Tuesday, May 24th | 24 Iyyar 5782

March 23, 2022 1:02 pm

Israeli Terror Victims Eulogized: ‘Doesn’t Matter If Mom Is Here or Above’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli mourners attend a funeral of Menachem Yehezkel, who died during a car ramming and stabbing attack in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, at the cemetery in Beer Sheva, Israel, March 23, 2022. REUTERS/Nir Elias

Funerals began on Wednesday in Israel for the four victims of Tuesday’s terror attack in the southern city of Beersheba.

Menahem Yehezkel, 67; Doris Yahbas, 49; Rabbi Moshe Kravitzky, 50; and Laura Yitzhak, 43, were killed in a car-ramming and stabbing spree committed by an Arab Israeli who had served time in prison for attempting to join the Islamic State. The terrorist was shot dead at the scene by an armed civilian.

Laura Yitzhak was buried in Beersheba, with her two young daughters eulogizing her.

“I will never forget you; you will be in my heart; you were the best for me,” said Efrat, 12, as reported by Israel’s Walla news. “I will protect my siblings always. I will show them the education that you gave me. I love you; you are my hero.”

Her 10-year-old sister Noa, who wept as she spoke, said, “I will not forget this date. I will not forget you ever, and I hope that you too will never forget me. Nothing else matters, I love you. It doesn’t matter if mom is here or above. I’m sure that you are in a good place. I want to tell you that I love you very much. I love you.”

Laura’s husband Tal spoke of her “pure soul.”

“You were always [here] for everyone; for the daughters,” Tal said. “I will speak about you everywhere, so the whole world will know who you are. A pure heart. My righteous Jewish woman.”

Clockwise from top left: Rabbi Moshe Kravitzky, 50; Menahem Yehezkel, 67; Laura Yitzhak, 43; Doris Yahbas, 49. Photo: Israeli PM/Twitter

Diaspora Minister Nahman Shai also spoke at Laura’s funeral, saying to the family, “your pain is our pain, your loss is our loss.”

Menahem Yehezkel was buried in Beersheba as well. His brother Yiftah said in his eulogy, “It is difficult for me to stand here to eulogize my beloved brother. We are shocked and hurting to stand here and to separate from you. You were murdered by a vile person because you were a Jew.”

Yiftah recounted that the family lived in Beersheba since they made Aliyah from India in 1963, and “our parents taught us to love the Land of Israel and the Jewish tradition.” He added that his brother frequently gave charitable donations, despite being on a disability pension.

“Our mother walked with us four years ago and her last request was that I would protect you,” Yiftah recalled. “Yesterday, I wasn’t able to protect you. You were cruelly taken from us.”

Menachem’s nephew, Nati Cohen, called him “a quiet man, poor and good, who loved to travel. … We’re speaking of a terrible blow, a horrendous tragedy. We are in great pain. A shocking incident.”

Doris Yahbas was laid to rest in Moshav Gilat, near Beersheba, where her husband said, “I and the children ask forgiveness from you, we will not forget you… You always helped everyone, but a disgusting man came, diseased, who hates Jews, who took your life from us.”

“I promise I will protect the children as you would protect them. Protect us from above, I love you,” he said.

Rabbi Moshe Kravitzky will be buried Wednesday evening in Beersheba, where he was a longtime resident. A former Chabad emissary, Kravitzsky was involved in extensive charitable work, including food banks for the elderly and needy.

Rabbi Zalman Gorelik, who worked with Kravitzsky, said, “He was very devoted to his mission” of helping the residents of his Beersheba neighborhood.

“He took care of them materially and spiritually,” said Gorelik. “All the residents remember the wide smile and great altruism. We are in immense shock and pain at the bitter news.”

In a Wednesday statement eulogizing the victims, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet said, “each one of the murdered is a world onto themselves of family and dreams and life, that one criminal terrorist cut with brutality. May their memory be blessed.”

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