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Funeral of Murdered 18-Year-Old Eliyahu Asheri

by Hillel Fendel and Ezra HaLevi Arutz Sheva June 29, 2006

Thousands of people, including both chief rabbis and other notables, attended the funeral of Eliyahu Asheri, kidnapped and murdered by Arab terrorists. Arutz-7 brings photos from the funeral.

Roads in Jerusalem were closed in honor of the funeral, which is to end with the youth’s burial in the Mt. of Olives cemetery.

Eliyahu’s teachers and family, one after the other, spoke about what a sweet person he was. Over and over it was mentioned that Eliyahu’s prayers were “like fire.”

“You went up to Heaven in a storm, like Eliyahu (Elijah) the prophet,” Eliyahu’s mother Miriam eulogized, in a calm and determined voice. “Now, Eliyahu – stand before G-d and speak out in favor of the Nation of Israel – don’t let up until our Father in Heaven agrees to reveal Himself to His people.”

Members of Eliyahu’s family at the funeral in Jerusalem.

Yitro Asheri spoke of his son, recalling that he would always sit in their home and make peace between his siblings. “When you get to Heaven,” the Australian immigrant said, addressing his son, “make peace within our people and between the Nation of Israel and our Father in Heaven.”

Friends of Eliyahu, together with Land of Israel youth shed tears and pay their respects.

Asheri added that the world has much less prayer in it now that Eliyahu is gone and implored all of Israel to “Pray! Pray – because you are righteous and G-d desires your prayers.”

Eliyahu had not been seen since Sunday night, and only Monday afternoon did it become fairly clear that he had been kidnapped. By then, however, he was already dead – even while volunteers searched throughout Judea and Samaria for traces of his presence. In the end, it was the murderer himself who led the Israeli security authorities to the body, in a field outside Ramallah, north of Jerusalem.

The terrorist was among those apprehended in a round of IDF arrests made throughout Judea and Samaria on Wednesday. He was interrogated by the General Security Services, during which he revealed how and where he and his gang members shot Eliyahu in the head from close range, shortly after they abducted him on Sunday night.

Others connected to the kidnapping and murder are still being interrogated.

Eliyahu’s mother Miriam told Voice of Israel Radio this morning,

“At this time, I do have not much to say, for the pain is so unbearable; I can barely find a way to hold it. But one thing I can say is that many times in the past years, because of the many disagreements-between-brothers we have in this country, many times I asked G-d to give me, first of all, love in my heart for everyone. And now, following this terrible thing that happened to us, it has become clear to me how really great the Nation of Israel is – how much help we have received, and all the volunteers, and the army – there are no words to describe it… And this was the way of Eliyahu as well…”

The IDF did not say whether the assault rifles which the Olmert government and the United States transferred to Abu Mazen earlier this month were used at any point in the kidnapping or murder. WorldNetDaily reported in the name of “sources close to the Al Aqsa Brigades” that the guns had been used in two separate shooting attacks against Israelis within days of the transfer.

Rabbi Avi Ronski, the Rabbi of Itamar and the man who has been tapped to become the next Chief Rabbi of the IDF, was informed of the news at 2 AM this morning (Thursday). He called Rabbi Chaim Druckman, the national head of the Bnei Akiva Yeshivot movement and Eliyahu’s adopted grandfather, and the two of them made their way to the Asheri family. Family members and friends began streaming to the house after the information became known.

Rabbi Druckman said at the funeral that sometimes funerals are like sunsets, but that Eliyahu’s passing is like the sun going dark at noontime. “This is not just a private funeral, but one belonging to all of Israel,” he said. “His murderers intended to kill any one of us and all of us.”

“Expelled from Kfar Darom. Here is my home, here I was born…I have no other home. We vow to return.”

Eliyahu, 18, was from the Shomron town of Itamar and was a student at the pre-military yeshiva academy in N’vei Tzuf, in the western Binyamin area. He was last seen at 9 PM Sunday at the French Hill junction in northern Jerusalem, where hundreds of people wait for rides northward every day.

Rabbi Ronsky said, “It is now clear that they murdered Eliyahu very soon after they kidnapped him, and all their announcements and threats afterwards were merely psychological pressure against us.”

The Popular Resistance Committees of Ramallah, under the supervision of the terrorist group of the same name in Gaza, announced Monday – after Eliyahu was already dead – that they would murder him if Israel did not withdraw its forces from Gaza.

Redemption rocker Dov Shurin pays respects and consoles friends of Eliyahu.
Rabbi Avi Weiss at the funeral.
Land of Israel activist Aviad Vissouly (in middle).
National Union Party chairman MK Rabbi Benny Elon at the funeral.
Rabbi David Dudkevitch (on right), one of the spiritual leaders of the hilltop movement.
A sign in Jerusalem announcing Eliyahu’s funeral.

(Photos: Ezra HaLevi)

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