The tragic murder of British MP Sir David Amess was a traumatic shock for the Southend West community where he was a longtime and well liked MP.
In an exclusive interview with Arutz Sheva, Rabbi Geoffrey Hyman, Rabbi of the Southend & Westcliff Hebrew Congregation, recounts the day that the murder took place and his reaction.
Rabbi Hyman, who was close to Amess, explains that his wife informed him Ames had been stabbed at a meeting. He began checking online for news.
“While I’m looking suddenly it comes up he’s dying. We were absolutely shocked," Rabbi Hyman says. "This man was such a marvellous member of parliament. Everyone in the town knew him. He engaged with everyone.”
He adds: “He was an outstanding members of parliament. Really a rarity.”
The MP's murderer was charged with terrorism. He was radicalized. His target was to kill members of parliament.
“It’s all rather bewildering. He spent many hours travelling from London all the way down to here to get an MP," he says.
Rabbi Hyman says that the motive for the terrorist specifically targeting Amess is still not known.
“It’s horrible. His home is not far from us. It’s just so sad because we were all so fond of him. He came to our Hanukkah lighting, which we have at the cliffs overlooking the sea," he says. “He would come to the various occasions in the shul. He would pop in. And he did this everywhere. That’s the incredible thing. He was everywhere. He was a really hard working MP and very well liked, very popular.”
Rabbi Hyman notes that Amess served for about 40 years as an MP, and mentions that unlike some MPs who come from the upper class, Amess came from a rather modest background, and was there to support everyone.
Rabbi Hyman represented the community at the local council meeting on Tuesday night where they had a two-hour memorial service for Amess, with tributes from each councillor.
“He was a champion for the people. He spoke for the people. He served the people," Rabbi Hyman says. “We will certainly miss him.”