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March 24, 2015 3:15 pm

Netanyahu, Rivlin Send Condolence Letters to Father of Brooklyn Fire Victims

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A condolence letter sent by PM Netanyahu to the father who lost seven children in the Brooklyn fire on Friday. Photo: Facebook. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin each sent letters of condolence to Gabriel Sassoon, the father of seven Jewish children who died in a fire at their home in Brooklyn last weekend.

“Each one of your children was a world unto him or herself, unique and special. There is no greater sorrow than the loss of children and the pain is even greater because they were so young. The entire Jewish people feels your pain,” Netanyahu wrote in his letter, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

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The funeral service for the seven children was held on Monday in Jerusalem, who were laid to rest at Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuhot Cemetery.

Separately, Rivlin wrote to Gabriel Sassoon that he is praying for his wife Gayle and 15-year-old daughter, Siporah, who both remain in critical condition after escaping the fire by jumping from a second-floor window.

“It is not in my power to comfort you on this terrible disaster,” Rivlin wrote. “However, I, with all of the Jewish people, are standing with you and take you into our hearts at this difficult and terrible time.”

The Sassoon family had lived in Israel until moving to Brooklyn a year-and-a-half ago. The children who died in the fire included Eliane, 16; Rivkah, 11; Sara, 6; David, 12; Yeshua, 10; Moshe, 8; and Yaakob, 5.

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  • Our Sages tell us that the death of pure and innocent children is a sign that we must introspect as a community, Klal Yisrael, and improve our ways. If we are not prophets we are descendants of prophets, and one area that would benefit from improvement in both Eretz HaKodesh and Galus would be to avoid Sinat Chinom on every level.