Funeral of Genady Kaufman, December 30, 2015..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Genady Kaufman did not want to give up on life, his son David said on Wednesday as he eulogized his father, who succumbed to wounds sustained in a December 7 terrorist attack in the West Bank city of Hebron.
“You gave your all to everything you did,” said David as he looked at his father’s shroud-covered body. It lay on a gurney in the street in front of the Cave of the Patriarchs, where he had worked as a gardener.
The 41-year-old man, who had emigrated from the former Soviet Union, was stabbed by a Palestinian as he waited at the bus stop outside the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Genady had finished work and was on his way to his home in the nearby Kiryat Arba settlement, where he also was employed as a security guard.
David recalled how his father struggled to stay alive for over three weeks at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
“Even after you were wounded you continued to fight. You didn’t give up, even when the doctors didn’t think you had a chance. You did not want to leave this world easily,” said David.
The 19-year-old, speaking into a hand-held microphone, was surrounded by hundreds of mourners who gathered around him in the street.
“Each time I saw you, you had a huge smile,” said David as he described a man who was also his close friend.
“You always believed in me. You taught me to make my own decisions based on what was good for me and to go with them to the end,” he said. “You always taught me to give my all to the nation,” said David, who serves in the navy. “We are burying you here in Hebron because this is the place that you loved and that you worked in,” said David.
“My father did not die, he was murdered,” said David.
“We will not let our enemies break us. We will stay here in spite of the pain and the difficulties, because that was your way, and it is what you would have wanted us to do.
“Father, I love you, and I am here to continue in your path,” he said.
Mourners then walked Genady’s body to Hebron’s old Jewish cemetery for burial.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his condolences to the Kaufman family, including Genady’s wife, Veronica, and his daughter, Michal, 9. “I say to all those who would uproot us from the Tomb of the Patriarchs: except for a few years in the previous century, we have been there for almost 4,000 years and we will stay there forever. You cannot defeat us.”
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi), who spoke at the funeral, echoed the prime minister’s words, “We promise his family, we are staying here."
“On this side of the Jordan River, there will be only one state, the State of Israel, with sovereignty on all the areas. And we will continue to build,” he said.
Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said, “You might be able to murder someone who is Jewish, but you cannot murder the entire nation of Israel, which has returned to its homeland."