Siyum Mishnayos in Memory of those Killed in the Carmel Fire


fire-israel2At a special ceremony in Nir Etzion, the city of Bnei Brak commemorated those who perished in the tragic forest fire with a siyum of Shas mishnayos. Participating were the parents of Rabbi Uriel Malka z”l, a rav of the prison services who perished, as well as other government officials and heads of yeshivas who undertook to help the orphans left after the fire.

Bnei Brak mayor Rabbi Yaakov Osher noted that the roshei yeshivos pitched in to help even before they knew that Bnei Brak would help with the funding. The roshei yeshiva included HaRav Avraham Erlanger, rosh yeshivas Nachalas Shlomo, HaRav Sholom Katz, rosh yeshivas Beis Yitzchak, HaRav Yosef Kashani, rosh yeshivas Tiferes HaTorah and HaRav Tzvi Mantzer, mashgiach of yeshivas Beer Yisrael.

{Shema Yisroel/}


  1. In the building of the Tabernacle as described in the the last four Parashahs of Shemos (Exodus) G-d commanded that Shittim (Acacia wood) be used for the Ark, table, carrying poles and support beams. Since the Jews were in the desert where nothing grows, as Rashi points out, the only way they could have had the wood available was if they carried it from Egypt. Thus, Rashi concluded that Jacob brought seedling Acacia trees from Canaan and transplanted them in Goshen in anticipation of the need to fulfill the Mitzvah of building the Tabernacle. So it appears that Shittim wood was part of the plan and when called for, the lumber was prepared and ready. The Acacia tree has a rough exterior with a thick homely bark and long sharp thorns growing out of its branches while sporting lush green leaves and beautiful flowers at certain times of the year. Thus in order to make this tree suitable for such Holy service the rough exterior has to be peeled off and the wood must be smoothed over with an abrasive cloth. This procedure is called refinement and it indeed is a painful process. But, when we apply this principle to ourselves we can see that every hardship we endure individually and as a nation is a gift because with every moment of suffering HaShem brings us closer to the eternal rapture of basking in His G-dly light.