cartoon after Hebron massacre
cartoon after Hebron massacreiNN:AB

Many of the wounded could have been saved.

Apparently, information about the unprovoked and bestial murder spree against the Jewish residents of Hevron, perpetrated by the Arab neighbors with whom they had had friendly relations for decades, on Shabbat, the 18th of Av (August 1929) including the relocated Slabodka Yeshiva, had reached Jerusalem on the fateful day itself.

Mr. Harbater, a wealthy American who lived in the Kiryat Moshe section of Jerusalem at the time, had a son learning in Hevron. He begged the British to start a convoy toward Hevron in order to stop the carnage and to save the critically wounded. He offered to pay for the expenses involved in arranging such a convoy. The British refused. 67 people died.

All this has been revealed in an interview with Mr. Michael Harbater, the son of Hevron survivor, Rabbi Moshe Harbater. Rabbi Harbater subsequently went to study in the Mir Yeshiva in Poland and received smicha from Rabbi Eliezer Yudel Finkel zt”l, the Mir Rosh Yeshiva.

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Rabbi Yair Hoffman is a noted author and educator. He has authored 23 books and over 600 articles on Halakha and Judaism, served as RaM in yeshiva Kesser Torah, a Gemorah Rebbe in HANC, and is the former morah d'atra of the Young israel of Patchogue. He can be reached at [email protected]. This article also appeared on