NEW YORK -- In reaction to the confirmed deaths of three kidnapped Israeli students, Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar, and Naftali Frankel the Rabbinical Assembly issued the following statement.
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President, said:
Since the disappearance of Eyal, Gil-ad, and Naftali on June 12, we have joined in solidarity with the entire Jewish people to pray for their safe return. Now we join together in grief to recall the lives of three young men with promising futures that were snatched away by an act of violence and hatred. We offer comfort and condolences to their families. We also thank the Israeli government and security forces for their unceasing efforts to locate the boys, as well as the various international officials, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. We call upon President Abbas to follow through on his condemnation of the kidnapping by doing everything within his power to ensure that such acts of terrorism do not happen again. Those same governments must now help ensure that the perpetrators of this outrageous crime are brought to justice and that the physical security of Israeli citizens is assured in all considerations.
Rabbi William Gershon, President, added:
We offer our heartfelt condolences to the Yifrach, Shaar, and Frankel families who are grieving the loss of their children. We pray that in the words of Psalm 147, God will heal our broken hearts and bind up our wounds. We hope that the terrorists responsible for this reprehensible and cowardly act of terror against innocent young people will soon be brought to justice. Let us all strive as a Jewish people to carry forward the ideals of Torah to which Eyal, Gil-ad and Naftali devoted their young lives. Yehi zikhram baruch. May their memories be a blessing.