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Rabbi Amar: Moshe Naftali was Special

Fallen soldier Moshe Naftali 'had a special soul,' says chief Sephardi rabbi.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 8/23/2011, 1:16 AM

Moshe Naftali
Moshe Naftali
Courtesy of Family

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar visited the Naftali family in Ofra on Sunday. The family is sitting shiva [a traditional seven-day mourning period – ed.] for son Moshe, who died Thursday while fighting terrorists who launched an attack near Eilat.

“Your son had a special soul, an angel's soul,” Rabbi Amar told the parents. “The fact that he sanctified G-d's name with his death brought him to a very high level.”

Moshe's father told Rabbi Amar that his son had fasted on the recent Tisha B'Av day of mourning, despite the difficulties in doing so while serving near the Egyptian border. “We can learn much from these young people,” Rabbi Amar said in response.

On Sunday the family was visited by President Shimon Peres, who said Moshe “represents the values of an entire generation of young people who are dedicated, who have a genuine love for the land of Israel, who serve their people bravely and are willing to give their lives for the security of the state of Israel nad its citizens.”

Moshe's friends from his hometown of Ofra simply expressed shock. “Moshe was part of our world, someone who was with us from birth,” said Arva Tanami. “We woke up in the morning and saw his picture on every website and in every paper. We can't comprehend it, it's our Moish, we can't believe it.”