'A loss for the entire country'

President Rivlin makes condolence call to bereaved family of Elhai Taharlev, the 20-year-old soldier murdered in a terror attack last week.

David Rosenberg ,

Rivlin meeting with Taharlev family
Rivlin meeting with Taharlev family
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

President Reuven Rivlin made a condolence Sunday evening to the family of Sgt. Elhai Taharlev, the 20-year old IDF soldier murdered in a car ramming terror attack outside of Ofra, in Samaria, last Thursday.

Elhai’s family told the president of their son’s pride at being recruited into the Golani Brigade and his plans to train to be an officer. His parents told the President of Elhai’s childhood in the community of Talmon in western Samaria, where they were one of the founding families.

President Rivlin expressed his deep sorrow for their loss and spoke of the price that the Jewish people have paid and continue to pay for their independence in their historic homeland.

“Elhai, in his own special way, in his quiet and calm character, brought so much good to so many, and had such an impact on so many people; in his life, and in his death,” said Elhai’s father, Rabbi Ohad Taharlev. “The fact that the president has come to [console] us reminds us that the loss of Elhai is a loss to the entire country.”

Elhai’s mother, Avital, added, “Elhai was a boy who saw good in others. We said to ourselves that with this darkness, we have also been given the keys to light and compassion. If we can grow this light, we can also keep Elhai’s memory here in this world.”

President Rivlin meets with relatives of murdered soldier (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)