A convoy commemorating the late Daniel Mertzbach will depart from Otniel on Friday morning for Hevron, where participants will pray the morning service at sunrise in the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Entitled "Keeping to the Road – this Road Cannot End!" the convoy is in honor of the late Rabbi Daniel Mertzbach, who routinely made a morning pilgrimage from his community of Otniel to Hevron for morning prayers.
Last week Rabbi Mertzbach was killed during just such a journey by an IDF soldier in a tragic ‘friendly fire’ incident. The soldiers from the Lavi battalion – who were setting up a security checkpoint – opened fire when Mertzbach failed to stop.
According to reports, in the poor morning light, Mertzbach did not see the soldiers signal for him to stop his vehicle. The incident – in which one of the two women riding in Mertzbach’s car was wounded in the hip – is still under investigation.
The convoy will make a scheduled stop at the point where Rabbi Mertzbach was killed so participants can mourn him, recite Psalms and the Kaddish prayer, and sing “od avinu hai” [Our Father Lives – Ed.]
The convoy is scheduled to depart Otniel at 05:00 and will arrive for sunrise prayers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron at 5:40. Rabbi Mertzbach will be eulogized at the service.
After the service at 8:00 the circumcision of twins born during Rabbi Mertzbach’s funeral – the grandchildren of his sister – will be performed.
The convoy was initiated by the Mertzbach family, residents of Otniel, and friends and students of Rabbi Mertzbach. It is being coordinated by the Hevron Regional Council and security forces.
Arutz Sheva wishes the Mertzbach family its deepest condolences on the loss of Rabbi Daniel Mertzbach.
We also wish them a hearty mazal tov for the new lives they will bring into the covenant between God and Israel on Friday.