'He blessed - then was murdered'

Parents dedicate hitchhiking stop to memory of murdered son.

Benny Toker,

Eliyahu Asheri
Eliyahu Asheri
Flash 90

The Asheri family recently dedicated a new rest stop at Tapuah Junction in Samaria in honor of their son, Eliyahu, 10 years after he was abducted and murdered by Arab terrorists.

Eliyahu, who was 18 years old, was kidnapped while waiting for a ride in the French Hill neighborhood of northern Jerusalem. Shortly thereafter he was murdered, and his body dumped in the Palestinian Authority city of Ramallah. His remains were found after three days of searches by the IDF.

Eliyahu’s parents, Yitro and Miriam Asheri, spoke with Arutz Sheva about their son, revealing what investigators learned about his final moments.

“He was in his senior year at the ‘Elisha’ pre-army academy, and he took his Torah learning very seriously. Eliyahu prayed from the heart. They told us that he would become so deeply immersed in prayer that nothing would bother him.”

Eliyahu’s mother recalled the details of her son’s final moments as described by interrogators of the murderers.

“After the shiva [week of mourning], the Shin Bet [security agency] told us that during the interrogation of the terrorists the main kidnapper said that he had asked Eliyahu if he had a final wish, and Eliyahu asked for a cup of water, then blessed “Shehakol” [the traditional blessing before eating or drinking].”

“Those were his last words, and the terrorists said he blessed with great fervor. There was here a total acceptance of God’s will.”

In the ten years since her son’s death, Miriam says Eliyahu’s absence has cast a pall over the growing family’s joys.

“It’s been difficult years of growth; the children got married and grandchildren were born, but he [Eliyahu] was always missing. The last picture of him is here everywhere. It’s a picture from the Elisha academy, with Eliyahu sitting with the chair backwards, laughing hard with a big smile; that fills us with joy despite the great loss.”

Miriam explained the family’s decision to dedicate the new hitchhiking spot.

“Our son was kidnapped while hitchhiking, and we wanted to do make something useful, a friendly hitchhiking post in Tapuah junction, that will be nice to sit in and wait for a ride.”

Yitro insisted hitchhiking is no more dangerous than any other activity.

“Today there is danger everywhere, including for a person waiting for the bus at a regular bus stop. And anyway you can’t limit young people to rides they find inside of towns or the limited public transportation [we have].”

Photographs by Eli Bart