A resident of Bat Ayin, in Gush Etzion, was stabbed to death Sunday evening not far from his home. The victim, Erez Levanon, 42 and father of three, was found late last night on the side of a dirt road just a few hundred meters from his home in the Judean Hills.

Levanon's funeral set out Monday afternoon from Bat Ayin to the regional Gush Etzion cemetery in Kfar Etzion, just a kilometer away.


Erez Levanon, a dedicated Breslover Hassid, murdered while praying

It is assumed, though the police will not say so with absolute certainty, that the murder was perpetrated by Arab terrorists. It appears that Levanon's attackers stabbed him many times, with great brutality.

Eliyahu Mendelovitch, a neighbor of the victim who participated in the search and retrieval of Levanon's body, told Arutz-7 that the murderers most likely waited in ambush for him.  Erez often went to the same spot at the same time each day to pray alone, in the custom of Breslover Hassidim.  Click here to listen to the interview with Eliyahu Mendelovitch.


Rabbi Michi Yosefi, a close friend and neighbor of the late victim, said that Erez was "humble and did not seek attention, yet managed to touch the hearts of thousands of Jews with whom he came in contact during their spiritual searchings in India." 


Erez was also a talented musician, who "did wonders with his music and lyrics.  He put out a disc that is unlike those sold in stores; something very unique."  The Maariv NRG Hebrew website article on the murder includes a link to hear the song "The Heart and the Well," written and composed by the victim.


Erez spent the last seven summers in India - first in Manali and afterwards in Bela -  meeting with young Israelis seeking to "clean their heads."  "What he managed to do there was simply amazing," Yosefi told Radio Kol Chai.  "I always wondered where such a talent came from...  He had a special strength of faith."


Sha'ul Goldstein, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, attacked the government policy of removing checkpoints in Judea and Samaria as "gestures" to Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas.  Goldstein said that the murder should force officials to reevaluate this policy, as the removal of checkpoints is what allowed the killers to arrive in the area and escape quickly afterwards.


Contrary to initial reports, Erez's lifeless body was not found by Arabs, but rather by his neighbors, who began searching for him when he did not arrive at a scheduled appointment.