'I Hope We Wake Up From This Bitter Dream'

Jerusalem residents remember the Sassoon family children, tragically killed in a house fire in Brooklyn over Shabbat.

Cynthia Blank ,

Sassoon Family Home
Sassoon Family Home

Jerusalem residents who knew the seven children tragically killed in a fire over Shabbat had difficulty processing the painful news. 

The Sassoon family lived in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood, before relocating to New York City. A deadly fire, caused by a malfunctioning hot plate, struck the family's home in Brooklyn on Friday night. 

Seven children burned to death in their beds: Elian (16), David (12), Rivka (11), Yehoshua (10), Moshe (8), Sara (6), and Yaakov (5). 

A prayer rally was held Saturday night in the Atzeret neighborhood for the welfare of the mother (45) and one daughter (14). Both managed to survive by jumping out of windows and are being treated in area hospitals in critical condition.

The father of the family was not at home at the time of the incident. 

"I've known them for 18 years," Alon Deri, a friend of the father, told Walla! News. "This is a good family, warm and loving. The kids were so cute," he said sadly. 

According to Deri, the Sassoon family had lived in Israel for a long time and only recently moved to New York. 

"They planed to return to live in Israel," Deri noted. "You can't explain it, it's unbelievable. I hope we wake up from this bitter dream. It's like the story of Hannah who dedicated her seven sons." 

"We do not know how it is possible to carry on after something likes this. Let's hope that God will give us strength."