A yeshiva roommate of teenager Eyal Yifrah said on Tuesday that his killing was a loss for the entire world and not just the Jewish people.
Speaking at the Shavei Hebron Yeshiva in the heart of Hebron, Michael Zivan, 20, described Yifrah as a leader, a strong personality, a friend and a brother.
“The terrorists took away someone the whole world will miss,” said Zivan. “The whole world should mourn this loss. It won’t just have an effect on our room, our yeshiva, and [the city of] Elad [Yifrah’s hometown], it will have an effect on the entire world and it’s the world’s responsibility to know and understand this.
“He cannot be replaced but he will not be forgotten,” he continued.
“Eyal’s spirit will remain in the yeshiva” and students will learn from him and from the attitude of his family and those of Gil- Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel who were murdered alongside him, Zivan said. “We will prove to the world that when there are troubling times, we can be strong in our faith and continue in it.”
One of the teachers in the Shavei Hebron yeshiva, Rabbi Mishael Rubin, said the staff and students were deeply pained by the death of Yifrah and were trying to grow stronger from the events.
Rubin explained how the yeshiva faculty were trying relate the murder and the spiritual challenge to the students.
“The boys mostly prayed following the bitter news. These prayers are not in vain, and our main task is to grow as better people and better Jews.
“We tried to convey the idea that prayer is not only that you have certain goals which you wish to get answered and if those goals are not achieved then the prayer was ineffective,” Rubin said. “The prayer is also supposed to build something inside the person praying, for them to achieve higher personal and spiritual levels and build themselves further from there.
“The Jewish people were shown to be a strong people and stand united against this great evil,” the rabbi said.
David Wilder, a spokesman for the Jewish community in Hebron, called for a twopronged response to the murders. “Terrorism should be eradicated,” while settlements in Judea and Samaria should be expanded, he said.
“There is no justification for the murder of these three young people, there can be no excuses for this,” Wilder said. “Hamas, the jihadists, the Salafists who are associating with al-Qaida have to be wiped out. I include in that [President] Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] and the Palestinian Authority who made the unity pact with Hamas. People who make unity pacts with terrorists, are terrorists.”
In addition, he said that the number of students at the Shavei Hebron Yeshiva should be dramatically increased, and called for increased settlement in Hebron, and across Judea and Samaria.
“The goal of the terrorists is to move us out not only of Judea and Samaria but to move us out of Tel Aviv, Safed, Beersheba and out of Haifa,” Wilder said. The Palestinian leadership rejected offers made by prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert to create their own state, he said. “They’ve said no time and time again. You have to turn to them and ask them what their goal is.”