'We clung to our land - and will continue to do so'

President Reuven Rivlin pays condolence visit to family of murdered terror victim Itamar Ben-Gal. 'I will meet his students to hear of him.'

Hezki Baruch ,

President Rivlin during condolence visit
President Rivlin during condolence visit
Mark Neiman (GPO)

President Reuven Rivlin paid a condolence visit at the home of Rabbi Itamar Yosef Ben-Gal of Har Bracha on Thursday. The President was accompanied by the Chairman of the President’s Residence, Harel Tubi, and Shomron Council head Yossi Dagan.

The President met with Itamar's family - his wife, children, parents and brothers - and heard from them about the tremendous pain they face, Itamar’s great love for his family and his devotion to his students.

"In the mitzvah of comforting mourners, we try to take a little of the pain that has afflicted you and your family," the President told Miriam, Itamar's widow.

Rivlin added, "I came to be with you not only for the commandment to console mourners but also on a personal level of friendship. I read and learned a great deal about his deeds and his work, and I will also receive the students of this wonderful teacher, to sit and talk with them at the President's Residence about the terrible events. The true ability of a teacher is that he is a leader who transfers his abilities to his students, and I know that I will meet him in them. "

"He was a loving husband, a happy father, funny, wild," Miriam related painfully. "He went out early in the morning to Givat Shmuel and returned from his day's work immediately to the children and would not take the bag off his back before he hugged and kissed us."

The President heard from the family about the many visitors who are coming to Har Bracha to comfort and strengthen the family, and about their hope that settlement will be strengthened after the terrible murder. "We returned to our land, we clung to our land and we will continue to do so," Rivlin responded.

Before leaving the house, the president met with family of Rabbi Raziel Shevach who came to console the Ben-Gal family. He warmly embraced them and prayed that he would meet them again on happy occasions.