Rabbi Moshe Twersky ZT”L, Grandson of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Murdered in Jerusalem

Rabbi Moshe Twersky ZT”l, Rosh Kollel at Yeshivas Toras Moshe in Jerusalem, was brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists, along with Rabbis Aryeh Kupinsky,  Kalman Levine and Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, on Tuesday morning November 18, at the Kehillat Bnei Torah Synagogue  in Har Nof. The terrorist attack which occurred approximately 7:00 AM in the morning during the Shachrit morning prayer service, was reminiscent of the Pogroms and Holocaust, where Jews were murdered in cold blood while donning their tefillin and tallis.

Rabbi Moshe Twersky, was the son of the late Rabbi Dr. Isadore Twersky of Boston, also known as the Talner Rebbe and of Dr. Atarah Soloveitchik Twersky , daughter of the “Rav”,  Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He learned Torah in his early years in Boston with his Grandfather Rabbi Joseph B.  Soloveitchik.  He is survived by his wife Miriam and  his five children,  his brother Rabbi Mayer Twersky, a Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University and his sister Tzipporah Twersky Rosenblatt, wife of Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt of the Riverdale NY Jewish Center.

The “levaya” funeral was held on Tuesday afternoon at the Beit Hatalmud Yeshiva in Jerusalem. At a eulogy delivered by Rabbi Moshe Meiselman, the Rosh Hayeshiva  of Toras Moshe and  cousin of Rabbi Moshe Twersky,  he described  Rabbi Twersky as a “Gaon and a Tzaddik”. Rabbi Meiselman is a nephew of the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik and grandson of the late Rabbi Moshe Soloveitchik and studied with both of these leading rabbinical figures in his youth.

Rabbi Meiselman further stated in his eulogy, “Rabbi Moshe Twersky was holy in his death and holy in his life” and he was killed because he was a Jew. He had one major trait that drove his life; it was “Taharas Ha Nefesh”, total purity of soul.  He had one major goal in his life; to serve G-d.  “Last night, his wife told me he was still learning at 1:30 in the morning; he than got up this morning to go to mikvah and went to daven.”

Certain people can either daven  (pray) or take some Torah learning or a mitzvah and use it for “Derech Avoda”  (a path for service to G-d). Rabbi Moshe Twersky took “everything” he learned and used it for “Derech Avoda”.  He always asked, what does Hashem want from me and how can I serve Hashem best.

Rabbi Moshe Twersky never made a big fuss about himself; he did not like to stand in front of the room and usually stood in the back and shied away from publicity. There was only one audience that mattered, that of standing in front of  Hashem.  “There are different types of people; those whose talmidim  (students) feel their love but their family do not and those whose children feel their love but their talmidim do not.  Rabbi Twersky’s sons were his talmidim and his talmidim were his sons.

Rabbi Meisleman concluded the eulogy with a personal reflection about Rabbi Moshe Twersky, “There was a deep kesher,  (connection)  I felt for him.  I was at his Bris  and his Bar Mitzvah and Chasuna.  Forty six  years ago at his  Bar Mitzvah,  I saw him grow up with Taharas Hanefesh, “purity of soul”, now  his Neshama Tahrora “pure soul”  comes to shamayim (the heavens)  and he will be apprised that he was as great as  the previous doros  (generations) and they will be proud to bring him in front of  Hashem.

Rabbi Moshe Twersky was laid to rest at the Givaat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem, a number of hours after his murder, according to strict Jewish law.

About the Author
Tzvi Allen Fishman is a journalist, lecturer and special events and Israel editor at The Jewish Voice NY. He has written extensively about Israel current events and technology and has been involved in Israeli business for 30 years. He is a Board member of Rabbi Y.D. Grossman's Migdal Ohr Institutions.