Rabbi Mazuz at ceremony for Paris victims.
(photo credit: AVI PALACH)
The coffins of the four Jewish victims of the terrorist attack on a kosher market in Paris last week were brought to the Kisse Rahamim Yeshiva in Bnei Brak early Tuesday morning before their burial in Jerusalem. Rabbi Meir Mazuz, dean of the yeshiva and spiritual leader of the Tunisian community in Israel, eulogized the dead.
Approximately 1,000 people attended the service, after which the coffins were brought to Jerusalem for the main ceremony and burial at the Har Hamenuhot cemetery.
All of the four victims were of Tunisian heritage and the family of Yoav Hattab, 21, requested that Mazuz be part of the funeral proceedings.
Hattab was born in Tunisia and moved to Paris to attend university. His father, Benjamin is the chief rabbi of Tunis.
Speaking at the yeshiva on Tuesday, Mazuz said the events in France were a call for action to be taken against terrorism and for the Jewish people to unite.
“There is no place of refuge in the world for a Jew except in the Land of Israel,” the rabbi said. “Terrorism is striking in the US, England, Ukraine, and now France and we must cut it down. For us, we must unite and bring an end to hatred and dispute and stop speaking badly of others.
Everyone must ascend to the land of Israel to unite.”
Mazuz paid tribute to Lassana Bathily, the Muslim who helped save the lives of Jewish customers in the besieged supermarket last week.
“The Muslim man who saved the Jews during the attack must be praised,” Mazuz said. “He is one of the righteous among the nations and the righteous among the nations have a place in the world to come.”
MK Eli Yishai, whose parents were born in Tunisia, also spoke at the ceremony in Bnei Brak.
“Millions of people in the State of Israel went into the last Shabbat with fear and worry for the fate [of those caught up in the events in Paris],” Yishai said. “This is what it is to be Jewish, one nation, one blood, one fate.
The martyrs, Yoav [Hattab], François [Michel Saada], Phillipe [Braham] and Yohan [Cohen] wanted to buy food to honor the Shabbat, but then the abhorrent terrorist came to kill Jews simply because they are Jews. The same terrorism that we have experienced in our own flesh in the land of Israel against the Jewish people here and around the world.
“The pain is enormous, the pain of the beloved families [of the victims],” he continued. “But the souls of the martyrs are so high it is impossible to describe. They merit to be interred in the soil of the land of Israel which our ancestors yearned for thousands of years. Pray to our Father in Heaven who will say ‘enough’ for our suffering.”