‘He was a pure and holy soul’

Thousands mourn yeshiva head Moshe Twersky killed in synagogue attack.

November 19, 2014 05:59
2 minute read.
Rabbi Moshe Twersky's funeral

Rabbi Moshe Twersky's funeral. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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Family and friends eulogized Rabbi Moshe Twersky, one of the four fatalities of Tuesday’s brutal terrorist attack at the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue in Jerusalem, as a pure and holy soul.

Several thousand men and women, mostly from the haredi community, gathered for the funeral ceremony at the Torat Moshe Yeshiva in the Sanhedria neighborhood, where Twersky, 59, served as the dean of the institute’s faculty for married yeshiva students.

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“Father, everyone saw your greatness, but there was so much more below the surface that people didn’t know,” said Avraham, the rabbi’s youngest son, speaking through his tears.

“You never took offense from anyone and always forgave others,” he continued.

“Who will lead me under the wedding canopy now, who will guide me and tell me what to do?” he cried.

“You lived with self-sacrifice for others, and you departed this world at the highest level, wrapped in your tallit [prayer shawl] and tefillin [phylacteries], with the words of Shema Yisrael on your lips, going toward God.”

Torat Moshe dean Rabbi Moshe Meiselman, who was a cousin and a close friend of Twersky’s, delivered a eulogy, describing his murdered colleague as a man with “a pure soul” who studied the Torah day and night.

“He had one goal, which was to serve the Creator,” said Meiselman. “He had a thirst for Torah knowledge and a love for serving God. But he could also relate to other people because they saw his purity of soul, and he had unbelievable influence. Thousands of his students loved him, knew of his amazing character and felt his concern for them.

“His sons were his students, and his students were his sons,” the rabbi continued, calling his murder a grave loss for the Jewish people, as well as for his family and the yeshiva.

One of the Twersky’s many students spoke on behalf of those who had studied under him, describing the rabbi’s love and devotion to those he taught.

“God gave us a special soul.He was outstanding in his fulfillment of the commandments, his Torah study and his attentiveness to his students.

Everyone knew that they could always get some time to learn with him directly, since he found it impossible to refuse a request to study with one of his students.”

Born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, Twersky was the elder son of renowned rabbi and author Yitzhak (Isadore) Twersky, and a grandson of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, one of the principal philosophers and founders of the modern-Orthodox movement.

Twersky lived in the Har Nof neighborhood, on the same street as the synagogue where the terrorist attack took place and where he prayed every day.

He was laid to rest at Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul cemetery and is survived by his mother, brother and sister, his wife Miriam and his five children.

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