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The Temple Institute Mourns Together with All of Israel


As the so called "peace talks" were restarted this week in Washington, (September 1), accompanied by the usual cynical pageantry and self-serving speechmaking, the enemies of Israel were busy pursuing their own agenda, brutally murdering four holy Jews in a drive-by slaughter, south of the ancient city of Hevron, the City of the Patriarchs, in the historic land of Judea.

The quadruple murder made varying degrees of mention in the worldwide press, due to its proximity to the above-mentioned gathering in Washington. Yet, invariably, the four Jews murdered were described merely as "four settlers." For much of the mass media today, Jews living in their historic homeland of Judea and Samaria are nothing more than faceless, nameless intruders. Calling these Jews "settlers" serves to dehumanize them, legitimizes attacks against them, and ultimately justifies their murder.

But like all human beings, these four murdered Jews have names: Yitzchak and Talya Imas, Kochava Ben Meir, and Avishai Shindler are their names. Yitzchak and Talya Imas were parents to six children, aged two to twenty-four, and the grandparents of one. Talya was nine months pregnant with the couple’s seventh child.

Yitzchak and Talya Imas first made aliya to Israel from the former Soviet Union in 1991. The couple arrived in Israel with the Zionistic fervor typical of many of the Russian immigrants who fought fiercely the Soviet oppression which tried by all the means at the totalitarian state's disposal, to sever Soviet Jewry from their heritage.

Upon arriving in Israel, Yitzchak and Talya first moved to Gush Etzion, in northern Judea, before settling in the community of Beit Haggai in southern Judea. Eager to build upon the meager Jewish education that he was able to acquire in the Soviet Union, Yitzchak joined the Beit HaBechira Kollel (institute of advanced studies) of the Temple Institute, headed by Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, where he studied for a number of years, becoming, in time, an accomplished talmid chacham, (Torah scholar), and an expert on the Holy Temple.

Yitzchak was involved in the publication of a book this past year, a new edition of a classic scholarly work entitled Shiltei Giborim, authored by Rabbi Avraham Harofeh, a 16th century sage. The book deals in its entirety with the subject of the Holy Temple.

Yitzchak was a Temple Mount "activist," making it part of his weekly schedule to visit the Mount, ascending in strict accordance with halacha (Jewish law). He was arrested and detained a number of times for the "crime" of praying on the Mount. The "police record" that he acquired as a result of these arrests eventually led to his gun license being rescinded — just one month ago. Had his firearm been with him on the night of the fatal attack, perhaps he could have drawn it in self defense.

Yitzchak and Talya were active in educating and encouraging Jews to ascend the Temple Mount, and to prepare for the building of the Holy Temple.

Yitzchak regularly visited the Temple Mount every Wednesday morning. Recently he changed his weekly routine, ascending on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. Thus he had been atop the Temple Mount on the morning of his murder. That night, his six children became orphans.

Israel lost a true hero and visionary this week. The Temple Institute has lost a dear friend and compatriot in our historic task to rebuild the Holy Temple and bring the light of G-d back into the world.

Yitzchak and Talya, Kochava and Avishai were murdered on Tuesday night, considered in the Hebrew calendar as being the beginning of the fourth day, Wednesday. Every Wednesday, at the close of the Morning Prayer service, we recite, "Today is the fourth day of the week, upon which the Levites sang in the Holy Temple, 'O G-d of vengeance, HaShem; O G-d of vengeance, shine forth. Exalt Yourself, O Judge of the earth; render to the haughty their recompense. How long will the wicked, O Lord, how long will the wicked rejoice?'" (Psalm 94:1-3)

This is the same psalm that the Levites sang in the Holy Temple as it was being destroyed. Indeed, our sages teach that "the death of the righteous is more difficult than the destruction of the Holy Temple."

May G-d avenge their blood.

The Imas Children

One week after their martyred parents were laid to rest, after completed shiva, (the traditional seven day mourning period), the six Imas orphans returned to the Mount so loved by their father. Overlooking their children from their graves on the Mount of Olives, were Yitzchak and Talya Imas, of blessed memory. A fund has been established in Israel to care for these children. If you would like to donate to this fund and provide money for the Imas children, please contact Rabbi Richman. Arrangements can be made for an IRS recognized deduction.



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