'A special family of Torah and kindness'

Rabbis and family members eulogize Aliza Azan and her three children, who perished when their Flatbush home went up in flames.

Yoni Kempinski,

הלווית בני משפחת אזן, בבית העלמין בחולון
הלווית בני משפחת אזן, בבית העלמין בחולון
צילום: יוני קמפינסקי

The four victims of a Flatbush fire were laid to rest on Wednesday in Holon, Israel.

Aliza Azan and her three children, died in their Sheepshead Bay home when their Hanukkah menorah caught fire early Monday morning and their entire house was consumed by the flames. They were flown to Israel after a crowd of mourners proved too large and distraught for a pre-flight memorial ceremony to be held in Brooklyn, and the funeral was held Wednesday morning.

The father, Yosef Azan, is a well-known figure in his community. He was critically injured and is hospitalized in New York, unconscious and breathing with assistance. Azan's wife, Aliza, 39, as well as his 3-year-old daughter Henrietta and his sons Moshe and Yitzhak, aged 11 and 7, were killed in the fire. Two additional children, Shilat and Daniel, ages 16 and 15, are also hospitalized.

Aliza's father, Rabbi Avraham Hamra, served as Damascus' Chief Rabbi and was a well-known rabbi in Holon before he moved to Brooklyn this past year.

Thousands of people attended the funeral, and Holon Chief Rabbi Avraham Yosef said, "We cannot eulogize on Hanukkah; the eulogy will need to be said during the week of mourning. This was such a beloved family. The father, and his wife, have great merit, and raised all their descendants to live a life of Torah and follow G-d's commandments. They have great merit."

Halakha forbids eulogizing during Hanukkah.

Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef said, "Every one of us, all of us, should engage in soul-searching, to find out why G-d allowed this to happen. The entire people of Israel should cry over this fire ( a biblical quote)... We are all hurting and crying, but we do not know G-d's plans. Those buried here are going to a world which has only good, but they leave us [behind]. The well deserve our loving kindness (burial is considered an act of true kindness in Judaism, as the dead person cannot reward or thank those who bury him, ed.) ."

One family member said "We have no questions, only reflections. We accept the Heavenly decree with love, and we wonder: The Holy Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred. Aliza, who was full of love for each of G-d's creations, perhaps could not continue to live in this world."

You can watch the Hebrew video here:

"משפחה מיוחדת של תורה וחסד"