Sivan Rahav-Meir
Sivan Rahav-Meir Eyal ben Ayish

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin (inthelandoftheJews.blogspot.com)

Many eulogies have been written and heard regarding the five precious souls murdered in Bnei Brak. Here is a slightly different eulogy, a letter from an third grader in the Or David school, written to the family of his teacher, Rabbi Avishai Yechezkel:

“To the family of Rabbi Avishai,

"Shalom. I wanted to tell you that Rabbi Avishai Yechezkel was a very good rabbi who always played with us, taught us well, and was like a real father to us. He would even hold lotteries and throw parties for us with rolls and sausages.

“He never missed a chance to teach us something. He would always teach us and spoil us, and I hope we will have another rabbi like Rabbi Avishai. He wanted to teach us the Pesach Haggadah, he wanted us to learn more psalms with him. He would learn with us and make us a Shabbat cake, bring candy, snacks, and always recite psalms with us and would not let a second go by without Torah in it. He would teach and we would learn all the time.

"Now my heart doesn’t feel well. It is very difficult for me, but at least his stories will stay with us, and also the lessons he taught us as he wrote them down in his beautiful handwriting. And my heart doesn’t feel well but I am sure he is now in the best place, the closest to HaShem and close to the tzadikim.

"And I want to make him happy in Heaven by doing what he always told us to do: 'Be careful about the honor of your friend.'

1. Study well.

2. Be nice to your friends.

3. Happily help your friends.

4. Speak with clean language.

"You were privileged to have a father like this."

*****************************************************

Grandma's tears

Eliran Ohayon wrote the following words after the terrorist attack in Beersheba, but they are just as pertinent now following the terrorist attack in Hadera, Bnei Brak and Gush Etzion:

"I once took part in a discussion where each participant was asked to share an especially powerful childhood memory. I closed my eyes and it immediately came to me: the beginning of the 2000's, when buses were being blown up every day and, in response, grandma's emotional outpouring became a regular ritual - she would sit opposite the television screen and weep.

"As a child, it was difficult for me to understand her tears since what was there, after all, between her and them? It took me time to understand that, as far as she was concerned, they were family. Her endless prayers for the entire nation of Israel while her hand rested on the mezuzah gave away the true depth of her feelings. And it was she who brought me to understand that I am part of a large extended family indeed.

"Today my grandmother is not in the best of health and she speaks with difficulty. Yet when I told her about the terrorist attack in Beersheba, she shed a tear. She understood, but not completely, and so I took her tear with me to the cemetery for the funeral of the murdered men and women.

"The Chief Rabbi of Beersheba stood up to eulogize them, and shouted words from last week's Torah portion: 'And let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the Lord hath wrought.' From that moment on, a woman standing next to me did not stop crying. I did not know her personally but the deceased certainly did not know her personally either. And although I did not know her, I recognized the weeping - it was the weeping of my grandmother. The tears of am Yisrael, the entire nation of Israel."