Why I won't stop studying in Shimon HaTzaddik (Sheikh Jarrah)

I come with faith in G-d, and they come with the desire to kill.

Rabbi Moshe Brody ,

The grave of Shimon Hatzaddik
The grave of Shimon Hatzaddik
Flash 90
Every day, Sunday through Thursday, from 9:30 AM to 6 PM, I have the unique privilege of studying Torah at Kollel Lomdei Shalem, located in the complex of the gravesite of Shimon HaTzaddik (Simon the Just) in Jerusalem.

Over the past few days, the pleasant din of Torah scholars debating the fine points of Jewish Law has been accompanied by the raucousness of hate-filled demonstrations. These protests are being held in defense of Arab thieves who stole Jewish homes in eastern Jerusalem, in the aftermath of the ethnic cleansing that followed Israel's War of Independence in 1948.

Many of my friends and family have questioned me: "Why do you continue to study there under such challenging, if not dangerous, circumstances?"

My reasons can be divided into two:


Hamas has stated over and over that this war is not about Gaza, but about Jerusalem. They have stated that any ceasefire agreement needs to include "understandings" regarding Jerusalem – as if Yerushalayim were not the eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish State and People.

Where I learn is one of the centers of the conflict – the site that the world calls Sheikh Jarrah, but what we call Shimon HaTzaddik.

Since I am therefore on the front lines, I am obligated to stand and fight. For as Maimonides rules in his magnum opus on Jewish Law (Laws of Kings and Their Wars 7,4), anyone who begins to flee in battle may be killed by the Jewish officers in the area, because "running away is the beginning of defeat."

It's true that at age 68, I am not combat ready to take them on physically - but the weapons that I do have are far more powerful than the enemy's. I come with the Rambam and the Shulchan Arukh, with the backing of all the great Talmudic Sages, and with generations' worth of Jewish love for Torah. The terrorists, on the other hand, come just with lies, hatred and propaganda.

I come with faith in G-d, and they come with the desire to kill and die so as not keep their virgins waiting.

As we recite in Tehillim (Psalms 20), "These come with chariots and horses, but we come with the name of G-d in our mouths."


This war is not only about Jerusalem. It is about anti-Semitism. Wherever Jews go, the goyim say,"Get outa here, you don't belong here." So we went to Jerusalem, and the world now says, "Get out of Jerusalem, you don't belong there."

No, No, And No

I stand my ground! As a member of Am Yisrael, I and every Jew have a right to live anywhere and everywhere in Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel. We will not budge!