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Aug 19, 2003 | 21st of Av, 5763 | כ״א באב תשס״ג
Aug 19, 2003 – Rabbi Eliezer Weisfish, 42 of Jerusalem was one of 23 people murdered by a suicide bomber on a No. 2 Egged bus in the capital’s Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood.
The attack took place at about 9 p.m. as the bus was making its way from the Western Wall to several religious neighborhoods. The Hamas suicide bomber apparently disguised as a religious Jew, boarded the bus and detonated his bomb shortly afterwards. Seven of those killed were children and over 130 people were wounded.
Eliezer Weisfish belonged to a prominent Braslav hassidic family. Shortly before his death, he had completed making arrangements to travel to Ukraine for the traditional Rosh Hashana visit to the tomb of Rabbi Nahman of Braslav. He was returning from the bar mitzva celebration of the son of a family friend when he was slain.
“We have lost a precious flower today,” said Braslav Hassid, noting that despite the fact that Weisfish was “considered a great scholar and one of the most important members of the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem, he was a modest and pleasant man.”
The pride of his life was his daughter, Rahel who had just celebrated her bat mitzva. He and his wife Rivka, had tried for years to have a child and he was a devoted father. “He was an amazing family man,” said a neighbor. “He would always give to everyone and would not accept anything in return. He always sought how to help someone out of his own pocket.”
One of the commandments Weisfish observed punctiliously was to never shave. He would collect any hairs that fell from his beard onto his many holy texts and save them in bags over the years instructing his wife, “When I die, bury the bags with me.” His family fulfilled his request by burying two bags with him.
Eliezer Weisfish was buried in Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuhot Cemetery. He is survived by his wife Rivka and daughter Rahel.
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