Funeral of Flatbush Tragedy Victims Begins

Funeral for Sassoon family begins in Brooklyn, New York. Bodies to be transported for burial in Jerusalem.

Eliran Aharon, New York ,

Sassoon family home burnt in Brooklyn
Sassoon family home burnt in Brooklyn

The funeral has begun for seven children who died on Shabbat in a blaze at their home in Flatbush, New York.

Elian (16), David (12), Rivka (11), Yehoshua (10), Moshe (8), Sara (6), and Yaakov (5) Sassoon died after hot plate apparently malfunctioned. Orthodox Jews leave hot plates on during Shabbat to keep food warm according to halakha (Jewish law - ed.). 

The blaze trapped the family inside their home as they slept.

The mother of the family, Gail, 45, and daughter Tzipora, 14, escaped by jumping out of a window. They are currently in critical condition in a local hospital. 

The funeral procession began Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn, and will end in Jerusalem, where the bodies will be buried later today.

The Sassoon's father was attending a conference at the time and was not home at the time of the fire.

A neighbor, who gave her name as Rachel, stated that the family were "amazing people who invested everything they had into their children's education" and that Gail "is a noble, righteous woman who always takes care to help others." 

The family lived in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof for many years, and only moved to Brooklyn recently. 

"We arrived at the scene and discovered a terrible sight here, seven bodies of small children," ZAKA's Lachish region commander, Yossi Landau, stated to Arutz Sheva on Sunday. ZAKA's Operations Manager Haim Weingarten also arrived at the scene Saturday night, to assist in the organization's work of retrieving bodies for a proper Jewish burial. 

"The Jewish community is in shock due to this exceptionally difficult incident, like the US hasn't seen in years," Landau continued. "We are here to try to help as much as possible." 


Photos credit: Eliran Aharon