Orphaned daughter chastises leaders: ‘we don’t deserve this!’
In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Sarah Techiya Litman, whose father, Yaakov Litman, and her brother Netanel, were murdered Friday in a terror attack south of Hevron, said Sunday that despite the pain, she intends to continue and build her life, and raise a family in the way her father would have wanted her to.
It was to provide Sarah Techiya with “space” for her Shabbat Kallah – the Sabbath celebration before a wedding – that the rest of the family headed out from home in Kiryat Arba to Meitar, where there in-laws-to-be live. On the way, an Arab terrorist waylaid the car which was being driven by Netanel Litman, killing him and his father, and wounding his brother Dvir.
“The pain is just so great,” she said. “I want to tell our leaders that there are many ways to kill – with a knife, a gun, or a rifle, and with an ambulance, such as the one of the Red Crescent Society that refused to stop for us.”
As a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the Red Crescent is required to help all people who need assistance regardless of their affiliation. Failure to do so, he said, was a violation of their mission, and Netanyahu said that Israel would demand “answers” about how and why the ambulance left the scene without helping. Speaking on Army Radio earlier, a Red Crescent official claimed that the ambulance had indeed stopped to help, and had remained with the family until an Israeli ambulance arrived.
‘We don’t deserve this’
“There is no security here in Kiryat Arba,” she said. “My father would always take a gun with him when he left town, and we always had to figure out when a bulletproof bus would come by. We don’t deserve this. The Land of Israel belongs to us and we should be able to live here proudly. The Palestinians do not deserve to be able to so confidently move around. They drive like animals, and there is no enforcement of traffic laws. That, too, is a way to murder someone.”
Sarah told of the plans for her wedding, which was to take place this week. “Almost everything was ready,” she said. “We were all prepared by Friday. Netanel my brother suspected something, because he said he wanted to iron his shirt now, because next week the house will be very busy. And it turned out he was right,” she said, pointing to the many people who had come to join her, her mother, and her siblings in mourning the victims. “We thought we would be busy with celebrations, but we are busy with mourners.”
On Friday, Sarah was preparing to celebrate Shabbat with her friends when she heard the news. “First it was just bulletins and background noise, and then came the phone calls. Finally two social workers came, and I knew.”
For now, the wedding is off, said Ariel Biegel, Sarah’s fiancee. “We have to see how to handle this afterwards. We just can’t discuss it right now.” He, too, was preparing to celebrate Shabbat with friends and family when he heard the news. “When I came home I saw everybody crying. I asked what happened and they sat me down and told me that there had been an attack, and possibly not everyone made it. Fortunately all my brothers were here for Shabbat so I had a lot of support.”
‘He had a shining face’
Biegel was an admirer of Sarah’s father. “He always had a smile, despite the fact that he was orphaned at a young age and had a difficult life. He had a shining face and it was infectious. You could not pass him by and not be infected by his warmth.” Her father felt the same way about him, said Sarah. “He treated Ariel like a son. After we got engaged he bought Ariel some books, and wrote in them a dedication to ‘Ariel, our dear son, Mazal Tov for your Shabbat Chatan.’ We will build a home based on my father’s path and on Netanel’s path. Their spirit will guide us and will be with us forever.
“The Jewish people will continue to live hear proudly,” she added. “We will continue to travel our roads. The Arabs will not ruin our way of life. God will give us the strength in the future as he is giving it to us now. We hope the government will do what is necessary,” she said, with Ariel adding that “we will get married and carry on. Life does not stop. We will bring the joy back to our families. We will continue what they left off and establish our household in the path they left us.