In death, 3 Israeli boys unify Jews worldwide

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This time last year, world Jewry was anxiously waiting to learn of the fate of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Sher and Naftali Frenkel, three teenage yeshiva bochrim who were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists near Gush Etzion on June 3. Tragically, it transpired that the boys were already dead, murdered that same day by their abductors.
by DAVID SAKS | Jun 10, 2015

Last week Wednesday evening, thousands gathered in Johannesburg and Durban to commemorate the first anniversary of the deaths of the three boys. The gatherings, held between mincha and maariv in the Glenhazel Shul and Umhlanga Jewish Day School respectively, were among special “Unity Day” events held in 19 countries and over 30 cities worldwide.

The Johannesburg event was co-ordinated by Yeshiva College, with participants including the SA Zionist Federation and the King David, Hirsch Lyons, Yeshiva Maharsha, Shaarei Torah and Torah Academy schools.

Among the speakers were Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, Rabbi Avraham Tanzer, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva College, SAZF Chairman Ben Swartz and Yeshiva College director, Rabbi Leron Bernstein.

A DVD presentation featured comments by a range of Jewish day school learners, all of whom stressed how the tragedy had served to bring the Jewish people together and the importance of maintaining that unity.

Rabbi Goldstein said that the Jewish reaction to the murders should be to implement the core Torah values of kindness, respect and charity in their daily behaviour. The Torah was replete with real and tangible directives regarding the lengths one had to go to avoid causing emotional pain to others.

The abduction and murder of the three boys had created an unforgettable spirit of unity among the Jewish people, and in their merit, Jews everywhere should build on this through showing increased love, respect, concern for and sensitivity towards each other.  

Swartz commented that what made the incident so devastating was that in life, Eyal, Gilad and Naftali had represented “everything we stand for and everything we want to be”, while those who abducted and murdered them epitomised those wishing to destroy the Jewish people in their homeland.

It was nevertheless the very spirit of Jewish fellow feeling and mutual concern that ensured and would continue to ensure the survival of the Jewish nation.

* As an expression of unity, the community was invited to make a donation to Hatzolah, which was an organisation that served the entire community in its efforts to save Jewish lives. Banking details: Hatzolah Medical Rescue, Standard Bank (Norwood branch), accountant number 001815024 – Ref. #UNITYDAY.

 

 

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