Tears flowed more than words at funerals Wednesday for the victims of the Toulouse murders of a rabbi and three young children.
“We cry but are strong. We will not let them break us,” said a weeping Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar at the funerals.
Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger told the surviving family members, “The People of Israel know how to appreciate your Zionism. I call on the French Foreign Minister, who is with us now, to increase security in all schools and do what ever has to be done" against criminals such as the Al Qaeda terrorist who carried out the murders.
The Foreign Minister, who accompanied the bodies to Israel and attended the funeral, stated, "France will do everything to ensure nothing like this unbelievable tragedy ever happens again. France will not tolerate terror."
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said, "The entire Israeli nation mourns the murder…Anyone trying to justify hate must know that hate is senseless. The murder of the school children in Toulouse was senseless, as was the massacre of infants in Itamar," he said, referring to the brutal murders of five members of the Fogel family last year.
He called those who terrorize Jews "wild animals,” regardless of where they live.
Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, representing the government, said he had no words that could comfort the survivors except that “all of Israel embraces you today.”
Thousands of people crowded along the route to the Har HaMenuchot cemetery in the Givat Shaul neighborhood in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Yonatan Sandler (z”l) was born in France and learned in Toulouse. He moved to Israel, but last year returned to France with his wife and children to teach for two years. He was trying to protect his two young sons, Aryeh and Gavriel, from the killer, who shot and killed all three at point-blank range in front of the school.
The terrorist then ran into the school courtyard to chase after more victims. He critically wounded a 17-year-old boy and then grabbed eight-year-old Miriam Monsonego and shot her in the head. She was the daughter of the principal of the school.