'Bravery and Heroism Which Saved Jewish Lives'

Hareidi MK Meir Porush visits family of Druze police officer Zidan Seif, who gave his life defending Har Nof syangogue.

Haim Lev and Ari Soffer ,

MK Meir Porush with Druze dignitaries at the Seif's home
MK Meir Porush with Druze dignitaries at the Seif's home
Office of MK Meir Porush

The outpouring of sympathy and support for the family of Druze police officer Zidan Seif, who was killed as he rushed to defend a synagogue from Palestinian terrorists, continued Sunday with a condolence call from hareidi MK Meir Porush (UTJ).

Seif was among five people murdered in last Tuesday's horrific attack at the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood. 

Porush was joined at the Seifs' family home in the town of Yanuh-Jat by the head of the regional council, Brig-Gen. (res.) Ma'ada Hasbani, and other prominent Druze officials.

Family members told Porush about Zidan's generous character and courage. They noted that, as a traffic control inspector, he did not in fact need to be among the first-responders at the scene, but heroically chose to engage the terrorists nevertheless in a desperate bid to end the massacre. Zidan was shot in the head during the ensuing gunbattle and later died of his injuries.

Relatives said his self-sacrifice reflected the values he has been taught at home, and that the fact that he had been killed while saving lives was helping them come to terms with their tragic loss. They appealed to Porush to help keep their son's memory alive.

"The symbolism of this event, where within a synagogue where lowlife terrorists were murdering in cold blood, a Druze police officer, who didn't even have to be there at all... risked his life in order to save innocent lives, testifies to the covenant of brotherhood and not just of blood" between the Druze and Jewish peoples, Hasbani declared.

Porush offered words of consolation to grieving family members, and drew a parallel between Zidan's actions and the story of Moshe (Moses), the greatest of all Jewish prophets and son-in-law of Yitro (Jethro), the Midianite priest who the Druze revere as their own primary prophet.

Porush noted how according to Jewish tradition Moshe in fact had nine different names, but the Torah only refers to him as "Moshe" specifically because it commemorates the self-sacrifice of Batya, the daughter of Pharaoh who saved the prophet as an infant at the height of a genocidal decree by her father to kill all baby Jewish boys, despite the risks.

"The State of Israel has been through a lot, there have been many terror attacks - but an attack like this we have not seen for a long time," Porush added, noting the particularly brutal nature of the attack at a house of worship. The terrorists hacked off limbs and inflicted horrific injuries on their victims using meat cleavers and a pistol before finally being shot dead by police.

"When worshipers were helpless, praying and not knowing how to save themselves, Zidan came and performed an act of heroism. He performed a brave act and paid with his life. That is a covenant of brotherhood.

"This sacrifice in order to save others, to help others, this is something that will never be forgotten, just like with Moshe our Teacher," Porush continued, vowing to help maintain their son's memory.

Porush's visit is just the latest in a show of solidarity by Israeli Jews and the hareidi community in particular. The attack in which Seif was killed took place in the Har Nof neighborhood, which is predominantly hareidi, and his funeral saw many local hareidim chartered buses from Jerusalem to attend in a mark of respect.

MK Menachem Mozes, who heads Porush's UTJ party, also visited the Seif family last week, where he expressed similar sentiments.

"Zidan sacrificed his life. He saved in his heroism and in his death the lives of many others," Mozes said, explaining that Seif's death was that of a person killed whilst "performing a Mitzvah (command of God)."

Following the meeting, Seif's family relayed their intention to visit the families of the other four victims of the attack in Har Nof.

Rabbis Moshe Twersky, Kalman Levine; Aryeh Kupinsky, and Avraham Shmuel Goldberg were all murdered as they prayed. Their families will be observing the seven-day shiva mourning period until Tuesday this week.