Daily Israel Report

The Link between Rachel’s Tomb, Rabbi Eliyahu and Terror

Rabbi Eliyahu began to feel weak after the 2008 terrorist attack at Mercaz HaRav, after he canceled plans to pray at Rachel’s Tomb.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/6/2011, 8:52 AM

Rabbanit Tzvia Eliyahu
Rabbanit Tzvia Eliyahu
Arutz Sheva

The late Rabbi Eliyahu began to feel weak after the terrorist massacre at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva, which occurred after he canceled plans to pray at Rachel’s Tomb, his wife, Rabbanit Tzvia Eliyahu, told Arutz Sheva.

Speaking before the anniversary of the death of the matriarch Rachel which will be this Monday night and Tuesday, Rabbanit Eliyahu said that the rabbi prayed at Rachel's Tomb every year but cancelled the visit in March 2008 because he did not feel well.

“He felt that something bad was about to happen and he said to me he will pray that snow falls [a neutral request, ed.],” Rabbanit Eliyahu said. “When he saw that snow was not expected, he said prayers must be organized right away at the Western Wall (Kotel).”

He instructed aides to stop buses of yeshiva students who were returning to the yeshiva from prayers at the Wall and tell them not to enter the yeshiva.

“When we arrived home several minutes later and heard gunshots, I thought they were firecrackers in celebration of Rosh Chodesh Adar, [it was the night of the start of the month of Adar which contains the festival Purim, ed.], but the rabbi said that was not the reason,” she explained.

After they heard about the terrorist who gunned down eight yeshiva students in one of the most shocking attacks ever, Rabbi Eliyahu told his wife, “This is because I did not visit Rachel’s Tomb.”

Rabbanit Eliyahu said that the rabbi’s physical condition began to deteriorate after the attack. “The following day, before the funerals for the victims, the rabbi was asked to say eulogies for them, but he refused, saying he was not capable of doing so.”

"His students persisted to ask him, but he said 'no' means ‘no,' and I suggested to him that he write eulogies,” which were read in his name by another rabbi.

Rabbi Eliyahu suffered a heart attack the following month and died in 2010.