At Funeral, Sharon Teen Killed in West Bank Terrorist Attack Described as ‘Martyr for Jewish Faith’
More than 1,000 people gathered at Temple Sinai in Massachusetts for the funeral of 18-year-old Ezra Schwartz on Sunday, who was killed in a terrorist attack by a Palestinian gunman in the West Bank last week.
According to the Boston Globe, Schwartz was “described as a gregarious and compassionate young man who died a martyr for his Jewish faith.”
“Family members, high school friends, and athletic coaches remembered an inquisitive and silly Schwartz, who was passionate about his love for Israel, helping others, and the New England Patriots,” the Globe reported.
His father, Ari Schwartz, said “The bond we had will live forever. Some bonds can never be broken.” His older sister and three brothers were all present at the ceremony, which filled the synagogue to capacity long before the services began. An additional 500 people reportedly gathered outside to listen to the service, which was broadcast over loudspeakers.
Schwartz was spending a year abroad in Israel on a yeshiva program when the vehicle he and other students were traveling in was fired on by a Palestinian gunman in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc near Jerusalem. He became the third US citizen killed in the seething Israeli-Palestinian violence that has continued since the Jewish high holy days.
Young Israel of Sharon Rabbi Meir Sendor officiated at the funeral, and spoke of both Schwartz’s life and death as meaningful, the UK Daily Mail reported.
“Ezra gathered everyone together, and unified everyone together. His greatness is how he used his strength to comfort others with great gentleness,” said Sendor.
Schwartz’s casket was carried to a hearse, which was followed by hundreds on foot on its way to Sharon Memorial Park, where the yeshiva boy was laid to rest.
The New England Patriots were set to observe a moment’s silence in memory of Schwartz on Monday night.