Nahal Haredi rabbi recalls final talk with murdered soldiers

'I saw them only half an hour before the terror attack. To hear that these happy and energetic boys have fallen is indescribably painful.'

Tzvi Lev,

Rabbi David Fuchs
Rabbi David Fuchs
Hillel Meir

On Thursday, Sergeant Yovel Mor-Yosef, 20 from Ashkelon, and Corporal Yosef Cohen, 19 from Beit Shemesh, were killed during a terror attack at Givat Assaf.

Both soldiers served in the Netzach Yehuda-Nahal Battalion and were guarding the hitchhiking post when they were gunned down by the terrorist.

Netzach Yehuda is a battalion in the Kfir Brigade that enables haredi soldiers to serve in the IDF. Female soldiers are not deployed on base, and soldiers receive special food that conforms to a stringent halakhic standard of Jewish dietary laws.

The news that the two were cut down in a hail of gunfire came as a blow to Rabbi David Fuchs, a rabbi responsible for teaching soldiers in the battalion Torah and reinforcing morale. Rabbi Fuchs said that he had seen the two soldiers shortly before the attack and was shocked to hear that Mor-Yosef and Cohen were killed half an hour later.

“They were such sweet boys, always wore smiles on their faces. Their friends loved and admired them; they were friends with everyone. I saw them today, just a half-hour before the attack. They were in the midst of guarding the station as I passed by them in my car on my way to deliver Torah lectures in pillboxes, but I didn’t want to stop to avoid disturbing them," said Rabbi Fuchs.

"To hear that guys like that, boys who were so full of energy, happy, upbeat, have fallen is indescribably painful. I met now with their friends; everyone is in terrible shock. The anguish causes them to focus now even more intensely on their duties. The residents of the settlement where they fell loved them and shared a close relationship with them,” the rabbi added.

Rabbi Tzvi Klebanow, President of the Nahal Haredi Organization, which accompanies Haredi soldiers throughout their army service, added, “We are terribly pained by the tragic news of the death of our precious soldiers, and we express our sincere condolences to the bereaved families and friends. In the upcoming days, we will increase and reinforce our activities with the soldiers in the brigade in order to encourage, strengthen and support them during these difficult hours. We likewise join the nation in collective prayer for the full recovery of our wounded soldier.”

Following the attack, Mor-Yosef was posthumously promoted to Staff Sergeant and Corporal Yosef Cohen was posthumously promoted to Sergeant. Their families have been notified.

Another IDF soldier and 20-year-old Shira Sabag from Beit El were seriously wounded in the attack as well. The wounded soldier underwent a complicated head operation at Hadassah Hospital. Doctors say that his condition continues to be life-threatening.

Shira Sabag, who was seriously wounded, was operated at Shaare Zedek Medical Center and her condition is defined as serious yet stable. Sabag is fully conscious and has already met with her parents.


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