The bad news keeps on coming and I am simply not in the mood for a Good News Friday post. This morning another soldier was very seriously injured in Bet El, not far from the sites of the previous two terror attacks, as a terrorist infiltrated his guard post, stabbed him and smashed his head with a rock.
A Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli soldier and bashed his head with a rock, seriously injuring him, at a military post outside the Beit El settlement in the central
West BankBinyamin region on Friday, the army said.
The assailant then fled the scene, prompting a manhunt.
The Israel Defense Forces said a fight broke out between the two after the Palestinian attacker broke into the military position near Beit El, outside Ramallah, where Israeli forces have been searching for the terrorist who committed a shooting attack on Thursday, killing two soldiers and seriously injuring a third serviceman and a civilian woman.
Meanwhile thousands attended the funerals of the two soldiers who were killed at Givat Assaf:
The two Israeli soldiers killed in Thursday’s terror shooting in the central West Bank were buried on Friday, solemnly and fondly remembered by their families, friends and commanders.
Sgt. Yosef Cohen and Staff Sgt. Yovel Mor Yosef were members of the Kfir Brigade’s Netzah Yehuda infantry battalion, a unit for ultra-Orthodox soldiers.
Mor Yosef and Cohen were posthumously promoted from the ranks of sergeant and corporal respectively after a Palestinian shot them dead in the attack outside the Givat Assaf outpost. A third soldier was critically injured in the shooting, and civilian woman was seriously wounded although her condition was improving Friday.
“Yosef, sweet child, righteous child, I never believed we would come to this moment,” Cohen’s stepfather, Rabbi Eliyahu Merav, said in his tearful eulogy. “For years I raised you, you great, holy, pure child… full of love, giving and soul.”
Cohen’s father, Eitan, had died when he was young, and his mother — who like other women didn’t speak at the funeral in accordance with ultra-Orthodox custom — married Merav.
“Dear Eitan, are you happy with your dear child, now? Are you dancing with him up there?” Merav addressed Cohen’s late father.
Mor Yosef’s funeral was held at the military cemetery in his home town of Ashkelon in the south.
Some 2,000 people came to pay their respects to the 20-year-old, who was supposed to return home Thursday morning but volunteered to remain with his unit to give other soldiers time off.
The commander of the Kfir Brigade, Col. Zion Ratzon, said he had learned of Mor Yosef’s love of basketball from his friends and commanders. “As a teenager you were a basketball player, you gave up that dream to have a meaningful service as a combat fighter in the Israel Defense Forces,” he said.
“Your friends told me about a special person, who viewed helping the other as a top priority,” Ratzon added. “You were a modest and quiet person, with a good heart. Loved by all your friends. Your premature departure has left a huge gap in our hearts, a gap that we can never mend.”
“Yovel, our dear soldier, you fell in the defense of our country, our families, your friends,” said Mor Yosef’s cousin, Uri Slav. “Your extensive knowledge of Torah and musical tunes always surprised me.
“I will miss the conversations with you, the laughs, the talks about NBA,” he added. “You were the pillar of the family with your great help in the family. In family events, I saw all the kids looking at you with adoration, including my daughter. You were always with a big smile. You will be forever missed by all of us. Rest in peace, I love you.”
What a heart-wrenching loss for the families and friends. May their memories be for a blessing.
Let us also not forget the wounded. Via the Muqata Facebook page, here are the names of the injured Israelis who need our prayers for a complete recovery:
Netanel Ilan ben Shayna Tzippora
Shira bat Michal
(Both seriously wounded in Dec 13. drive-by shooting attack near Givat Assaf)
Shira Yael bat Liora Sara
Amichai Yishai ben Talila
(Young couple shot outside of Ofra)
May they all have a refuah shlema — a full and speedy recovery among all the sick and wounded of Israel.
Sivan Rahav Meir published a beautiful bittersweet post when baby Amiad Yisrael Hy’d passed away:
Breaking New Records
Each time, our enemies break a new record of cruelty. Unfortunately, many young babies were buried here, and also many families who were murdered together, but the youngest terror victim in our struggle was buried tonight – a fetus who was in his mother’s womb for seven months.
Every time we break a new record of solidarity. Millions around Israel and the globe followed the news of Shirah and Amichai Ish-Ran, who were expecting their first child. Many people watched their wedding video and were moved as if they were among the wedding guests. Two days ago, on line at a store, I heard a boy asking his mother: “How is the baby doing?”, and it was clear what baby he was referring to. I went on the Tehillim Yahad (“Psalms together”) website. Almost 60,000 (!) Psalms were read there since the terror attack by 20,000 (!) different people. And this is only one such site. Most Psalms were said quietly, without clicking the button at the end (that is, many Psalms were read without being recorded as “read” and without being included in these statistics). And some of the Psalms, as someone told me this week, were said “even without me knowing what it is, even without me feeling any connection to the Psalms, but I heard that this is what the family was asking, so I did it.” The baby’s grandfather, Chaim Silverstein, said at the funeral, on Mt. of Olives, last night: “Our grandchild, may HaShem avenge his blood, did a lot even before he was born. In four days, he united the People of Israel.”
A society is evaluated by its heroes. We face a society in which a man who shoots a pregnant woman, wounds her and kills her fetus, is its hero. If he hadn’t been killed last night, he would have been warmly received by his people with cries of joy and candy throwing, and now he will be made into a Shahid (Muslim martyr).
And opposite that, there is a society whose heroes this week are a young, courageous couple, and it embraces them with love and care and prays that they will manage to get stronger and see only good from now on
Although these words were written out of tragedy, they give us hope and something stronger than us to cling to – the knowledge that we are the Eternal People and that Hashem is our G-d and our strength.
But how can I not bring you a small piece of proper good news on a Friday. Via Hadassah, here is a fantastic Facebook post about a very unusual engagement party that took place this week in Ofra, where the first terror attack took place. First the Hebrew version:
הינה עם ישראל שוב מתגלה ביופיו!
צבי ועטרה ילדינו היקרים – ביום חמישי ה’ בטבת היו אמורים להתארס בקדומים.
צבי קצין בנצח יהודה משרת בגזרת עפרה.
השבוע התחיל עם הפיגוע בצומת עפרה.
הכוננות תוגברה, צבי עבר ימים עמוסים בפעילות אינטנסיבית וללא שינה.
כל הימים האלה לא ידענו מתי בדיוק יצא לאירוסין.
ואז היום שוב פעם פיגוע בצומת בגבעת אסף.
חיילים מהגדוד נהרגו, הגזרה מתחממת והפעילות המבצעית בשיאה.
עכשיו השאלה היא האם צבי יוכל לצאת בכלל לאירוסין.
בשלוש בצהריים צבי מודיע לעטרה ולהורים שאין לו אישור לצאת לאירוסין.
התקשרנו לאורחים והודענו על דחיית האירוסין.
…ואז עלתה הברקה לקרוב משפחה.
בואו נעשה את האירוסין בעפרה.
אולי צבי יוכל לצאת לחצי שעה לפחות.
הוא יצר קשר עם הרכזת קהילה ותוך דקות נרתמה קבוצת אנשים מדהימים מתושבי עפרה לטובת הענין.
המועדון הרב תכליתי בעפרה נפתח בפנינו בחינם, צוות נחשון של בני עקיבא ועוד בחורות מהסניף הגיעו והרימו לנו את האירוע!!!
ארגנו שולחנות וכיסאות, ערכו מפות וכלים, עזרו בסידור והגשת האוכל, בפינוי ובניקוי האולם לאחר סיום האירוע.
וגם צלם הגיע….
ב”ה הבן שלנו שוחרר לחצי שעה שהתארכה לכדי שעה וחצי והצליח להיות איתנו כל הערב.
השמחה ורוממות הנפש היו בשמים.
המדהים הוא שאנשי עפרה הודו לנו שאנחנו מאפשרים להם להתעסק בשמחות בימים הקשים האלה.
אתם מבינים??? לא נתפס!
אדיר ומרגש עד דמעות להבין את גודל הנתינה של עם ישראל!
משפחת כהן -קדומים
משפחת שור – אחיה
And here is my translation:
And the people of Israel are again revealed in its beauty!
Zvi and Atara Our dear children – on Thursday, 5th of Tevet, they were supposed to get engaged in Kedumim.
Zvi is an officer in the Netzach Yehuda brigade and serves in the Ofra area.This week began with the attack at the Ofra junction. Guard duty was reinforced, Zvi underwent intensive days and without sleep.
All through these days we did not know exactly when he he would get out for his engagement. And then again , a terrorist attack at the Givat Assaf Junction. Soldiers from the battalion were killed, the sector is heating up and operational activity is at its peak.
Now the question is whether Tzvi will be able to get to his engagement at all. At 3 PM Tzvi informs Atara and the parents that he does not have permission to leave for their engagement. We called the guests and announced the postponement of the engagement….
And then a relative had a brilliant idea. Let’s do the engagement in Ofra. Perhaps Zvi could leave for at least half an hour. He contacted the community coordinator and within minutes a group of amazing people from Ofra took upon themselves to help in the event. The multi-purpose clubhouse in Ofra opened for us free of charge, the Nahshon team of Bnei Akiva and other girls from the branch came and set up the event !!!
They organized tables and chairs, laid tablecloths and dishes, helped arrange and serve food, clearing and cleaning the hall after the end of the event.
And a photographer arrived ….
Thank G-d, our son was released for half an hour, which lasted about an hour and a half and managed to be with us all evening. The joy and spiritual elation reached the heavens.
The amazing thing is that the people of Ofra thanked us for allowing them to get busy with celebrations in these difficult times. You understand ??? It’s incredible!
It is amazing and moves us to tears as we understand the greatness of the giving spirit of the people of Israel!
Family Cohen – Kedumim
Family Shor – Achia
What a beautiful story! Kol hakavod to the people of Ofra who put on an engagement party at a moment’s notice for people they don’t know, and whilst they themselves were in mourning. Heartiest mazal tov to Zvi and Atara and their families! May they merit to build an everlasting house in Israel – שיזכו לבנות בית נאמן בישראל.
May the coming week, even with its sad fast day of 10th Tevet, be a week of joy and peace.
Wishing us all a quiet, safe and peaceful Shabbat. Shabbat Shalom to you all.