Hundreds attend Itamar murder memorial
Relatives of slain family members mark end of 30-day mourning period. Participants place cornerstone for new kollel named after Ehud Fogel. 'You're looking at us from above, wondering what all the fuss is about; this is all in your honor,' says Ruth Fogel's father
Hundreds gathered on Sunday in the West Bank settlement of Itamar to mark the end of the 30-day mourning period for five members of the Fogel family, who were brutally murdered in their sleep.
The participants placed a cornerstone for a new kollel building, which will be named "Mishkan Ehud" (Ehud's residence), after the father of the family, Ehud Fogel, who taught at the yeshiva.
Among the attendees were relatives of the Fogel family, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, Knesset Members Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) and Uri Ariel (National Union), as well as Chairman of the Yesha Council Danny Dayan.
"You are now looking at us from above, probably surprised to see so many people," said Ruth Fogel's father, Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Yishai.
"What's all the fuss about? I came here as a father to tell you this is all in your honor.
Placing cornerstone in Itamar (Photo: Ido Erez)
"We, the families, are trying to fulfill our part, our small part, in the respect all the people of Israel have for you. You were such humane people in your long-short path," said Ruth's father.
"People keep calling from all over the world, 30 days later," he added, "They keep telling us, the parents, what kind of people you were and continue to be."
Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Yishai and Haim Fogel (Photo: Ido Erez)
Ehud's father, Haim Fogel, said: "Your lives were short and full of experiences; from Netzarim, which called upon you to study the Torah in such a difficult, important and challenging place, through your struggle to convince the people of Israel of the grave mistake of evacuating Gush Katif, and all the way to building your new home in Ariel and Itamar – the last stop."
Speaking at the opening of the ceremony, Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar said, "there is the mourning of an individual, the mourning of a family, the mourning of a town and city, and also the mourning of a whole society.
"Bless all of you for not drowning in bitterness, but rather building a deserving home. Bless you for standing firm even in these trying times," he said.
Many of the participants signed a Megillah scroll, which was recited by former Chief Military Rabbi and yeshiva Head Rabbi Avichai Rontzki and then placed with the foundations of the building.
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