Jerusalem bombing victim Aryeh Shechopek, 16, laid to rest

Shechopek was on his way to yeshiva and was waiting for the school bus when the bomb placed by a Palestinian terrorist detonated.

 Aryeh Shechopek, 16, who was killed in a bombing attack in Jerusalem on November 23, 2022 (photo credit: COURTESY OF THE FAMILY)
Aryeh Shechopek, 16, who was killed in a bombing attack in Jerusalem on November 23, 2022
(photo credit: COURTESY OF THE FAMILY)

Hundreds of people gathered for the funeral of Aryeh Shechopek, 16, a Canadian-Israeli resident of Har Nof who was killed in the bombing attacks in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning.

Shechopek was on his way to yeshiva and was waiting for the school bus when the bomb placed by a Palestinian terrorist detonated, mortally wounding him and injuring 18 others.

Rabbi Naftali Schreiber, principal of the school where Shechopek learned, eulogized him at the funeral. "A  year ago, I eulogized a member of Aryeh's class, I didn't think I would be eulogizing another student from the same class."

Schreiber lamented that yet another disaster had hit the Har Nof community, mentioning the 2014 massacre at Kehilat Bnei Torah.

 Rabbi Naftali Schreiber, the principal of the school where Aryeh Shechopek learnt, speaks at his funeral. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Rabbi Naftali Schreiber, the principal of the school where Aryeh Shechopek learnt, speaks at his funeral. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The rabbi noted that Shechopek didn't feel well in the morning and was debating whether to go to yeshiva. "The mashgiach told him 'don't come. I see you don't feel well, rest a little. He overcame it and got up and decided to go. To go to what? To place tefillin, to prayers at the yeshiva, to learn. He didn't have an easy life; he dealt [with things].

"There were witnesses to his greatness," the rabbi said. "There is no one, in his whole year, his whole class, who can say that during the years he was with him that there was ever anger in Aryeh. He didn't know what anger is. He would walk on the street helping every person he could.

"Your soul floats here above us. Until the burial, you are here above us, looking and seeing. Aryeh, you are here with me."

Schreiber referred to a teaching by Maimonides, that the repentance a person does a second before his death is considered a full repentance. "The two students I have eulogized did not merit that second. They died suddenly and did not manage to say the basic thing that every Jew should say before their death. Aryeh, I know you're here with me. These holy moments were stolen from you. Say [the words] with me."

Aryeh's father: 'I appreciate every moment that he was with us'

Shechopek's father Moshe eulogized him as well, stating "I want to say goodbye to my son, to say goodbye to Aryeh. I'm sorry to you. God gave and God took away. He was a boy who taught us a lesson. I appreciate every moment that he was with us as a child in our family. Thank you to everyone who came here."

Rabbi David Yosef: 'Those who fight us are not a people'

Rabbi David Yosef, the son of former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, "How terrible it is to accompany a young man who only recently had his bar mitzvah...who finished Talmud Torah a year ago together with my grandson. [He was] raised in a very dear family, good parents, righteous, with good manners, a glorious family."

"He came to yeshiva, stayed for one year and now we are accompanying him to his eternal home, oh, what a terrible pain! A young boy who was loved by all his friends. Such a terrible disaster for us," Yosef said.

"We need to stand and say in a clear way: When there are people among us who do not believe – there are people here in this land who fight against our Torah – God is punishing us," the rabbi said.

"Those who fight us are not a 'people'; there has never been such a thing as a Palestinian people," Yosef said. "They are a people of murder, a people who sanctify murder who, sadly, it has been decreed against us that they are our neighbors and they massacre us. Our job is to strengthen faith in the Creator of the world. Our war against them will be through our holy Torah. May God comfort the broken family."