Mourner at Fogel family graves
Mourner at Fogel family gravesIsrael news photo: Hezki Ezra

Hundreds of people took part this week in memorial events marking the third anniversary of the vicious murder of five members of the Fogel family of Itamar.

Three years ago, two Palestinian Arab terrorists entered the Fogel family home and murdered parents Ehud (Udi) and Ruth Fogel and three of their six children: 11-year-old Yoav, 4-year-old Elad, and three-month-old Hadas.

Their bodies were discovered by 12-year-old Tamar, the oldest sister, when she returned home from an evening with friends. Two other children, ages 8 and 2, survived because the terrorists did not notice them asleep in another room.

A memorial event was held in the yeshiva in Itamar, where Rabbi Ehud Fogel was a teacher. His parents, Chaim and Tzila Fogel, were present, along with dozens of students.

The yeshiva is building and expanding in memory of the slain.

Ruth Fogel’s father, Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Yishai, spoke at the event. “Since that Sabbath [of the murders] we hold tight to the small light in the darkness,” he said. He noted that the Hebrew word for light, “ohr,” is made up of the Hebrew letters that begin the names Ehud and Ruth.

“We’re holding on to the light… The nation of Israel cries because it does not despair. Those who despair stop crying. But we keep going, and our tears add up and bring the redemption,” he declared.

“Thanks to Udi and Ruti and the children, we feel that the barrier between this world and the next is very thin, now,” he added.

On Sunday, dozens of friends, family members and community leaders visited the Fogels’ graves. No speeches were made.

A central memorial event was held later in the day, in Itamar.

The two terrorists who murdered the Fogels were caught in 2011. They admitted to the attack, and expressed pride in the killings. A poll of Palestinian Arabs conducted shortly after the murders found that one-third shared their sentiment, and supported the massacre.