Murder of Our Pardes Teacher, Aryeh Toeg, POW

Tribute from his student, David Bedein, 46 years later.

People in Israel who do not have a loved one to mourn often choose someone to think about on Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s day to mourn those who have fallen for the state as solidiers, in the defense of our nascent country.

This year, I think of Aryeh Toeg, our Tanach teacher at the Pardes Institute, 1972-1973, the first year of Pardes. Aryeh was a scholar of the Bible, with few pretensions. He would answer every question as a man with deep knowledge who would not make you feel less intelligent than he was. A mentche of a person. I thought of Aryeh as a model teacher,

Towards the end of that year, Aryeh told the class that he would be heading off to serve for his annual obligatory month service in the IDF. We in his Tanach class were saddened by the prospect of not finishing what we were learning. The next day, as I recall, Aryeh reassured us that he had pushed his IDF obligation to Rosh HaShana- Yom Kippur.

Aryeh would miss his family during the holidays, but not the obligation that he felt towards his students.

From that, we best understood the expression, TALMUD TORAH KINEGED KULOM.

Soon after the Yom Kippur war broke out, we heard the shock that Aryeh Toeg was killed at his outpost on the Suez Canal when the war broke out. That is what we knew.

The grueling circumstances of Aryeh Toeg’s death only came to me this past year.

Avi Yaffe, owner of a recording studio that my office uses to produce films of UNRWA, is a scholar of the Yom Kippur war. Avi was called to service at the Suez canal & happened to have his radio equipment with him when the war broke out.

Avi has created an audio history of what he heard and witnessed during those traumatic days

The IDF now allows him to share the treasure that he has.Amongst other things, Avi interviewed people who were eyewitness to the murder of some IDF POWs.

One of the IDF soldiers murdered by the Egyptian troops was, indeed, Aryeh Toeg – Our teacher from Pardes  was captured and executed by the Egyptian troops during the first few days of the war.

Aryeh never returned to his family and never returned to Pardes. Aryeh paid the ultimate sacrifice for Israel

46 years later, I can hear Aryeh Toeg’s soft voice, teaching insight into the Tanach.

May Aryeh’s blessing remain with us.

About the Author
David Bedein, who grew up in Philadelphia and moved to Israel in 1970 at the age of 20, is an MSW community organizer by profession and an expereinced investigative journalist. In 1987 he established the Israel Resource News Agency, with offices at the Beit Agron Int’l Press Center in Jerusalem, where he also serves as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research. In 1991, Bedein was the special CNN middle east radio correspondent. Since 2001, Bedein has contributed features to the newspaper Makor Rishon. In 2006, Bedein became the foreign correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. He is the author of " The Genesis of the Palestinian Authority" and "ROADBLOCK TO PEACE- How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA policies reconsidered"and the director and producer of the numerous short films about UNRWA policy which can be located at:
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