Atar family laid to rest

Hundreds attend funerals of the 8 members of the Atar family, killed in car accident near Dead Sea.

Yoni Kempinski, Eliran Aharon,

Atar family
Atar family
Courtesy of the family

Hundreds of people attended the funerals of the eight members of the Atar family from Psagot who perished in the fatal road accident near the Dead Sea. The funerals took place in the Netanya cemetery.

Meital Tzviel, a close friend of the Atar family, spoke in sorrow about the joy that characterized the Atar family and the community's coping with the disaster.

"When we heard about it, we refused to believe it,” she said. “The heart is broken and I do not know how to accept it. I do not know how to tell the children how to deal it," says Meital. “We received the news, but it still hasn’t registered. How can we commemorate such an amazing family as the Atar family? What can you take from them? "

Tzviel’s family lived for years near the Atar family, and Meital relates talks about her friend Shoshi:" We lived together for years in the neighborhood. Shoshi was a good friend and there was a lot of nobility, wisdom, sensitivity and a desire to listen and to know. Educating the children was the main thing for them, they invested a lot in it.”

"Really amazing children, the freedom that was given them and the dynamic with them, we would look and admire their growth - amazing family. Wherever I would see her we would stop and talk, and it was not just any conversation but deep conversation.”

Tzviel explained how her children and those of the Atar family had a strong connection, and how the Atar kids were like members of her own household. "My children refused to believe it and said, 'We love them, how did it happen, how could that be?' They were very happy children, very funny, with lots of love for life, and this is a very prominent feature they had - and they received it from their parents."

Meital describes her conversation this morning with her son, who lost his good friend."My son said this morning, 'What, will I not see Yaakov Yisrael on the bus? We always talk before, talk afterward, make jokes, he will not be there?’ And he just started to cry."

Meital believes in the ability of the Psagot community to cope and rise up from the disaster: "This community has gone through disasters, but I think that this community is amazing, it's an amazing community, there's an amazing community emergency response team (Tzachi) here and everyone acts without desire to receive something in return, and knows exactly what to do and how. And in situations like this, we see even more how amazing this community is."

The court extended the remand of the driver of the jeep who on Tuesday hit a car belonging to the Atar family from Psagot, killing all eight members of the family.

The suspect driver was brought before a judge, who ruled he was suspected of using prohibited substances before getting behind the wheel.

Heavy mourning has been felt on the streets of Psagot in Binyamin since it became known that the entire Atar family was wiped out on their way to a family trip in southern Israel: Yariv was 45 and Shoshi was 47. The children were Yaakov Yisrael, 12; Ateret, 11; Ayala, 9; Moria, 7; Yedid, 5; and Avigail, 3.

Yariv worked for a computer company and his wife Shoshi was a special education teacher at Keren Or in Jerusalem. The children attended elementary school and preschools in Psagot and the eldest son attended the Yeshiva High School in Mateh Binyamin in Beit El.

The Atar couple arrived in Psagot about 13 years ago, not long after their wedding. The family lived in the Ai neighborhood and about two years ago moved to the central neighborhood and established their place in the community.

"A noble family that surrounded everyone around them with their joy, they were people of kindness on an unimaginable level." Rabbi Yosef Weitzen, the rabbi of the village, said. "We have to do a soul-searching - but soul searching for eight people I don't know how to do."

Miriam Dadon, a close friend of the late Shoshi Atar, eulogized her, "Instead of getting a happy embrace for my son's Bar Mitzvah, we'll have to give another kind of hug. She was an island of sanity who always thought for the good."



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