In 1942, the advancing German army was stopped at El-Alamein in North Africa. Under the leadership of General Erwin Rommel, the Nazis threatened to annihilate the Jewish community living in Israel. So great was the threat that the Jewish Agency went about destroying its records, and rabbis distributed thousands of burial shrouds throughout the country. During this time, Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman, who lived in the Lithuanian town of Ponevich, escaped Europe and made his way to the Holy Land. Upon arriving on the shores of Tel Aviv, he proudly proclaimed: "I have come to establish a yeshiva. Rommel's troops do not deter me. Even if I am able to spread Torah learning for only a few days, that in itself would be of eternal significance." Rabbi Kahaneman built the Ponevich Yeshiva, and today it flourishes with thousands of students.