Daily Israel Report

Mass Prayer Against Expulsion Fills Jerusalem´s Old City

By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 8/11/2005, 2:46 PM / Last Update: 8/10/2005, 6:40 PM

More than a quarter million people attended a massive prayer rally at the Western Wall Wednesday to beg their Heavenly Father to have mercy and annul the expulsion decree.

The mass prayer was the largest gathering of people in Jerusalem's Old City since its liberation in following the Six Day War in 1967 and the largest prayer in the area since the destruction of the Second Temple.

Former Ashkenazi and Sephardi Chief Rabbis Avraham Shapira and Mordechai Eliyahu, Shas Party Leader and former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, members of the hareidi-religious Council of Torah Sages, former MK Rabbi Menachem Porush, the Bostoner Rebbe and other prominent Hassidic rabbis all took part in the massive event.








The gathering held special significance in that it marked a rare uniting of leading, influential Rabbis from the Hareidi, Sephardic, and National Religious sectors toward a specific cause.

At an emergency meeting that took place last week at his home, Rabbi Menachem Porush, a well-known hareidi-religious leader and former Member of Knesset, burst out in tears, telling those present that over the past 80 years of his life, he cannot remember a time where thousands of Jewish families were being expelled from their homes in such a manner, when 25 Jewish towns were set to be utterly destroyed, when the destruction of dozens of synagogues and houses of Torah study was to take place, as well as the desecration of Jewish graves. "Even in Russia it was not like this," he said.

"Our forefather Abraham asked for mercy on behalf of Sodom and Gemora, which were evil - appealing to G-d that there must be fifty... twenty... even ten righteous people living there," said Porush. "How much more so, when we have towns filled with Torah and yeshivas, with righteous Jews who fear Heaven, are we obligated to pray for them and for the nullification of the decree."

The attendance of the rally was so overwhelming that it completely filled the streets around the Old City with worshippers, as far away as the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood.