The Deputy Mayor of Elad, the hometown of abducted and murdered Eyal Yifrah (19) which is located to the east of Tel Aviv, spoke to Arutz Sheva on Wednesday about the massive funeral held for him, along with Naftali Frenkel (16) and Gilad Sha'ar (16) the day before.
Tzuriel Krispel, the Deputy Mayor, noted "we truly had great hope together with the family. Throughout the last 18 days, the family revealed great strength of spirit. We hoped for good news, we wanted to lift them on our shoulders and not on stretchers."
"The composure of (Eyal's) father even after the difficult news astonished us, he is the one who raised our heads," remarked Krispel.
Speaking about the cohesiveness of the community in supporting the Yifrah family following news of the abduction on June 12, the deputy mayor said "all the charity groups and many people prepared meals each day, within 20 minutes we raised Shabbat (meals) for forty people."
"People fought over who got to prepare the meals (for the family), the city wrapped them in love," said Krispel, recalling the strong will to support the Yifrah family. "These were special moments of the nation of Israel in its splendor."
Krispel spoke about the preparations for shiva, the ritual period of intense mourning in which the immediate family does not leave their home for seven days following the burial.
"We all know the family well, the brothers and the parents are all from Elad. I wish upon them the strength to deal with the days that will come on us after the funeral. We will continue to be by them with this feeling of being together; the whole city will continue to be with them," concluded Krispel.
At the ceremony held in Elad before the joint funeral of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad in Modi'in, Eyal's father Uri eulogized his son.
Addressing his murdered son, Uri said "your mother said you'd whisper in G-d's ear, ask him to give us strength. It will be hard without you, we need strength, ask him to give us strength. You are holy, you were holy in your life; you gave strength to so many people, now give us strength here at home."
Uri noted the reports of the teens putting up a brave struggle against the armed terrorists roughly twice their age who abducted them, relating that "they said that he fought them."
"Our tears are just because we're human, we have hearts of flesh and blood, we love people and we have love, we have love and it will win," said Uri. Addressing the terrorist murderers, the bereaved father added "you scoundrels, your day will come."
Eyal's brother Asaf likewise spoke, addressing his murdered brother: "I remember you wanted to sit with me and Elhanan, all the family, to sit and talk and play guitar. G-d willing we'll do it next week, I believe you'll be with us."
Assaf added "you're a tzadik (righteous person), you were born in (the Jewish month of) Tamuz and you were taken in Tamuz," referencing the Jewish tradition that the righteous pass away on the same month they were born in.
Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef also spoke during the ceremony in Elad.
"How can we comfort the families? G-d will comfort you," he said.
Rabbi Yosef explained that according to Jewish tradition, there are seven rows in gan eden (Paradise), and the first row is for those murdered sanctifying G-d's name.