Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, 41, and Aharon Banita Bennett, 21, have been named as the two Israelis murdered in a stabbing attack on Saturday night, which took place in Jerusalem’s Old City and left two others wounded.
Bennett, along with his wife and two-year-old son, were attacked by the terrorist; his wife was seriously wounded and the child lightly wounded.
Rabbi Lavi, a father of seven, is originally from Beit El in Binyamin north of Jerusalem, but has lived in the Old City for the past 23 years. He is a rabbi at Yeshivat Ateret Kohanim.
According to the rabbi’s friends, he went down with his gun to try and save those wounded by the Arab terrorist in the attack, but the terrorist stabbed him and took his weapon.
The rabbi’s funeral will take place on Sunday at 12 p.m., at the Har Hamenuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Lavi volunteered last summer to take an officer’s course as part of his IDF reserve duty, so as to become an officer in the army and stay on longer.
His friends, officers from the course, eulogized him saying, “we are shocked by the abominable murder. That a Jew who is pure is murdered in our capital city by a lowly and despicable murderer.”
“We’ve reached the end of our tether. Rabbi Nehamia hy”d devotedly studied and taught Torah most of his life,” they continued. “He was supposed to be released from reserve duty and went to this course only so as not to be released at the age when one is released, so that he could continue to contribute to the people of Israel.”
“He was a pure heart! A man full of life and joy, simplicity and humility, he treated everyone with honor, just so as to help, to give!”
“He was stabbed in his heart, and our hearts bleed. We strengthen the hands of the security forces and are certain they will fight the murderers and those who sent them with a hard hand so that the nation of Israel will know no more sorrow and pain,” concluded the victim’s friends.
The Islamic Jihad terrorist group in Gaza took credit for the murder, which was conducted by 19-year-old terrorist Mohannad Shafik Halabi.