Thousands attend funeral of Toulouse victims (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Ynet reporters Published: 03.21.12, 09:57)
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Four Jews murdered in attack on Jewish school in France on Monday
laid to rest in Jerusalem
Thousands attended the funeral of four Jews who were murdered in an
attack at a Jewish school in Toulouse at Jerusalem´s Givat Shaul
cemetery on Wednesday. Chapters of Psalms were read out at the
beginning of the funeral.
Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, his 3-year-old and 6-year-old sons
Gabriel and Arieh and 8-year-old Myriam Monsonego, daughter of school
headmaster Rabbi Yaacov Monsonego, will be laid to rest in
Jerusalem´s Givat Shaul Cemetery.
Meanwhile, a siege on the house of the suspect in the Toulouse attack
is still ongoing. The 24-year-old suspect, who declared he has links
to al-Qaeda, said he will give himself up later today, Interior
Minister Claude Gueant said.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said in his eulogy, "In Toulouse and
Jerusalem, in New York and Buenos Aires, Jews of all factions stand
with us with deep pain in their heats and tears in their eyes. Again
we stand before small, silent bodies, before small graves."
He added, "The Jewish people face wild and insatiable animals, wild
animals made crazy by their hatred, murderers who do not distinguish
between a settler and a leftist, a Jew in Israel and a Jew in the
Diaspora. They are aware of the unbreakable bond between all Jews.
They understand that the divides between us are just an illusion.
"But they also know where to hurt us. They recognize our most sacred
values…but we will not let them prevail over us. The State of Israel
has the duty to ensure that Jewish lives can be maintained anywhere
in the world."
Interior Minister Eli Yishai also spoke at the funeral. "We expect
the French government to take the most severe measures against the
culprits, to persecute anti-Semitism and its supporters until
salvation is reached." Israel´s chief rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona
Metzger also eulogized the victims. Amar broke down in tears when he
spoke of 8-year-old Myriam Monsonego.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said at the funeral that the
murder shocked all the people of France. "Your grief, your pain is
ours too. All of France is in shock," he said.
Juppe stressed France´s determination to fight anti-Semitism and said
that the 65 million French citizens will not tolerate any attack on
Earlier he said at a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres that
he had come to express "the solidarity of the French people with the
Israeli nation" in its time of sorrow.
"The blood of both our peoples was spilled in this murder," he said.
"We have lost a true soul," Monsonego´s aunt told Ynet earlier on
Wednesday. "We have been left with a huge void."
Monsonego´s parents arrived at the Shamgar funeral house in Jerusalem
to say goodbye to their beloved daughter. They were accompanied by
family members and wept bitterly. The mother lit a memorial candle.
At a memorial ceremony held at the Ozar HaTorah school before the
bodies were flown to Israel, Rabbi Sandler´s widow said, "He came
here to study, and traveled back and forth between Toulouse and
Bordeaux to help children with learning disabilities. He gave his all
for this noble cause."
Eva Sandler, who is pregnant and has another one-year-old girl,
added: "People ask how they can help me. I tell them to keep the
mitzvahs and follow the word of the Torah. If this holy audience
keeps the mitzvahs, I believe my children´s souls will be accepted
During the service, Toulouse Chief Rabbi Avraham Weill said, "The
Jewish values are the same as those of the French republic – the
republic that belongs to us all." Reuters, Shahar Chai, Boaz Fyler
and Kobi Nahshoni conrtibuted to this report (Copyright 2012 ©
Yedioth Internet 03/21/12)
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