Friends of Lieutenant-Colonel Avner Goldman, killed Monday in the Romanian helicopter tragedy, say he had devoted himself to Torah study.
Sorrow has filled the home of Lieutenant-Colonel Goldman in the city of Modi'in since army officers arrived with the news of Goldman's death. Just a week ago, Lieutenant Goldman had celebrated his 48th birthday at home and then flew to Romania for IDF reserve duty.
Bitterly mournful community members told Arutz-7, "Avner was a servant of G-d through love and awe and joy. Since he was released from military service two years ago he has devoted himself to religious study. He was a scholar of Torah who was constantly teaching his own wonderful "chiddushim" (innovations)."
"He also affected his family around him, imparting to them the love of Torah. Every get-together of the extended family turned into a "seudat mitzvah" (a holy feast) and all present were privileged to hear from him and his sons the completion of tractates of the Talmud. He always acted pleasantly with his fellow man, with a bright face, making others happy and bringing them close to the Torah."
Community figures said that Goldman sent out his weekly Torah lecture to the community and that before leaving last week, he wrote, "I am taking a break to go on reserve duty. Will be back for "Re'eh"," which is the next week's Torah portion.
Goldman leaves behind his wife and four children.