Itongadol.- Thousands arrived at the Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem on Sunday to pay their respects to Rabbi Nechamia Lavi, 41, who was murdered by a terrorist on Saturday evening.
Among those in attendance were Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and President Reuven Rivlin.
Lavi, who left his home and went to the scene of the attack after hearing screams and calls for help, leaves behind a wife and seven children.
Lavi resided in the Old City for 23 years and served as a rabbi at the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva.
He served as a combat soldier in the IDF and recently joined the Military Rabbinate.
Friends said he took his weapon to help victims of the terror attack, but the terrorist stabbed him and snatched his weapon.
Rivlin gave a eulogy, saying: “Rabi Nahmia, I stand here in front of your bed, looking at your young, beautifully-named children and your wife and my heart refuses to accept it. You died for your people and country. For your homeland. You died doing your duty. Giving to others was always a part of you. Your children will not forget your bravery and love. We, the people of Israel, will not forget either.”
Rivlin gave a eulogy at the funeral, saying, “Rabbi Nechemia, I stand here in front of your bed, looking at your young, beautifully-named children and your wife and my heart refuses to accept it. You died for your people and country. For your homeland. You died doing your duty. Giving to others was always a part of you. Your children will not forget your bravery and love. We, the people of Israel, will not forget either.”
The president also addressed the ever-increasing tensions in Jerusalem lately. "We are in a difficult struggle, a daily and continuous
one," he said. "The pains of building Israel and building Jerusalem, the growing pains, continue to exist, and the pain is intense. Sometimes, like today, this pain is excruciating. I grew up in Israel, when we were forcibly forbidden from arriving at the Western Wall, and I was a boy when sounding a shofar at the Western Wall was ground for arrest by the British Mandate. Those days will not return. We absolutely must not be deterred from arriving at the Western Wall, the remnant of our temple."
Bennett, 24, was an IDF soldier through Project Shahar, which integrates haredim into the army. His wife Adele was seriously wounded and their infant son was lightly wounded. Their baby daughter was rescued from the scene physically unharmed.
Roughly 200 people attended Bennett\’s funeral. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau attended and said: "We pray for good news about your wife and your young son". Bennett\’s rabbi eulogized him: "He was killed for sanctifying the name of God".
Aaron Klieger, Bennett\’s neighbor, said: "He was a smiling, friendly person who was liked by everyone."