Reviewing: “Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen: Between War and Peace,” by Professor Yechiel Frish and Rabbi Yedidya HaCohen (Irene Lancaster, translator). Urim Publications. Hardcover, 334 pages. 2017. ISBN-10: 9655242536.
Just in time for Tisha B’Av, a new book, titled “Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen: Between War and Peace,” is available as an English-language account of the third fall of Jerusalem.
The account comes in the form of a diary extract in this newly translated book describing the fall of Jerusalem in 1948, neighborhood by neighborhood, synagogue by synagogue, yeshiva by yeshiva, as recorded in real time by Shear Yashuv Cohen, then a frum soldier, before and during his capture by the Arab Legion and his appointment by the Jordanians and by the Israelis—long distance—as chaplain of his fellow prisoners.
Rabbi Cohen was later elected deputy mayor of Jerusalem, a position he held during the time of its reunification after the Six-Day War in June 1967. He was later selected to deliver the benediction at the signing of the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan on October 26, 1994. In the interim, he was elected chief rabbi and av beit din of Haifa, and was head of the prestigious Machon Harry Fischel.
For those interested, Rabbi Aaron Reichel, Esq., who co-edited and supplemented the English translation, is available to address synagogues, camps or other groups regarding this book. He can be reached at [email protected].