Rabbi Eitan Eizman
Rabbi Eitan EizmanShlomi Shilmoni

Rabbi Eitan Eizman, a family friend of Rabi Eitam and Naama Henkin who were murdered by Arab terrorists on Thursday night, and retired founding head of the Tzviya network of Religious Zionist educational institutions, told Arutz Sheva about the young couple that leaves behind four young orphans.

"Eitam and Naama died as holy people, but they also lived their lives in holiness. Not only in their deaths were they holy, but rather they were holy their entire lives," he emphasized.

"Eitam grew up in (Jerusalem's) Kiryat Moshe, he was talented, righteous, humble. He was currently in the middle of exams to become a municipal rabbi, and amid his study for the exams he also wrote books, some on halakhic (Jewish legal) issues, some on other issues."

"This very difficult and complicated reality is now before us," said Rabbi Eizman. Turning his attention the funeral on Friday morning, he said it "will be a family funeral, apparently private but the president has already announced he will come and also the defense minister will apparently arrive."

"The pain is a great and awful pain, how the family is bereaved of both heads of the family, leaving orphans who will grow up - all over their desire to live in the land of Israel."

When asked how it is possible to continue rejoicing in the Sukkot holiday after the murder, Rabbi Eizman said, "it's very difficult, one of the most difficult things, that halakha requires us to continue as normal and to start the shiva (seven-day period of intense mourning - ed.) only after Simchat Torah."

"But there's no doubt that holy people like these leave upon us (the obligation) to keep great strength."

"Those who see the wonderful parents Rabbi Yehuda Hertzl and rabbanit Chana in their courage and pain know that the main and greatest message is to continue the momentum of the settling of the land of Israel, to continue the momentum of life in the land of Israel, and G-d willing, also to overcome this awful pain."

Turning his attention to the attack itself, he noted that it occurred during a large Simchat Beit Hashoeva celebration for Sukkot at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem's Kiryat Moshe.

"When I left there (the celebration - ed.) I received a message about the attack with the names of the holy ones who were murdered, and immediately I took my wife and we went to the home of Rabbi Henkin to be with them, to help them organize, and to witness their great pain and incredible strength."

Regarding the needed response, he said, "the leadership must be assertive and speak clearly, and there's no doubt that the settlers rightly demand greater decisiveness, more order, and for people to feel that someone in the country is controlling what is happening here."

The interview, in Hebrew, can be seen below.

הרב אייזמן