Jerusalem blast victim's schoolmate was killed in Mount Meron disaster

Aryeh Shchupak, killed in twin blasts in Jerusalem, studied with Elazar Yitzahk Koltai - who was killed in the 2021 stampede and whose funeral he attended

Haim Goldich|
The horrific twin blasts in Jerusalem on Wednesday tool the life of 16-year-old Aryeh Shchupak, along with dozens of other who were wounded. Tragically, it has emerged Shchupak's schoolmate who studied in the same yeshiva died a year earlier in a stampede at the Lag BaOmer festival on Mount Meron.
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  • Elazar Yitzhak Koltai, 13, was among 45 people who died in the stampede that became Israel's biggest civilian disaster. Koltai grew up in the the U.S. city of Passaic in the state of New Jersey, before making Aliyah with his parents to live in Jerusalem.
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    Courtois smooching his Israeli fiancee
    Courtois smooching his Israeli fiancee
    Elazar Yitzhak Koltai
    (Photo: Courtesy)
    Koltai studied with Schupak in the Beit Meir Yeshiva near Jerusalem. He was killed while waiting for a school shuttle near a bus stop at the entrance to Jerusalem. Schupak's another schoolmate, Elhanan Biton, is still hospitalized at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, having been moderately wounded in the blast.
    Rabbi Naftali Schreiver, the head of the yeshiva, gave a heartfelt eulogy at Shchupak's funeral. "When I started teaching here 22 years ago, I thought I was going to educate our children in the ways of the Torah," he said. "I never imagined that after just one year of losing one of my students, I'd be eulogizing another one who dies just like that. In one explosion.
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    אריה שצ'ופק
    אריה שצ'ופק
    Aryeh Shchupak
    Over a year ago Schupak attended Elazar's funeral. "I will tell Aryeh now what I told Elazar then: Your soul lingers above us, and shall remain in this state until you're buried."
    Rabbi Schreiver learned that Shchupak wasn't feeling well and told him he can stay at home and recuperate, "but the child insisted to go to school."
    "He didn't know how to be upset, and was always helpful to anyone who needed anything."


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