Rabbi Epstein, Hebron Hero, Dies at Age of Seventy
Menu JTA Search

Rabbi Epstein, Hebron Hero, Dies at Age of Seventy

Download PDF for this date

Rabbi Moses Mordecai Epstein, rector of the Slabodka Yeshiva here and hero of the massacre at Hebron during the Arab rioting in 1929, died here today at the age of seventy.

Prayers by Jews throughout the world had been asked by the seminary of which he had been the head, in a special message Sunday.

Rabbi Epstein, a native of Poland, founded the Hebron Yeshiva which was moved to Jerusalem after the 1929 rioting. He was a distinguished Hebrew writer and was the author of several commentaries on the Talmud, as well as of novels based on the books of the Talmud. One of his best-known works was “The Cloak of Mordecai”

Rabbi Epstein gained fame during the Hebron massacre when he refused to leave his post at the seminary, until all the student survivors had been removed to safety. He later returned to negotiate with the Arabs and seek to reestablish peace.

Five thousand people attended the funeral which was held tonight Orations were delivered by Rabbi Joseph Zvi Duchinsky, chief rabbi of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community, Rabbis B. Z. Uziel and Aronsohn and representatives of Jewish communities in six other cities and setlements in Palestine.

The death of Rabbi Epstein, who was a prominent member of the Agudath Israel, the ultra-orthodox group, and who was one of the most beloved figures in Palestine, visibly affected the thousands who attended the services.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund