Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Save the Jews of Yemen

[DT: I would like to see some official haskomas regarding this organization]

Jersey Girl wrote:

There has been a continuous Jewish community in Yemen since the times of the First Temple, more than 2500 years ago, but today the survival of that community is in grave danger. Last December, Rabbi Masha Al-Nahiri, 30, was brutally murdered shot to death, leaving his wife and nine children. A few days later, the home of Masha Yahia was firebombed as well as having a grenade thrown at it. They were home at the time he and his wife and children had to flee for refuge, suddenly homeless. I was personally in his home for a Shabbat as he lives between the two Jewish communities in a remote area. President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, who has always treated the Jews as respected Yemenite citizens, announced that he could no longer guarantee the protection of the Jewish community.

The Yemen Times reported that President Saleh had given his directive to protect the Jews and move them to safe places in the district of Sana’a, but those directives have evaporated and there is no longer a promise of government protection. This is due to the tribal nature of a land that has stood still in time! [...]

The people there are now in fear for their lives Al-Anisi added that Yemeni Jews are afraid of the threats they receive from extremists who are protected by sheiks. "A well-known man protected by Kahlan bin Mujahed Abu Shawareb intimidates Jews in Amran,” he said. “He threatens them and he hasn’t been arrested so far despite the President's directives to arrest all those who harm Yemeni Jews. There is something going on in secret which we don’t understand in this respect!"

At this time we are begging for your help we need money desperately to resettle everyone anywhere that they will desire to go. Please make your tax deductible charitable donations out to the Yemenite Jewish Federation of America. The money is needed for shelter, food, clothing, and medical care. Anyone who desires more information on how to help may contact Ruven Schwartz at

The checks can be personally given to Rabbi Sabri at K4 Pizza in Far Rockaway opposite kosher world. Rabbi Sabri he is the son of the Rabbi still in Yemen!

Please mail checks as well to:
Bet Midrash Shalom Teman
2915 Bayswater Ave
Far Rockaway, New York 11691

They can also be me mailed
Ruven Schwartz
1135 Dickens Street
Far Rockaway N.Y. 11691


  1. The Yemen Times reported that President Saleh had given his directive to protect the Jews and move them to safe places in the district of Sana’a, but those directives have evaporated and there is no longer a promise of government protection

    JEWS WAKE UP, how many times will we put our lives and property in the hands of those who despise us? Settlement is needed outside of the borders of Yemen, and presumptuously outside of the boundaries of Muslim countries.

  2. I am in agreement with D"T I want to see some haskamot. Not saying that I disbelieve the story, however I go to a Shul with a large Temani population and have close ties with the Kehati family and have never heard of this. Also any organization that wants to solicit Tzadaka should be able to produce a haskamah from a recognized Rav.

  3. Found this on Vos iz Neais

    Seems to be a different ORG, but does have a haskama of some sort. I don't personally know of the Rav but it has been a long time since I was in the states.

  4. Jersey Girl, thank you for publicizing this important matter. The answer, as you implied is obvious. All these Jews should be brought to their natural home in Israel as soon as possible so that they can be safe from danger and use their spirituality to improve the state of Judaism in the country.
    Kol hakavod.

  5. Rabbi Yehoshua Sabri, the son of the Chief Rabbi of Yemen is making this personal plea along with Rabbi Schwartz.

    You can call Rabbi Sabri at work
    (718) 868-4400 if you have any questions.

    The is the same family. Actually, I think that the Paypal/Credit card link is more convenient. Thank you for posting it.

    Mekubal, there have been articles all over the Jewish media for several weeks now. Here are a few. The problem up until this weekend was exit visas which, according to Rabbi Schwartz have now been secured.

    Rabbi Nahari was the brother of the Chief Rabbi and Rabbi Sabri is his son. (There are no real surnames in Yemen, they go by the father's name).

    Rabbi Hatuka is another relative.

    Rabbi Sabri learned at Nitra. The Rebbe of Nitra is doing everything humanly possible to help as is Satmar. Money is tight for everyone now, but this is a life and death emergency.

    This is everything I know to the best of my ability.

    I know the family personally. I also know Rabbi Sabri and Rabbi Schwartz personally for many years and I know them to be upstanding, selfless people.

    Thank you DT for publicizing this, it is a difficult time for everyone financially, but any little bit will help.

  6. PS. I am also emailing Rabbi Schwartz for additional hashkamas and will get them to you as soon as I hear back.

  7. Jersey Girl,

    Well I guess the problem is that I have not really had time to check the Jewish media. I have primarily been concerned with the Hillulah of the RaShaSh Z"L and a wedding and a Bar Mitzvah and... well you get the idea.

    I heard all about this tonight over the smorg at a wedding.

    The Haskamot will help. I am not saying that this organization is this way, but there are those that ChV"Sh take advantage of situations like this. The information for the Rav definitely helps.

  8. Mekubal, The link that you posted has the hashkama of the Rav of Nitra.

    Personally, I prefer to donate via this link via credit card.

    Rabbi Sabri is the nephew of Rabbi Nahari a"h and the son of the Chief Rabbi so I am sure that the money will get to the right place either way.

    Rabbi Schwartz just asked me to "post" the letter anywhere I could, "on the internet" so I did.

    Obviously if I can get additional hashkamot, I will post them as well. I have asked already but I know that they are busy raising money and making arrangements so I do not know about which hashkamot they have.

    Mazal Tov to you, you should always be busy with smachot!!

    Regarding the Rashash, in honor of the hilula, today, here is a brief biography:

    Sar Shalom Sharabi, the Rashash, Sharab, Yemen 1720 - Jerusalem 1777/(10 shevat 5537)), was a Yemenite Rabbi, Halachist, Chazzan and Kabbalist. In later life he became the Rosh Yeshiva of Bet El Yeshiva. He was one of the Jewish world's foremost masters of Kabbalah, Torah, Talmud and Halacha in the 18th Century, and one of the first Yemenite Jews to have a major influence on the wider Jewish world. He is now considered to rank among the Acharonim, to be the direct successor to the Ari and one of the most important Oriental Rabbis in history.

    Although he is primarily known as a Kabbalist, his rulings on Halakha were and still are considered to have high authority, particularly among Yemenite Jews, but to some extent among Jews world wide. He was also a pioneer of Talmud Torah schools in Israel and Yemen, warrior on behalf of the Old Yishuv and a leading merchant in the Middle East. He was also a Jewish sexton for many properties in Jerusalem, Israel.

    Some of R' Shalom's main students were The CHIDA, R' Yom-Tov Elgazy, R' Chaim De La Roza and R' Gershon of Kitov (brother-in-law of the Baal Shem Tov). The CHIDA (Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai) describes The Rashash as a holy man who knew all the books of kabbalah he was studying, orally, and was using all the kavanot written by the Ari.

    In his study of Kabbalah The Rashash would only study the Zohar, the writings of the Ari and his student Rabbi Chaim Vital. He would not study books written by other students of the Ari or any other early or late kabbalists.

    Rabbi Shalom Sharaby wrote a siddur called Siddur HaRashash, a kabbalistic prayer book based mainly on the teachings of the Ari HaKadosh. The introduction to his siddur is called Rechovot HaNahar. This prayer book is still used today by kabbalists for prayer.

    The Rashash was buried at Har HaZeitim (Mount Olives). He made a promise before his death that whoever will visit his gravesite and will pray with a pure heart, his prayer will not go unanswered.

    Sharabi's son Rabbi Yitzhak Mizraḥi Sharabi (d. at Jerusalem in 1803) bore the same high reputation for piety as his father, whom he succeeded as Rosh Yeshiva of the Bet El Yeshiva.

    Rabbi Sharabi's leading descendant, Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi, until his passing in 5744 (1984), was also a great promoter and follower of his teachings, especially in Jerusalem, where he headed Yeshivat Nahar Shalom.

  9. Given that the Jewish Agency is prepared to save the lives of those Teimani Jew who wish to leave for Israel, I was wondering why giving money to this organization is considered Pikuach Nefesh.

    I have heard that the goal of this organization is to bring the Teimani families to Monsey and Monroe (rather than Eretz Yisroel) and place them into hassidic schools there.

    Would someone from this organization wish to comment on this?


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