5 years since Carmel tragedy, Malka home is happy

Rabbi Uriel Malka died in the tragedy, but his widow Ortal raises their 6 children with joy.

Benny Tucker,

Uriel z"l and Ortal Malka
Uriel z"l and Ortal Malka
Malka family

Ortal Malka lost her husband, Rabbi Uriel Malka, in the Carmel fire tragedy five years ago in which 44 people were killed. Seven months later, Ortal gave birth to Oria, their sixth daughter.

Exactly five years have passed since the terrible tragedy. In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Ortal said that she is raising the six children in a house full of happiness.

She said that she chose the name Oria – which means "God is my light" – in memory of Uriel, whose name has the same meaning.

"I called her Oria is order to remember Uriel in the positive aspect, of the light, the light of God. The joy of this great gift, because that is exactly what Uriel was about – welcoming people, giving off positive energies on all levels, and there is nothing more powerful than a name for memorializing a person."

The family lives in Karnei Shomron in Samaria, and is planning to enter its permanent home next year.

She said that while her family and that of Uriel wanted her to move close to them in the city, she prefers the tightly-knit community in Samaria. "We try to memorialize Uriel in our life, so that the home will continue to be a home of Torah, education, faith and outlook, and that all of this will be joyful – that was Uriel."

She admitted that sometimes, the disaster causes the children to ask questions related to faith, like "Why did he have to go?", "Why not someone else?", and said that she believes in very open dialogue with the children.

Ortal works as an English teacher in the local school, and is also working closely with the local Bnei Akiva branch, and has "adopted" one of the age groups.

"I speak with the youths about outlook, faith and matters of the heart," she explained. "We are now establishing a youth club that will be named after Uriel, for the ones who do not become youth councilors, so that they have two years of communal work inside Karnei Shomron. That is Uriel's way of spreading light and joy."




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