Yaakov Shalom
Yaakov Shalom picture used with permission of family

Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Shalom was an exemplary Torah scholar. His daily work was secondary to his Torah study.

He merited to build his home on the foundations of Torah and fear of Heaven, rearing his children in the path of the Torah in accordance with the Yemenite customs he was brought up with himself. His natural cheerfulness was contagious, spreading to all those around him.

His neighbors in the Pardes Katz section of Bnei Brak speak of his especially refined personality and warm smile which never left his face. "Rabbi Shalom was a person with an exuberance that's rarely seen. He'd always smile to everyone, always try to help everyone he knew. He had refined character values and a noble soul."

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But Rabbi Shalom was just 36 years old with the best years still ahead of him when his life was cut short by a bloodthirsty terrorist out to murder Jews. Just before he returned home after a day full of Torah and chessed, he was murdered by a bloodthirsty terrorist in a horrible terror attack in Bnei Brak, whose like has never before been seen there.

The bloodthirsty terrorist, upon spotting HaRav Shalom, fired a round of bullets at him- and his wonderful life ended instantaneously. It was just a few minutes before he would have returned home, before he would have hugged his children- and also a few minutes before his children would have seen their father for the last time.

When screams shattered the silence of the street, the family realized that something had happened; a few minutes later they were already sitting on the ground-mourning, broken, and overwhelmed. Think about this young widow- in one moment, her life came to a standstill…think about the four children, who will never see their father again, who will never again be able to say to their father, "Abba, we love you…"

It is absolutely heartbreaking. Tears are flowing like water at the thought of this wonderful man who was murdered close to his home. The heart breaks even more to think of the young orphans, of the devastated widow, left without anyone to help her, to support…Now is our moment; we have to help her survive this period, which is so very difficult. Now is the time to help the family of this pious man who returned his soul to his Father in Heaven before he had a chance to do anything about it.

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