Daily Israel Report

30 Days Since Massacre Marked with Construction

One month after five members of the Fogel family were killed, work begins on a memorial project.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/10/2011, 7:34 PM / Last Update: 4/10/2011, 7:54 PM

Thirty days have passed since the brutal murder of five members of the Fogel family from Itamar, and friends and family gathered to mark the occasion. In Itamar, the cornerstone was laid for what will be a Torah study hall built in honor of the slain Rabbi Ehud (Udi) Fogel.

In the following video, INN's Yoni Kempinski speaks to participants in the memorial about their feelings.



Before the cornerstone was put into place, men and women gathered separately to discuss the attack and to hear relevant concepts from the Torah.

The new study hall will be called Mishkan Ehud.

Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Yishai, father of Ruth Fogel, said, “Our Udi and our Ruti, you are watching us. You are wondering what all the fuss is about. You yourselves never realized what you had in your souls... Simple modestly and humility, humanity. You brought many different kinds of people together. They loved you."

“Now you are going to be more than what we knew... Ask G-d to grant us strength, wisdom, and resourcefulness. As part of the Jewish people, for the Jewish people.”

Chaim Fogel, Rabbi Udi Fogel's father, said, “You married in Beit Orot, opposite the site of the Holy Temple, as you requested. [You lived in] Eli, Mevaseret, Netzarim. You were expelled [from Gush Katif] and stood proud, and continued to draw the world closer to Torah.. Ariel, Itamar. We felt that you had found your place in Itamar.”

“Every place you stopped in life, you were loved by your friends, Udi. Because you had those qualities that make a person a friend.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Idan Tavor, who served with Udi Fogel, said, “We did not know 'Rabbi Udi,' but Udi. He listened more than he spoke... He heard what needed to be done, he took action, with modesty and respect for his follow man. That was the man we knew.”

Rabbi Natan Chai, rabbi of Itamar, said, “When it comes to holy people, who live the Torah, the pain is not only a private pain, but the pain of the lack of G-d's presence, a pain that is incomprehensible due to the desecration of G-d's name.” By building a center for Torah, “we strengthen the eternal flame of the people of Israel,” he said.

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar praised the Fogels' family and neighbors. “You did not sink into bitterness, but stood to build a house for the Divine presence, a hall of Torah study,” he said.

“We cannot understand the great holiness of the souls murdered in G-d's name,” he continued. “All we can say is, 'And Aharon was silent,'” he added, referring to the Bible's account of Aharon's response to the deaths of two of his sons.

Rabbi Avi Ronsky, formerly the IDF Chief Rabbi, was at the event as well. He plans to travel to the United States on Sunday night to be with American Jewish communities when they mark the one-month anniversary of the Itamar massacre. Thousands are expected to take part in U.S. events, he said.