Aug 25, 2014

Aaron Sofer is missing from Jerusalem

Aaron Sofer, a 23 year old yeshiva bochur from Lakewood, New Jersey, who came to Israel to learn in Jerusalem, in the yeshiva of Rav Tzvi Kaplan, has disappeared.

The information I have is (please correct if I am missing any or if I wrote something inaccurate):
This past Friday Sofer went on a tiyul of sorts through the Jerusalem Forest with a friend. It seems their target was to come out at Yad Vashem on the other end.

At some point, the friend wanted to take a different path, perhaps one that looked more adventurous. Sofer preferred to stay on the same path, so they split up. They called out to each other regularly to make sure the other was ok. It seems they were not carrying cellphones, though I don't know that to be true (I do know that in this yeshiva many of the boys do not have cellphones as cellphones are discouraged). At some point Sofer did not respond to his friends call. The friend doubled back to look for him, and eventually made his way out of the forest and tried to find him back in yeshiva and via relatives of Sofer.

Yesterday a search party of reportedly nearly 1000 people, including hundreds of yeshiva bochurim, went out to look for Sofer in the forest, coordinated by Hatzalah and the Israel Police. So far no trace has been found.

Not a trace. no dropped food wrappers, no broken branches, none of anything you will see in CSI. They have been combing through the forest and so far nothing. Aaron Sofer just disappeared.

We can debate what happened to him. We can debate why the public response has been minimal (some of the possible reasons might even overlap), but right now I think it would be more productive to do what we can to try to find him. Those who can help, search, join search parties, keep eyes open, etc. should do so. Those who can't, should daven, take on good deeds, etc. in his merit.

And we should try to publicize information about his situation, as it becomes known. His disappearance was initially reported on some news sites, but very minimally and since the initial reports there has been very little follow-up.

A Facebook group was started to update information about Aaron Sofer. Hopefully he will be found quickly and will be discovered to be safe and sound.

Police have requested that anybody with information regarding Sofer's whereabouts  should call either the Jerusalem District branch at 02-5391520 or call the 100 hotline anywhere. As well, if you can assist in the search, call that number as well.

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  3. he was found dead, fell off a cliff and dehydrated

  4. This is way after the fact, but maybe you could remove the first two comments here? They are very inappropriate, considering the facts of the story above. Not kavod hameis.


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