Fogel family funeral crowd 311.
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Thousands of mourners crowded the Har Hamenuhot Cemetery in Jerusalem on Sunday
to bid farewell to the five members of the Fogel family who were knifed to death
in their home in the settlement of Itamar Friday night.
Udi, 36, his wife
Ruth, 35, and their children Yoav, 11, Elad, four, and Hadas, three months, were
survived by 12-year-old Tamar – who found the bodies of her parents and siblings
– eightyear- old Roi, and two-year-old Yishai. All three are now staying with
their grandparents on the settlement of Neveh Tzuf (Halamish).
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of mourners coming to Jerusalem clogged traffic throughout the capital, delaying
the start of the funeral. For a crowd that by some estimates numbered 25,000, it
was surprisingly quiet. There were a few political placards displayed by
mourners and protesters on the streets of Jerusalem, but at Har Hamenuhot there
was a feeling of quiet, shattered pain mixed with shock.
Ben-Yishai, Ruth’s father, described his deceased loved ones as “pure souls,
righteous of the earth, loved ones, holy ones.”
Speaking of his deceased
grandchildren, Ben-Yishai said, “Yoav, my grandson, a brilliant student whose
life is over. Elad, who always smiled, even when he was burned by boiling
Hadas, the littlest, she was everything: cute, beautiful, close
to her mother.”
He added, “Almighty God, take our pain as an
Believe us, give to us, bathe us in your light to cast away the
darkness. You know very well who you took.”
In his eulogy, Tel Aviv Chief
Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau said, “we’ve made it 63 years, we’ve declared a state and
won independence and founded a glorious army, and still this circle of horror
and river of tears is flowing and we stand helpless with a feeling that is
impossible to put into words.”
Lau then addressed 12-yearold Tamar,
saying, “in one cruel hour, you have become a little mother. You are now the
mother of little Roi and Yishai, and you are only 12 years old.”
Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon laid blame on the Palestinian Authority for its incitement against Jews, and said, “The murder
is a reminder that the struggle and the conflict is not about the borders of
Israel or the independence of a nation. It is about a struggle for our
Ya’alon also quoted the late poet Haim Nahman Bialik’s poem
on the 1903 Kishinev pogrom, “On the Slaughter,” saying, “such a revenge –
revenge for the blood of a little child – has yet been devised by
Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger told the crowd that “the murderers did
succeed, but only in uniting us.”
He added that as a response to the
tragedy, Israel must step up construction in the settlements, saying, “another
neighborhood, that’s the answer. More building, that’s the answer.”
political statements seemed a bit lost on Udi’s brother Motti Fogel, who told
the crowd, “Udi, it’s very hard for me to see all the people who came here. If I
could, I would have them all leave and hug you and whisper in your ear, ‘Let’s
go play soccer one last time.’ “All the symbols about settlement, the Land of
Israel and the people of Israel are attempts to forget the simple fact that is
riddled with pain: you are dead. You are dead and no symbol will bring you back.
More than anything, this funeral must be a private event.”
Motti said to
his brother, “You are not a national symbol or a national event. Your life was a
purpose in and of itself, and it can’t be allowed for your terrible death to
turn your life into some sort of tool, no matter for whom. You are my brother
and you will stay my brother.”