Moshe Shevach, father of terror victim Rabbi Raziel Shevach
Moshe Shevach, father of terror victim Rabbi Raziel ShevachYoni Kempinski

Moshe Shevach, the father of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, who was murdered in a terrorist shooting attack near Havat Gilad in Samaria last week, spoke to Arutz Sheva about his son and the days following his murder.

Shevach said that there was no exaggeration in the praise for his son. "All the stories are true. [Raziel] was a person who knew how to apply in his life the rare combination of Torah, kindness, love of people and love of the Land of Israel...I don't say this for its own sake, but so that [these lessons] can be incorporated into people's lives."

"When people come here and talk, they talk about these things. Everyone mentions exactly the same thing - the melancholy smile that seems so haredi, and yet when he smiles it is as if he is welcoming everyone into his heart and his soul," Rabbi Shevach's father added.

What was your initial response to your son's family's decision to come live in Havat Gilad?

"In truth, at first we did not know how they were going to do this, especially in Havat Gilad. We told them 'ok' because we didn't know what Havat Gilad was," explained Shevach. "The first time we came to see them was when he invited us to see the house. We got to the street, and then his mother says 'where are we? Let's go back home. We started to argue in the car, and she said that she did not want to come in at all. In the end I managed to convince her to come in [and see our son's house]."

"The place had no lighting. We had to wash our hands from dishes as if we were in the stone age. It was hard for us to accept this, but in the end, not only did we accept it, but all his brothers are living in settlements. We have no regrets about that.

Shevach spoke of the message he wishes to convey to the ministers and decision-makers who come to comfort the family during and after the mourning period [shiva]. "The message from the family is very important and clear: We have no interest in talking about the terrorist or about giving orders to the army and what they should have done to prevent it. We rely on the security forces and we rely on the government to know what to do. That's its job.

"We are not asking for revenge. We are asking for rebirth. And the rebirth we are asking for is to give life to this place," said Shevach. "As Rabbi Raziel lived, so too should this place live. There is no problem with the lands here, as most of it is privately owned and purchased by Moshe Zar. In the Bedouin communities, there is electricity and water, even if the community is not recognized. The minimum is electricity and water, and only now is the prime minister - and we thank him for this - giving an order along with the defense minister, to examine the status of the settlement. We would be happy if this were not merely a declaration but was translated into action."

He explained that during the week of the mourning period [shiva], when the flow of visitors is constant, there is no time for the family to digest the extent of the tragedy which has befallen them. "We are wrapped in the shiva. It is clear to us that the seven days of mourning [shiva] are not exactly an example of coping, because we are wrapped in love from all the people of Israel. It is abundantly clear to us that when the seven days of mourning are over, we will have to deal with the bereavement and the gap created by the loss of our son."

Shevach ended with words of praise for his daughter-in-law, Yael Shevach, who must now raise her six children alone. She stood behind him and let him do the ability to do all these things. It is not easy for a person to be absent from home when he has six young children at home. Sometimes when he studied for exams and was absent for two weeks from home and did not return until he finished the test it was not easy. There is no doubt that Yael has great merits. It will be difficult for her, but I believe that with her strength and our assistance, as well as that of the entire Jewish people, she will overcome this. It is difficult, but she will overcome it with her head held high."