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The Aish HaTorah family is overwhelmed with shock and grief over the horrific murder of Rabbi Reuven Biermacher, a beloved rabbi of the Aish HaTorah Spanish program. Rabbi Beirmacher spent the morning teaching Torah to his students and on his way out of the Old City was stabbed multiple times by an Arab terrorist just outside Jaffa Gate.
Rabbi Reuben Biermacher, a father of seven children ranging in ages 2 to 18 was a man full of joy and life. Born in Buenos Aires, Rabbi Biermacher, 45, moved to Israel five years ago.
Anyone who knew him felt his total passion for learning Torah and connecting Jews to the depth and beauty of their Jewish heritage. His genuine love for every Jew and excitement for Jewish learning penetrated young disengaged students.
On the morning that he was murdered, Rabbi Biermacher was teaching a group of 16-year-old boys from Panama in the beit medrash, a group known to be very difficult to reach and get their attention. He was teaching them a piece from the Talmud when their madrich came by and told the rabbi to stop and give the students a break.
“No! We don’t want a break. This is the best class of the day!” the students said. Rabbi Biermacher’s passion for Torah naturally exuded forth, creating an exhilarating experience that spoke to a group of apathetic 16-year-old boys.
The funeral was very late at night. After a number of heart-rending eulogies in Telzestone, where the Beirmacher family lives, many people went to the Har Menuchos cemetery to escort the rabbi on his final journey. It was 2 AM and Yehoshua Lewin, a faculty member of the Aish HaTorah Spanish program, was surprised to see an 18-year-old South American student who had left the yeshiva over six months ago at the funeral.
This was a student who was not in Rabbi Biermacher’s class during the time he was at Aish.
The student explained what he was doing there standing by his graveside at 2 in the morning. He said he no connection with the rabbi, except for one incident. He was in the dining room eating lunch, complaining about the food. Rabbi Biermacher overheard his comment and took him out to buy him a falafel. “I didn’t even know this rabbi, yet he took me out and bought me lunch! And while I was eating he told me I shouldn’t be so picky about food. A man like that – how could I not come to his funeral?”
Rabbi Biermacher made a strong, personal connection with every student because he genuinely loved and cared for them. The Aish HaTorah family, the entire Jewish people , cry out in pain over this unimaginable loss. We grieve with Biermacher family. And may the Almighty save us from more sorrow.