Chief Rabbi Leads Evening of Learning to Honour the Memory of Murdered Israeli Teenagers
In an initiative announced just 24 hours earlier, 500 people gathered to learn with Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Dayan Menachem Gelley (London Beth Din), Dayan Yisroel Lichtenstein (The Federation of Synagogues), Dayan Abraham David (Sephardi Beth Din) and Dayan Yonason Abraham (London Beth Din).
The Israeli Ambassador, His Excellency Daniel Taub, delivered the closing address. Ambassador Taub said:
“I am deeply grateful to the Chief Rabbi for organising this evening of study in memory of Naftali, Gilad and Eyal. It is a fitting reminder that before they were united in death, they were united in life by their love of Torah and of Israel.”
The emeritus Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel Maran HaRishon LeTzion HaRav Bakshi-Doron Shelita also attended.
The Chief Rabbi said
“It was wonderful to see so many people come together at such short notice to learn Torah in memory of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali. During the past three weeks we have seen British Jewry at its best.”
A number of synagogues, including Ner Yisrael and Ohel David, cancelled scheduled shiurim to demonstrate community unity and to be part of the Chief Rabbi’s initiative.
Ghassan Cohen, Honourary President of Ohel David Synagogue said:
“At a devastating time like this, it is imperative that we are united and demonstrate solidarity with our brothers and sisters. The awful murder of these three boys teaches us that we must be united not only in sorrow, but in happiness too. This is the only way to build a peaceful future. We are grateful to the Chief Rabbi for bringing the community together like this.”
In the days after the boys were kidnapped, the Chief Rabbi organised a special prayer service at Hendon United Synagogue which was attended by over 1000 people.