Esther Horgan, found dead in a West Bank forest in a suspected terror attack, was put to rest on Tuesday in her home settlement of Tal Menashe.
Esther Horgan, 52, left her home in the northern West Bank settlement of Tal Menashe on Sunday afternoon for a jog in the nearby Shaked Forest. Her body was found early Monday with clear signs of a violent attack which police and the Shin Bet security agency suspect was an act of terror. The investigation is ongoing.
The funeral began with a service outside the Horgan family home as neighbors joined to embrace the grieving family. Husband, Benjamin Horgan, and the couple's six children wept openly as dozens of friends and visitors including some politicians, looked on.
The community's rabbi Reuven Uziel officiated the funeral ceremony.
"We all had a dinner together on Shabbat," he said. "I could never, not for a minute, think that would be our last time together. You were a loving person, full of happiness and smiles. Your murderers would never succeed in polluting the Land of Israel that will remain pure and holy, as will you," Rabbi Uziel said.
"We know your joy will stay with us. I know you are present here now. I am sure if you could, you would crack some joke. I can see your smile. Go in peace. Rest in peace, " he said.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council also eulogized Esther. "The murderers chose death, but we here choose life. Those barbarians brought darkness, but we will bring the light. They want to scare us away from our land but we will not be cowards. We will walk freely everywhere. They will not compromise our hold on our land. We will strengthen it here in northern Samaria," he said.
Settlement Affairs Tzachi Hanegbi also attended the funeral and called for settlement building to be expanded in response to the murder. "The evil, extremism and foulness of our enemy is not new. It is an integral part of our Jewish history. But when evil reaches out to Esther, we must strengthen our hold and deepen our roots in the land. We must expand Tal Menashe," Hanegbi said.
After the eulogies, the ceremony proceeded to the local cemetery. All along the road, people stood holding Israeli flags.
Benjamin Horgan spoke over his wife's open grave. "My beloved wife, he said. For 30 years we walked together. On Sunday you went alone and never returned. How can words express the breadth and width of the joy of live and the love of man that you had? You built a glorious home and we still had so many plans.
" We were both from a small town called Paris. You enticed me to get close to nature so we moved to the Galilee. Two years later we came here to Tal Menashe, the heart of Israel that you had fallen in love with."
Esther's daughter Avigail spoke next. "You were the best mother in the world. Where are you now Mommy? A woman so full of light. I grieve that you will not be there to dance at my wedding or know the grandchildren I will bring. I know you will always be with us," she said.
Keren, who is married to Esther's son Akiva also said a few words. "Thank you for standing by me when I was lost. I felt out of place here but you encouraged me to be true to myself. Thank you for your constant concern for me."
Ora Uziel promised her good friend Esther that she would not stop visiting the woods. " How is it that you were taken?" she asked. "Our long walks, how we studied together, the trees and rocks and paths. I am crying now. Usually when I cry to appear by my side," Ora said.
Esther Horgan was an artist and a couples therapist. She was 52-years-old and is survived by her husband, two daughter four sons and grandchildren.
She left her home on Sunday afternoon for a jog in the nearby wood and was found murdered hours later.