One thousand people on Sunday jammed into the home (and tent) of Harav Moshe Tuvia Lieff, Rav of Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin of Flatbush, in an outpouring of support for securing Har Hazeisim.
The gathering was graced with the presence of prominent Rabbanim, shlita, including the Novominsker Rebbe and Harav Yosef Frankel, the Vyelipoler Rav, as well as Harav Dovid Lau, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel.
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel, recalled the launch four years ago of the initiative to protect Har Hazeisim by Avrohom Lubinsky, a Brooklyn businessman. His brother Menachem, who serves as co-chairman of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeisim, detailed the history of desecration of the 3,000-year old cemetery.
“But today it is under Jewish control,” Mr. Lubinsky noted, “and there is no excuse for the ongoing desecration of graves and heaving of stones in the direction of mourners and visitors.”
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents, delivered an impassioned plea against “the Arabs who seek to deny us our past because they know that our past is the key to our future.” Mr. Hoenlein said that the Israeli government grant of nearly NIS 80 million “is clearly not enough.”
Harav Dovid Lau, special guest of the breakfast, said that he frequently visits the kever of Harav Ovadia of Bartenura. “I refuse to accept that even as Chief Rabbi, I need a police escort to daven at his kever,” Harav Lau said.
Coinciding with the breakfast, more than 100 Rabbanim signed a petition urging more action against Arab attacks at Har Hazeisim.