Father And Son Murdered By Muslim Terrorists In Israel Were On Their Way To Pre Wedding Celebration
November 14, 2015
'Instead of a wedding we're burying a father and son'
Rabbi Ya'akov Litman and his son Netanel, who were murdered in a terror attack near Hevron on Friday, were buried Saturday night in Jerusalem's Har Hamenuchot cemetery, amid scenes of heartbreaking grief.
Rabbi Litman's daughter, who was supposed to be married this week, could be heard weeping loudly above the crowd of mourners who came to pay their respects. Family members had to physically support her.
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral, including President Reuven Rivlin, Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau, Jerusalem's Sephardic and Ashkenazic Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Aryeh Stern, Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, and many other prominent rabbinic and public figures.
Eulogizers noted how beloved Rabbi Litman was to his students, including those he taught at the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva High School. "The Yeshiva has endured another blow of terror. This blow is hard on us," Rabbi Eitan Eizman said at the funeral, referring to the massacre of eight students studying in the yeshiva library by a Palestinian terrorist in 2008.
President Rivlin expressed the sense of grief shared by those present.
"We stand here and it is difficult to contain... and difficult to accept how in one moment a family celebration can turn into such a great tragedy," he said, noting the family were on their way to a pre-marriage celebration (Shabbat Chatan) for their daughter's fiance.
Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau echoed that sentiment.
"A wedding has turned to grief and sorrow. We stand here before all the world and say to you: You are trying to attack, to shoot and kill, but this will not help you.... There will be more Yaakovs and Netanels.
"How painful... in place of a wedding there is a funeral of a father and son! Where is the mercy on the bride?"
Rabbi Dov Lior, former Chief Rabbi of Hevron-Kiryat Arba and Rabbi Ya'akov's rabbi and mentor, described the deaths as "a tragedy that has harmed all of Israel," and blamed the government for not enacting tougher steps to end terrorism.
"Why did this terrible tragedy happen...? Because of the lenient policy against murderers and those who send them... There is no appropriate punishment. They allow murderers to walk freely throughout our land.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Two killed in shooting attack near Hevron Man in his 40s, 18-year-old youth murdered, third victim moderately wounded; Arab terrorists shot at cars near Otniel, in Hevron Hills.
Two Israelis have been killed after Arab terrorists opened fire on their vehicle near the Jewish town of Otniel in Judea's Hevron Hills region.
Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics have identified the victims as a 40-year-old man and an 18-year-old youth.
A 16-year-old boy was moderately wounded. He was treated by emergency services at the scene before being transferred to a nearby hospital.
According to an initial investigation, the Arab terrorists overtook an Israeli family traveling in their car and raked it with bullets. When the car ground to a halt the terrorists continued firing at it, before driving off.
Four children who were traveling in the car were treated for shock at the scene, and evacuated to Soroka hospital in Be'er Sheva.
IDF soldiers are currently sweeping the area in an attempt to intercept the terrorists.
A senior MDA medic described the tragic scene.
"When we arrived at the scene we saw seven people outside the car; two of them - a man around 40 years old and a young man aged 18 lying unresponsive (on the ground) with gunshot wounds to their upper bodies. They had no signs of life and we declared their death at the scene.
"We also provided first aid treatment and evacuated to hospital a 16-year-old boy, with gunshot wounds to his limbs, and four trauma victims."
Click on link for video:
Terror suspect arrested amid massive manhunt following deadly attack Friday near Otniel. Ari Soffer
It has been cleared for publication that a joint security operation between the Shin Bet security forces and IDF Duvdevan counter-terrorism forces succeeded in capturing one of the terrorists behind in the murder of Rabbi Ya'akov Litman and his son Netanel on Friday.
Security forces also seized what they believe to be the murder weapon, as well as the vehicle that was used in the shooting attack close to the town of Otniel.
Under interrogation the terrorist implicated himself in the attack. The remaining details of the case are still the subject of a gagging order.
Last night, father and son were buried amid scenes of immense grief at Jerusalem's Har Hamenuchot cemetery.
Some details are already known about the attack, including how the terrorists - who first raked the family car with gunfire as they overtook it - then attempted to "confirm" their kill by firing repeatedly at the car after it ground to a halt.
18-year-old Netanel managed to alert emergency services to the attack before being fatally wounded, while his 16-year-old brother, who was shot in the leg, also called emergency services and even directed them to the scene.
This morning, it was further revealed that one of the terrorists actually opened the back passenger door of the car after peppering it with bullets, and came face-to-face with the family's 12-year-old daughter Moriah, who shouted "No!"
The terrorist did not open fire, and security forces are investigating if this was the result of his weapon jamming.
Moriah's cousin, Rabbi Mordechai Antebi, recounted her terrifying ordeal to Reshet Bet radio. He added that Moriah immediately recognized the terrorist's picture when she was shown a lineup of five suspects by Shin Bet security personnel.
Terror orphan Sarah announces huge wedding
Sarah-Tehiya Litman, who lost her father and brother Friday, invites all of Israel to her wedding.
Sarah-Tehiya Litman, 21, whose father and brother were murdered by terrorists on Friday, and who was supposed to get married to Ariel Bigel on Tuesday, has announced that the wedding will only be postponed by nine days – and that the entire nation of Israel is invited. The wedding will be held at Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem.
The invitation-announcement is preceded by the phrase – "Do not rejoice over me, my enemy, for I have fallen but I have gotten up" (Michah 7:8).
"This evening, instead of wearing the bridal dress, I will sit on the floor with a torn shirt," Sarah told the newspaper Yediot Aharonot Tuesday. "But very soon, we will marry in a large and happy wedding. We will go on and be happy as Father and Netanel always were. We will not be crushed."
"This will be the million-person wedding," the couple said. "Multitudes will come to make us happy."
Her groom-to-be Ariel, said Sarah, has become a father for her orphaned siblings before he became a husband. "Now he will fill the space left by my father and brother. My angel in white has a difficult mission."
Ariel said that the couple's bond is being tested but has only grown stronger as a result of the loss. "When I see Sarah-Tehiya's mother, how hard it is for her without her husband, I understand what it means to be a husband and how much support people get from their partners."
The family was headed out from home in Kiryat Arba to Meitar, where their in-laws-to-be live, to hold the Shabbat Hatan – the Sabbath celebration for the groom before a wedding – on Friday. On the way, an Arab terrorist waylaid the car which was being driven by Sarah-Tehiya's brother Netanel Litman, killing him and his father, Rabbi Yaakov Litman, and wounding his brother Dvir.