By Emily K. Alhadeff, Associate Editor, The Jewish Sound
On Thursday night, July 3, a community-wide memorial service was held at Minyan Ohr Chadash for Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach, the three Israeli teens found dead 18 days after allegedly being abducted by two Palestinian men.
After the news broke, Minyan Ohr Chadash, Sephardic Bikur Holim, Ezra Bessaroth, Seattle Hebrew Academy, and Northwest Yeshiva High School organized a memorial, with prayers led by Rabbi Ben Hassan of SBH, Rabbi Ron Ami Meyers of EB, Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle CEO Keith Dvorchik, and SBH board president Simon Amiel. Recent SHA grad Tamar Jacobson read a poem, and the evening concluded with songs.
“All of their dreams,” said Rabbi Moshe Kletenik, director of the Va’ad HaRabanim of Greater Seattle, in a speech, “what they could have contributed to our people and to the world, are brutally crushed.”
Our mandate, he said, is to keep their voices, which united Jews across the world, as a reminder to attempt to love every Jew.
Here are some responses by community members. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
“I’m at a loss, really…. Personally, when it happened I was looking for a way to respond.”
“All I can do is go and be with people in the community. What else can we do?
There’s nothing else we can do but get together and pray.”
— David Behar, Ezra Bessaroth
“It’s wonderful to see the community getting together, but it’s unfortunate under these circumstances. Rabbi Kletenik spoke well: ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation — peace and unity.’”
— Joyce Bloch Phillips, Ohr Chadash
“This is a reminder to the world that the Jewish community has a commitment to itself. That reminder is very important.”
— Manuel Zimberoff, NYHS student
“It really is hard to put it into words. We’ve got a 16-year-old son, so it hits pretty close to home. The pain the parents are going through is difficult to comprehend.”
— Harvey Greisman, Congregation Shevet Achim