Eliyahu, 16, one of Hai's seven children, eulogized his father at the Shamgar funeral home in Jerusalem. "We are not seeking revenge against the Arabs," he said. "The difference between us and them is that we are human beings. We won't shoot them in the head for no reason. We are Jews, holy people, human beings."
The funeral was attended by family members, Judea and Samaria residents, Ministers Eli Yishai and Yaakov Ne'eman and Knesset Members Nissim Zeev, Yaakov Katz, Uri Ariel and Michael Ben Ari.
With heartbreaking sobs, the son said, "Father, you know that two years ago I decided not to be religious, that this way is not for me, that I don't want to observe the Sabbath, don't want side-locks. I left everything behind, I said 'I don’t want this.' I know that I tore you apart then, we didn't talk to each other and I wanted to say to you, 'Father, I love you.'
"In the past few weeks I felt it, I had a feeling that something was going to happen. I wanted to hug you. I know that I hurt you in your life. I want to ask for your forgiveness."
'Father, I love you' (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The son continued to cry painfully, "Father, father. God gave and God took away. What would we do without faith, father? I managed to spend 16 years of eternity with you. Everyone spoke about how special you were. You were with us; you were very connected to us. We knew that our father is always with us, at any situation.
"You all came, the youth, to see where father was murdered yesterday. I said, God, there are no such things. This youth is with us in good times and in bad. You are the best youth there is. I salute you, salute the army. Continue father's way. Father wanted faith, Torah studying and prayer."
Shavei Shomron's rabbi, Yehoshua Schmidt, also eulogized Hai. "You were full of love. You had unusual powers. Your love of the Torah. You taught the children Torah which even adults don’t know. You were filled with the love of Torah. Your liveliness, you shined to everyone around you.
"God Almighty, how could this happen? Who will fill in for you? How could the hand of evil people cut off this thing? How are Arabs better than Jews? Rabbi Meir, you are filled with purity, the love of Torah. You were killed for the sanctification of God's name."
'Bullet directed at all of us'
Rabbi Haim Drukman spoke about the Torah Hai bestowed to his students. "This is what you were like since I knew you at the yeshiva and throughout the years: Completely perfect – in your faith, fear of God, your good traits and lifestyle… Your dedication and your work at the Talmud Torah school.
"We lost an entire world. There is a private loss here, but a general loss as well. It's a national mourning. The murderers did not target you because they had a score to settle with you. The bullet which hit you was directed at all of us. They want to destroy the people of Israel. The people of Israel is a stubborn people. We shall overcome them, both the harassments from the outside and the weaknesses on the inside."
Hundreds attend funeral (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Gershon Mesika, head of the Shomron Regional Council, said that "our Meir is not the victim of peace. The Israeli government's foolishness is the natural result of the irresponsibility in opening the roadblocks. Despite our pleas, the Israeli government favored the Arab's fabric of relations over the Jews.
"I call on you, (Prime Minister) Benjamin Neatnyahu and (Defense Minister) Ehud Barak: Face the orphans and ask for their forgiveness. You cannot say, 'Our hands did not spill this blood.' Your desire to please the enemy puts our life at risk. The Arab enemy which you have compared to wild animals is an insult to animals. Hundreds of thousands of Jews will arrive following Rabbi Meir."
Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan said that "even on days of so-called relative calm, we pay a heavy price. This is what happened with Ido Zoldan, teenager Shlomo Nativ and soldiers and officers who sacrificed themselves during Operation Cast Lead because of a piece of our homeland which was abandoned in the hands of the enemy.
"This bloody price will not distract us from our goal, which is to continue building the country and settle in it. May these victims wake up Israel's citizens, the government and the army and make them understand who we must fight against and where we must build."