Klal Yisroel Mobilizing in Tefillah With Japan Bochurim Trial to Begin Monday


japan-bochurim1Thousands of Jews around the world are taking upon themselves to daven and say Tehillim for two of the yeshiva bochurim arrested for drug trafficking in Japan, whose trial will begin this Monday. The third bochur was sentenced back on April 30, as first reported here Matzav.com.

The two bochurim, Yoel Goldstein and Yosef Greenwald, have been waiting for months for a trial date. The Japanese legal system is difficult to navigate and it remained unknown for an extended period of time when the trial would commence. As reported here on Matzav.com earlier this week, the court in Japan announced that the joint trial of the two bochurim will open next week. Those close to the bochurim’s families have been putting ads in chareidi newspapers across the globe calling for the public to daven for hatzlacha.

The legal situation regarding the two bochurim is of great concern to the families. As mentioned, the youngest of the three, Yosef Bando (Yosef ben Ita Rivka), was sentenced back in April to eight years in jail. (It was reduced after taking into consideration time already spent behind bars awaiting trial. The Japanese judge ruled that Yosef would have to spend 5 years in jail and pay a $40,000 fine. The lawyers are working feverishly to have Yosef extradited to Eretz Yisroel to serve the duration of his sentence in an Israeli prison, but it is not yet clear if that can be achieved.) 

There is much anxiety among the families of the two other bochurim – who are adults – because the courts in Japan tend to be lenient with minors and yet the youngest of the three, a minor, received what some consider a harsh penalty. For this reason, the families will be calling out to all of Klal Yisroel to daven to the Ribono Shel Olam and to storm the gates of Heaven for rachamim.

All are asked to say Tehillim for Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava and Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel.

The four-man global team of Dayan Chaim Yosef Dovid Weiss, Rav Yaakov Bleich, Reb Meilich Bindiger and Reb Aron Nezri – the devoted askanim who have taken on the case of the three boys – continue to work around the clock with the boys’ attorneys to ensure that the maximum hishtadlus is being done. They have gone through thousands upon thousands of papers, documents and files, and have conducted hundreds of hours of investigative work in preparation for the trial. They have left no stone unturned in their quest to prove the boys’ innocence, though the Japanese justice system is a difficult one to maneuver in.

As Matzav.com has reported, the story began last April when the three bochurim from Yerushalayim and Bnei Brak – two under age 20 and one under age 18 at the time – were asked to transport some antiques from Holland to Japan. The friend who asked them for the favor offered them $1,000 each and assured them that everything was legal.

Once in Amsterdam, they were given the “antiques” – concealed inside false-bottomed suitcases. Told that this was a precaution against theft, they once again suspected nothing, and flew on to Tokyo. In Japan, the false bottoms were quickly detected and broken into by customs officials – who found there not antiques, but $3.6 million worth of Ecstasy pills.

May we only hear besuros tovos.

 {Dovid Bernstein-Matzav.com Newscenter/Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. Mr. or Mrs. “Hashemyishmor,” you have asked the key question that must be continually asked in this tragic case. I posted it myself on the Matzav article about this develpment earlier this week at http://matzav.com/trial-for-two-bochurim-in-japan-to-begin-this-sunday and I will repeat it here:

    I have written this before a number of times here and in “Letters to the Editor” at the Yated, and I will say it again now.

    What action has been taken against the wicked fiend and his underworld cronies who tricked the three bachurim into this terrible scam?????

    About a year ago, the Yated did write that the Israeli police were making an investigation into the complex extensive underworld web that this guy was part of. Obviously though, we need to have current updates on this.