Photo: Gil Yochanan
Elisheva Hai
Photo: Gil Yochanan
Photo: Yitzhak Levy
Rabbi Meir Hai
Photo: Yitzhak Levy
Photo: Ido Erez
Scene of the attack, 2009
Photo: Ido Erez

Widow of rabbi killed in terror attack remarries

Elisheva Hai, mother to seven who lost her husband to a terror attack, volunteered at finding matches for religious-zionist bachelors and ended up marrying one. 'I never thought I'd reach this day,' she says

Three years after her husband was killed in a terror attack, Elisheva Hai, mother to seven, remarried Gil Efrati, 50, whom she met when she tried to find him a spouse while volunteering at a religious matchmaking organization.


Hai's husband, Rabbi Meir Hai, was killed in a Palestinian terrorist attack on the way to his home in Shavei Shomron in the West Bank in December 2009.


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His wife Elisheva said after the attack that she would not break down and would continue to raise their seven children in his way.


אלישבע וגיל בחתונתם. היא רצתה לשדך - ומצאה אהבה (צילום: גיל יוחנן)

(Photo: Gil Yochanan)


Since then she has been active in the One Family organization, which supports families of terror victims.


"Immediately after the murder Elisheva decided she will take responsibility for her life," it was told about her in the organization.


אלישבע והמשפחה. "לא חשבתי שאגיע ליום הזה" (צילום: גיל יוחנן)

(Photo: Gil Yochanan)


"Parallel to her work in education and to raising the children, she underwent a rehabilitation process. For instance, she quickly learned how to drive and bought a big vehicle to drive the children. She's a strong and brave woman and much can be learned from her."


Hai also started volunteering in an association which seeks spouses for bachelors from the religious-Zionist community.


אלישבע שוב כלה. "מאיר נמצא כאן אתנו" (צילום: גיל יוחנן)

(Photo: Gil Yochanan)


It was there that she met her current husband. "Elisheva wasn't certain at all that she's ready for it and she tried to set him up with other women," said a friend.


"But at one point someone told her 'maybe you should try dating him yourself?' And it worked. They have an amazing connection. He's an understanding person who manages to help and comprehend the sensitive issue of joining a family with seven children. It's simply a great miracle."


The friend added: "Elisheva sees in this wedding a message that one does not break even under the hardest circumstances. She lives her life without fear and drives the same roads where her father was murdered. She lives her life together with her children in full strength."


Monday evening, minutes before going under the chuppah, Elisheva said: "The truth is I never thought I'd reach this day; I thought I'll always remain a widow. I had a connection with Meir and it was clear to me I'll stay with him forever.


"Immediately after the murder I came to One Family and they helped me a lot. It's only thanks to them that I made it here; they pushed me to get to know Gil."


Despite the tense and complex situation, Hai's seven children, who attended the wedding, were smiling and happy.


According to their mother, the wedding itself is part of their father's legacy: "I believe that Meir is here with us and he made the whole thing possible. I made the decision after I visited his grave. I felt he's really telling me to do it. For me and for my family the message is to continue and not give up."


The happy groom was at a loss for words: "I'm of course very excited. It's not like in fairytales and in the movies, but we share an amazing connection, me and Elisheva and also me and the kids. It's of course a complex situation, but the main thing is our happiness and our connection."


Efrati, a Jerusalem social worker, will leave the capital and move to Hai's house in Shavei Shomron. Among the ministers and public officials who attended the wedding was the head of the Samaria Council, who told the couple:


"This event, beyond being extremely moving, also illustrates the expression "Am Yisrael Hai" (The nation of Israel lives). Elisheva, Gil and the children are showing Jewish bravery and give a message of strength to the Samaria settlements' people and to the whole nation of Israel."



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פרסום ראשון: 01.29.13, 00:05
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