamos whose graves were desecrated during the Jordanian occupation, 1948-1967.”

Har Hazeisim is secured by a police station, 137 surveillance cameras, and a garrison of border police. A new wall will soon be built to add to the security. Members of the ICPHH tell Matzav that they will be meeting with key ministers during a Cabinet session on Har Hazeisim on July 24th.

{ israel News Bureau}


  1. We must build more jewish housing around cemetery besides a wall. We met give long term prison for Arab vandals.

  2. I was there recently and the so-called ‘police station’ at the top was unmanned. I also did not see a “garrison of border police.” I was told that one MUST call the special Shmira which has nothing to do with the ICPHH. Is it now ok to go to visit a kever without calling the machine-gun toting Shmira???I’m sure the members of the ICPHH do not rely on the cameras nor will any “key minister.” They promised a long time ago to close the road that crosses Har Hazeisim to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. That road is used by the arab population as a shortcut and creates all of the problems. But no one has the guts to do that because that will “upset” the neighbors!!!


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