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Thursday, May 15, 2003
Arutz Sheva/ 27Feb 03


Thousands At Funeral Of Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Fischer

Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Fischer, head of the Eidah HaHareidit Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem, passed away this morning at the age of 78. His rulings and teachings were accepted throughout the religious world, and he taught in yeshivot in both the hareidi and religious-Zionist sectors. His funeral, attended by thousands of people, departed this afternoon from his home in the Zikhron Moshe neighborhood of Jerusalem towards Har HaMenuchot.

Eidah HaHareidit sources said that today is a "day of mourning and great loss for all of Israel." Rabbi Fischer was popularly known as the "fifth section" of the four-section Shulchan Arukh (Code of Jewish Law).

People in distress frequently consulted with him for solace, and Rabbi Fischer would often recommend that they pray at the Western Wall for 40 consecutive days. Many singles later credited this advice with helping them to marry.

Rabbi Fischer was born the day that Yisrael Yaakov De-Hahn was killed in what many said was the first political assassination in modern Land of Israel history. De-Hahn changed his lifestyle and became a hareidi Jew, and Aharon Fischer named his newborn son Yaakov Yisrael after him.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, rabbi of Beit El and head of Yeshivat Ateret Cohanim in the Old City, recently wrote the following:

"During the Arab massacres of Jews in 1929, on Friday, the 17th of Av, thousands of riled-up Arabs came out of the Mosque of Omar, after hearing speeches of wild incitement by the mufti, armed with knives and clubs. Most of them advanced towards the Meah She'arim neighborhood, screaming, 'Slaughter the Jews!'

Leading the mob was a sheikh wielding a large sword and calling upon the mob not to spare even women and children in the jihad. As they approached the Italian Hospital, two young hareidim emerged from the flourmill at the southern edge of Meah She'arim and marched towards the mob. One of them, with his sidecurls slipping out from under his hat, pulled out a gun and shot a bullet straight into the mouth of the mob leader, who fell in his tracks.

"The mob then began to panic and ran back towards Damascus Gate, with the two hareidim running after them. They threw a grenade, killing three more of the mob, and other Arab would-be killers were trampled to death. The hareidi who fired the first bullet was the righteous Reb Aharon Fischer, father of the Gaon Rabbi Yisrael Yaakov Fischer…

To say that the hareidim did not 'sacrifice themselves' for this Land is grave slander. [The hareidi neighborhood] Meah She'arim was established in an area where robbers and thieves roamed; the hareidim dedicated themselves and their safety on behalf of the Land, or to be more exact, on behalf of G-d's command to settle the Land."

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