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      'We Need to Strengthen Jewish Identity and Pride'

      Rabbi Yehuda ben Yishai, father of Ruth Fogel z"l in a television interview: Our leaders must strengthen our Jewish identity and pride.
      By Elad Benari and Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 3/31/2011, 9:33 PM / Last Update: 4/1/2011, 3:12 AM

       

      Rabbi Yehuda Ben Yishai, father of Ruth Fogel z”l, who was brutally murdered by terrorists just under three weeks ago along with her husband, Udi, and three of their children in the Shomron community of Itamar, gave an interview to Machon Meir’s television channel

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      During the interview, Rabbi Ben Yishai referred to meetings he and his family had with Israel’s leaders, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, following the murders.

      “We told each one of the leaders that the leadership's role is to lead,” he said. “We strengthened them in the will to lead in the best possible way. To fulfill the duty that Providence has allotted to each of them, starting with the Prime Minister and on to the ministers, in the most correct possible way.”

      He added that “we asked the leaders to search for ways to strengthen Jewish identity. To strengthen the nation's pride.”

      Rabbi Ben Yishai noted that he got the sense that the leaders he spoke with understood the connection between the brutal murders and the need to strengthen the nation’s Jewish identity and pride.

      “We must strengthen education, and we must learn from what happened to us,” he said. “As for the army people, who were very obviously sensitive about what happened, we said that we do not look for blame, because while lessons need to be learned, looking for blame always weakens. Everyone does what he can according to his ability and running after the guilty ones will not necessarily lead us to find the right people.”

      He spoke of the IDF and referred to it as “our wonderful army” but emphasized that the IDF “does not need to just respond [to enemy attacks]. It certainly has to make an effort to find the murderers, but it should be an army that from the outset gives a clear sense that since we returned to our land, the Nation of Israel is in a new phase in its history, and we have the strength.”