Thousands attend Asheri's funeral

Murdered teen's mother, Miriam: "The pain is almost too great to bear."

asheri funeral 298 ap (photo credit: AP)
asheri funeral 298 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Thousands of people attended the funeral of Eliyahu Asheri in Jerusalem on Thursday afternoon. Asheri was murdered after being kidnapped by terrorists on Sunday. The funeral procession passed from Beit Sanhedria to the Mount of Olives in the city. Eliyahu's mother, Miriam, eulogized: "Eliyahu, our darling, you went up in a storm of the night like Elijah the prophet," she continued. Miriam fondly recounted how the family would sit around the Shabbat table and how Eliyahu taught them, time and time again, not to judge people, "not by outward appearances nor by stigmas." "I have one big request for you Eliyahu," Miriam said, "when you stand before God, please defend the people of Israel in all its actions."
Hours after she was notified of her son's death, Miriam told Israel Radio, "The pain is great, almost too great to bear. But one thing I feel, despite all this…is that in the wake of disagreements between our brethren, with our different worldviews and different relationships to the land of Israel that creates a lot of conflict, a lot of anger, a lot of argument - many times, I've asked G-d that he should first of all grant me love for everyone in my heart, and … that He should show me the special quality of the nation of Israel, and that I should succeed - that we should all succeed in loving each other…truly from the heart." Miriam said it became clear to her during the course of these trials and tribulations, how wonderful Israel really is. She expressed gratitude to all the people who called to offer moral support. "The help there was… I don't have the words to describe how encouraging [it was]…how everyone was truly so wonderful," she said. "And I think this was also Eliyahu's way. …Whenever there was a fight, he would always say, 'Stop, everyone should have their place…,' and his way was always one of peace. And I think this is an impetus - god forbid we should ever have such a terrible impetus - but an impetus for true unity between all factions, despite disagreements - and they do exist - but to see the good in the Jewish nation…." According to Miriam, "What strengthens you is, first of all, knowing that everything is from God, knowing that to die sanctifying God's name, as he did - that God chose him to sanctify the name of heaven in public. This is the thing that comforts us. Any other comfort is trivial in my estimation, it doesn't let my spirit rest." Regarding the family of Gilad Shalit, Asheri said it always pains her to hear of the troubles of other Jews, but knowing that she was not alone in her pain made it easier to bear. "It allows me to get out of it for a moment, but it always pains me greatly - a very deep pain for each and every one - the parents, the neighborhood, all of Israel." Yitro Asheri said his son was always a peacemaker. "The last day I saw you, you were in our house in Itamar, and you made peace between your siblings," he said. Asheri was a student at a pre-military academy at the settlement of Neveh Tzuf in the West Bank. He disappeared Sunday night as he hitchhiked to meet fellow students for a hike. At Asheri's funeral, Druckman eulogized his 18-year-old grandson. "We know the sun sets in the evening, but if it suddenly sets in the middle of the day... Eliahu, you were as bright as the sun," he said, in between sobs. Speaking at the funeral, Samaria Regional District head Bentzi Leiberman accused the government of negligence in providing security for its citizens. "The government has forgotten who the real enemy is," Leiberman said. "The prime minister is not succeeding in looking after lives, not in Sderot, and not in Itamar," he said. "Woe upon us that a grandfather has to eulogize his grandson," said NRP MK Yitzhak Levy. "Eliahu, pray before God that no harm will come to Itamar, not from our enemies, and not from our brothers," he said, speaking after Druckman. The sound of wailing mourners echoed through the hall during the eulogies. Metzger escorted the weeping father from the hall. Hugging and crying, Asheri's family followed them outside. Following the service, a funeral convoy carried mourners to the Mount of Olives, where Asheri was buried.