The city of Lod is an ancient Jewish center with roots dating back to the Second Temple and within which lived great Tanaim such as Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Tarfon and Rabbi Eliezer ben Hurcanus. After the destruction of the Temple, it turned into the largest and most important Jewish city, second only to the city of Yavne.
The city’s location at a crossroad gave it great economic and social importance. The British built a major railway junction and airport near Lod. To this day, these constitute the most important and largest transportation artery in Israel.
After the liberation of the city of Lod, a wave of immigration and resettlement of the city began. The Rebbe HaRayatz, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, the sixth leader of the Chabad Chassidic dynasty, sent approximately seventy years ago a group of Chabad Chassidim from Europe and the East, to establish in the city a Chabad housing project in the railway neighborhood.
During the seventy years of the establishment and foundation of the Jewish settlement in Lod and the Chabad housing project in the city, peace and security between the city’s Arab and Jewish residents were usually maintained, despite the tension and hostility, and despite the constant and ongoing suffering from shootings and fireworks, grenades and light explosives. This was true until the moment in which these life-threatening weapons, that were freely available to the city’s Arabs, were aimed directly at the Jews of the city.
In May 2021 (Sivan 5781), the “May Riots” broke out. Masses of Arabs were incited to carry out pogroms, acts of terrorism, and vandalism against the city’s Jews. Yigal Yehoshua (56) a Jew who was on his way home after a day of work, was murdered by rioters who lynched him.
Synagogues in the city were set on fire and completely burned, 240 vehicles were vandalized in three days of pogroms, and Jewish residents were forced to flee the city after terrorists tried to break into their homes and commit acts of atrocities and destruction.
The outbreak of Arab terrorism in the city revealed the helplessness of the security forces and their inability to effectively respond to erupting terrorist attacks.
As a result, the sense of security in the city has been severely damaged… Jewish families have begun to emigrate from the city and mothers are afraid to let their children roam the streets freely.
On Thursday, May 27 2021, late at night, Arab terrorists threw four Molotov cocktails at residents’ homes in the ‘Sha’ar Ha’ir’ neighborhood and tried to set its inhabitants on fire. The security coordinator who was at the time on a routine patrol, foiled the attack about thirty seconds after the fire was ignited, thereby preventing a major disaster.
Following the incidents, Rabbi Baruch Boaz Yurkovich, Chief Rabbi of the Chabad neighborhood, decided to establish a ‘Shomrim’ (guards) organization, consisting of volunteers from the community, in order to restore the residents’ sense of security.
The Lod ‘Shomrim’ Organization, currently being established, is engaged in purchasing technological means and establishing a control room geared for monitoring and guarding the community, day and night, along with patrols by volunteers at night, in order to provide a maximum sense of security in the community.
The organization operates in collaboration with the local municipality and police together with the other security forces operating in the city, and serves as a significant and effective force multiplier in defensive, guarding and ongoing security needs.
The organization is managed by security experts from the private market, who specialize in establishing guard and security organizations in Israel and across the world.
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