Rabbi Moshe Twersky

Rabbi Moshe Twersky killed in Jerusalem synagogue attack

11/18/2014

Rabbi Moshe Twersky           
Nov 18, 2014 - Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59, of Jerusalem was killed when two terrorists attacked worshipers in a synagogue of the Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem the wielding a gun and butcher knives.

At 7: 00 on Tuesday morning, two terrorists wielding a gun and butcher knives entered the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagoguge on Harav Shimon Agassi Street in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem. They began attacking worshipers, stabbing them before opening fire. About 30 worshipers were in the midst of the morning prayers, wearing prayer shawls and phylacteries. Four people were killed in the attack, among them Rabbi Moshe Twersky, head of the Torat Moshe Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Twersky was a native of Boston who immigrated to Israel with his family in 1990. He lived next door to the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue where the attack took place and prayed there regularly. Moshe Twersky was the elder son of Rabbi Isadore Twersky of Boston, founder of Harvard's Center for Jewish Studies, and a grandson of leading Modern Orthodox rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. The Torat Moshe Yeshiva was one of the first established in Israel to cater to post-high school students from English-speaking countries. His wife is the daughter of the late Rabbi Abba Berman, and runs the Hadar Seminary for Women in Jerusalem.

"He was a big and righteous man during his life - not just after his death," Rabbi Shmuel Aurbach, a leader of the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox community, said in his eulogy at Twersky's funeral. "He was so close to God during his holy life and was murdered in the middle of his prayers." His son added, "On Shabbat nights he never slept but rather learned Torah. One time I woke up at 2 am and he was still studying." He came “from a family of princes,” said Rabbi Marc Penner, dean of Yeshiva University in New York.

Rabbi Moshe Twersky was buried in Jerusalem’s Gival Shaul cemetery. He is survived by his wife Miriam and five children - three sons and two daughters - aged 23-33, and ten grandchildren.
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