Hundreds of family members, friends and supporters, gathered at the Jewish community of Har Braha to accompany Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal, a teacher and a father of four, who was murdered by a Muslim terrorist in Ariel the previous day, to his final resting place.
Ben-Gal’s family members wept as his widow, Miriam, had to be physically supported by two relatives.
“I want to promise you that we will be strong,” Miriam said. “I will continue raising our children, and we will live with joy, like you wanted.”
“We received a precious gift some 30 years ago, and today we part with this gift with much grief,” said Daniel Ben-Gal, Itamar’s father. “We have no idea how to continue without you, without your smile, without your good face, always radiating with joy. Your joy of educating the next generation in Israel has lit up your face.”
“My dear son, don’t worry. We will continue supporting your young, sweet children until they get to build their own homes in Israel. The damned, whose wicked plan is to stop the settlement enterprise, will not succeed,” the father vowed.
“Rabbi Itamar, our friend, our beloved. We accompany you here—the family, the community, the yeshiva, the Samaria and the people of Israel. An incomprehensible feeling of pain burns inside us,” eulogized Yoni HaIsraeli, the head of Har Brakha.
“You were a young man, strong and energetic, full of life and vitality, loved by all. You were strong and healthy and always with a massive smile. You dedicated your life to education, the studying of the Torah and settling the country,” HaIsraeli described Ben-Gal.
“Despite the pain, your family is strong and so is the community, and no cowardly and lowly murder can weaken us. Those who think they can weaken us, (should know) this murder only strengthens and spurs us on. We will build another neighborhood and another home and another synagogue. We will make Har Brakha a city in Israel,” he vowed.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who was attended the funeral, quoted from the Book of Micah, lamenting the loss of “The faithful (who) have been swept from the land.”
“We lost Rabbi Itamar, who dedicated his entire life to education, and lit up the world with his grace,” Edelstein said.
Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Friedman slammed the Palestinian Authority leadership for the attack. “20 years ago I gave an ambulance to Har Brakha hoping it would be used to deliver healthy babies. Instead, a man from Har Brakha was just murdered by a terrorist, leaving behind a wife and four children. Palestinian ‘leaders’ have praised the killer. Praying for the Ben Gal family,” Friedman wrote.
Ben-Gal was murdered while on his way to a brit milah ceremony for his wife’s nephew.