Terror Victim's Son Speaks

Teenage son of terrorism victim Rabbi Meir Chai delivers powerful, weeping tribute.

Hillel Fendel, | updated: 14:14

the late Rabbi Chai
the late Rabbi Chai
Israel news photo

As the family of terrorism victim Rabbi Meir Chai continues to “sit shiva” – during which they remain at home for seven days while friends and family visit and try to console them or listen to their pain – a recording of the funeral tribute delivered by his 16-year-old son Eliyahu has been publicized.

The eulogy, delivered with weeping though in a strong voice, concentrated on the message that Eliyah felt his father wanted to leave the youths of his town: a message of faith, Jewish pride, religious observance, and “no revenge.”

The deceased Rabbi Meir, who was murdered in a drive-by shooting by Palestinian terrorists outside his hometown of Shavei Shomron on Thursday night, befriended many youths of all ages.

Eliyahu began as follows: “To all the youths here - you are the best youth there is; I salute you, and I say the same to all our soldiers and to the entire army, to each and every one of you." 

He then continued: “Continue Abba’s path: Abba wanted faith! Abba wanted Torah study! Abba wanted prayers! Abba couldn’t bear to see youth without tefillin… If we want to immortalize Abba, then we have to do things like that – not external things. Not to look for revenge, not to beat up Arabs. This is not our solution.  The difference between us and them is, that we are human beings!  We won’t go to them and kill them just like that; if they come to us, we will kill them, but we won’t go to them!  We are Jews! We are holy!  We are HUMAN BEINGS!

“We are the youth of the Shomron, of Judea and Samaria, of the entire country...  Continue Abba’s path, the path of faith. Go and study in Abba’s memory. If you want to eternalize him, this is what would make him the happiest. How often Abba would tell me, when he would see that it was hard for the youth… how much it hurt him to see our youth without tzitzit, or boys and girls not careful about touching each other… He wanted them to proudly wear tzitzit, to proudly bear the name of the Holy One, Blessed be He!  He wanted to see them saying, “I am a Jew! I am a proud Jew! Let people do what they want to me – but I am a proud Jew!” But he never despaired, he loved them very much..."

The hundreds of mourners broke out in sobs as Eliyahu concluded his words with a heart-rending shout, “Abba, I love you! I so much tried to tell you…”

Twelve years ago, shortly after the family’s son Elyasaf was born, Rabbi Meir underwent a serious car accident when an Arab slammed into his car. Rabbi Meir lost consciousness for a short while, and a few weeks later, after he recovered, he told his family that he had been taken to the World to Come, where he pleaded to be able to return to his family – and his request was granted. 

Rabbi Chai's widow Elisheva, relating to rumors that he said he was granted exactly 12 years, which “expired” this week, has said that she does not know whether this detail originated with her deceased husband or elsewhere.


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