Apr. 14, 2017
- The Arab Guard Who Protected a Yeshiva in Jerusalem’s Old City – Nadav Shragai
Of the 80 synagogues and yeshivas in the Old City of Jerusalem before the 1948 War of Independence, the Torat Chaim yeshiva was the only one whose contents remained intact during the 19 years of Jordanian control of the city. This was thanks to Abdul Raani, an Arab guard who was also a British sergeant and married to a Jewish woman. After his death, his brother, Mohammed Abdul Raani, a guard at Al-Aqsa mosque, continued to safeguard the Jewish property.
The brothers hid the books and original furniture of the yeshiva in a small room and prevented anyone from entering. The guard furnished the yeshiva with his own personal furniture to make it look lived in. When the Jordanian electric company inspector would visit every month to read the meter, Raani didn’t let him come inside, but wrote the number on a note and handed it to the inspector outside. After the Six-Day War, when Jews returned to the yeshiva, they were shocked to find more than 2,500 books in a tiny room, all completely unharmed. (Israel Hayom)