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Rabbi Elimelech Shapira
Jul 25, 2002 | 16th of Av, 5762 | ט״ז באב תשס״ב
July 25, 2002 – Rabbi Elimelech Shapira, 43 of Peduel was killed and another civilian injured in a shooting attack near the West Bank community of Alei Zahav west of Ariel.
Rabbi Elimelech Shapira was traveling with Rabbi Elitzur Lilienthal to an early-morning Torah class in Bnei Brak at around 3:30 A.M. when they were attacked by Palestinian terrorists on the road that runs past Alei Zahav. Shapira was killed by the gunshots and Lilienthal was injured.
Elimelech Shapira was head of the Eretz Hazvi pre-military academy attended by 170 pupils which prepares religious youths for IDF service. Just a few weeks ago he and the co-director of the academy Rabbi Meir Katz had agreed that they would not travel together to the Torah class in Bnei Brak so that if an attack occurred and one of them were wounded or killed, the other would still be there to run Eretz Hatzvi. He generally left his home at around 4:00 A.M. and returned to Peduel at around 6:00 A.M., at which time he would rouse his pupils.
Elimelech grew up in Bnei Brak and attended the hesder yeshiva in Kiryat Shmona. He later studied in a yeshiva in Bnei Brak. He moved to Peduel 11 years ago with his family where he founded the Eretz Hazvi academy. Shapira, described as modest person with a strong personality, had an excellent rapport with the students there. He was also a talented musician who composed music and played the flute.
Rabbi Elimelech Shapira was buried in the Segula cemetery in Petah Tikva. He is survived by his wife Rivka and their eight children: Reut (17), Ortal (15) Hadar (13) Elyashim (11), Eviatar (9), Hillel (7), Zimrat (5) and Hananel (3). He also leaves behind his father Meir Yehiel.
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