Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky Says He Fears Visiting Kever of Rav Elya Svei zt”l on Har Hazeisim


unnamed (6)Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva of Philadelphia and a member of the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah, told a gathering of more than 600 people this past Sunday at the Aguda of Avenue L in Flatbush that he feared visiting the gravesite of his longtime companion Rosh Yeshiva, Reb Elya Svei zt”l. Harav Kaminetsky was one of a number of Gedolei Yisroel that included Harav Aaron Feldman, Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, Harav Aaron Schechter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva and Mesivta Chaim Berlin, and Harav Yosef Frankel, Vyelipoler Rav that attended the huge asifa, sponsored by the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeisim (ICPHH).

Harav Kamenetsky praised the work of the Committee and added: “People over the ages used their last dollar, their life’s savings, to lie in this holy place. And yet this is happening to them. It cannot continue this way. It will hopefully be short-lived as we will soon welcome Moshiach.”
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive Vice President of Agudath Israel of America admitted that when the Committee was first launched, he was skeptical: “When my dear friends, the Lubinsky brothers, approached me about the terrible bizayon and the chilul Hashem that is the current state of Har Hazeisim, I told them that I would surely do what I can. But in my heart, I simply did not believe that anything significant could be accomplished. Today we look back, and we can see that Hashem chooses his messengers well, and so much has been accomplished.”

Menachem Lubinsky, co-founder of the ICPHH said, “every one of us must speak up for the 150,000 neshomos who lie there and have no voice.”He said that the committee had succeeded in persuading the government to install a surveillance monitoring room, 142 cameras, a police-substation as well as to repair roads and to maintain the cemetery.

Harav Aharon Feldman, Rosh Yeshivah of Ner Yisroel, related a Rambam that the removal of meisim from their resting places causes suffering to Klal Yisroel. It is no coincidence that the “children of Yishmoel” have made this their mission to do this. “On the other hand,” continued the Rosh Yeshivah, “the great merit of doing for this holiest site and for the meisim that lie there, is immeasurable. This is the very definition of chesed shel emes—the highest ideal in Yiddishkeit.”

Harav Moshe Tuvia Lieff, Moroh D’Asrah of the Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin, asked the attendees to imagine the tzaddikim speaking in learning, only to be interrupted by rock throwing, and the building being shaken. “The Pachad Yitzchok, his rebbi, the Alter of Slobodka, the Nevi’im, the meforshim and Poskim—they are speaking in learning, but they cannot rest…!”
He continued: “These youths are being paid 1,000 NIS for the destruction of each kever. My father is there, my father’s father, my mother’s father is there, all my uncles– and every year I tremble what the kever will look like.

Malcolm Hoenlein, the Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, was credited by many of the speakers for having been a driving force in bringing change to Har Hazeisim. “People today aren’t interested in history, yet Har Hazeisim is part of our rich heritage,” said Mr. Hoenlein. “The Arabs understand this well. And that’s why they are rewriting history. They’re relabeling the most holy of sites such as the me’aras hamachpeilah, kever Rachel, and the kosel hama’aravi, in their official documents– in the hopes that this will enable them to alter our historical ownership of these sites as they were in the last 3,000 years.”

{CB Frommer-Matzav.com Newscenter}