The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 10 May 2008 / 5 Iyyar 5768

The Dishwasher Scholar

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Behind every tragedy there is a heartbreaking story that adds to the pain. Such is the case of 26-year old Doron Maharela of blessed memory, one of the eight students of Yeshivat Mercaz Harav who died at the hands of an Arab terrorist on March 6th.

Doron's early schooling in Ethiopia hardly qualified him for admission to the yeshiva he wished to enter. When his application was rejected he asked for a job as dishwasher in the dining room. For a year and a half he washed dishes and spent most of his nights and all of his Shabbatot learning gemara until he felt he was ready to try again for admission.

The Rosh Yeshiva's initial reluctance to test him soon gave way when Doron initiated a Torah discussion and the next day he was transformed from a dishwasher to a full-fledged yeshiva student. When he visited his family in Ashdod on weekends he would spend the entire Shabbat steeped in Torah study. Three weeks before his tragic passing he reportedly completed learning the entire Shulchan Aruch and its main commentaries.

May G-d avenge his blood and those of his fellow martyrs.

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