Rabbi Elyashiv (L). 'Security threats'
Photo: Aviad Beter
Ambassador Jones
Photo: Ofer Amram

Rabbi Elyashiv asks for American aid

Lithuanian leader meets with US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones, asks Americans to help Israelis 'in light of severe security threats.' Jones: We are working for peace, but not at expense of Israelis' security

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, leader of Israel's Lithuanian non-Hasidic haredi Jews, has asked US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones to help the people residing in Zion in its distress.


The two met at Rabbi Elyashiv's home on the eve of Purim. The meeting was mediated by Matityahu Cheshin, known as "the haredi consul," and was also attended by Beitar Illit Deputy Mayor Yitzhak Pindrus and the rabbi's right hand, Rabbi Yekutiel Efrati.


Sources who were present at the meeting reported that the American envoy listened attentively to the person who referred to as "the greatest religious leader in Israel."


Rabbi Elyashiv, on his part, asked Jones to convey his words of gratitude to the US government, which he referred to "a kingdom of grace."


The rabbi told the ambassador about the difficult situation of the Jewish settlement in the Holy Land and asked that the US help those residing in the Land of Israel, in light of the severe security threats in general and the Iranian threat in particular.


A visit to a Meah Shearim shul

Ambassador Jones clarified that although the United States was working to achieve peace between Israel and its neighbors, this should not be at the expense of Israelis' security.


Rabbi Elyashiv listened to the remarks, nodded approvingly and wished Jones success in his work for the people of Israel.


The visit to the Lithuanian leader's home was part of a several-hour tour of Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox centers, which included visits to Talmud Torah schools and yeshivot and to homes to leading rabbis in the haredi public.


From the housetop of the Breslov synagogue ("the shul") in Meah Shearim, the ambassador used special binoculars to observe the Temple Mount, and listened to haredi journalist Yisrael Gliss who explained about the Temple's days of splendor.


Jones then toured the "Shomrei Hahaomot" Talmud Torah school and was present as Rabbi Avaraham Cheshin taught his students about the first two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The ambassador surprised his people when he asked the rabbi to teach him how to pronounce the letters.


The delegation, which included other American diplomats apart from the ambassador, also visited a special flour station where the flour is used to bake matzot for Passover.


At the storehouse of the Jewish-American organization Mesamechi Lev, Jones examined the organization's special magnetic card which allows tens of thousands of families to receive shoes and holiday equipment for a symbolic price.


The tour ended at the luxurious center of Tikva Israel for former members of the Jewish community in Odessa, Ukraine. The meeting was attended by the ambassador's friends, Israel Mei-Ami of the Foreign Ministry who served as Israel's ambassador to Kazakhstan when Jones served there on behalf of the US, and ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi Zahav.


פרסום ראשון: 03.24.08, 08:10
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