‘We’ll collect ourselves and start again’
“I don’t want to talk about the horrors, the videos, and heartbreaking photographs,” said Adi Cohen Hazanov, deputy ambassador of Israel to South Africa, who was speaking at the special prayer service for Israel in Pretoria.
“I want to say that coming here tonight, the religious and less religious, we all have Israel in our hearts. I feel as if I’m at synagogue in Israel,” she said on behalf of the embassy to the large crowd of Pretoria Jews who came to support Israel.
“While I’m not frum, sadly we all know the kaddish prayer. We have all witnessed death, and we’ll collect ourselves, rise up, and start again. No matter how hard it is, we’ll still be here tomorrow,” she said.
An emotional Rabbi Gidon Fox said he had earlier spoken to Ya’akov Finkelstein, a former deputy Israeli ambassador to South Africa. Finkelstein had just returned from the funeral of Nathaniel Young, a chayal boded (lone soldier) from the United Kingdom. He was standing next to a man who looked uncomfortable and out of place. He asked the man what his connection was to the young soldier, and his reply was, “My son’s funeral is next.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the Pretoria Shul.
After the prayer service, there was a sense of unity among the crowd when tehillim were recited.
On Tuesday morning, a special prayer service was held at Jaffa retirement home in Pretoria to enable all the residents to participate.