Thousands attended the funeral of the fifth victim of Tuesday morning’s gruesome terror attack on a Har Nof, Jerusalem haredi synagogue that also killed four haredi rabbis. The fifth victim, Sergeant-Major Zidan Nahad Seif, was not a rabbi – he wasn’t even Jewish. Seif was Druze, a four-year veteran police officer who risked his life to save a Jewish woman during the terror attack, was critically wounded doing so and died Tuesday afternoon.
Above: Sergeant-Major Zidan Nahad Seif; Below: the funeral
Fifth Terror Victim Buried As Haredim Urged To Attend Funeral
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Thousands attended the funeral of the fifth victim of Tuesday morning’s gruesome terror attack on a Har Nof, Jerusalem haredi synagogue that also killed four haredi rabbis.
The fifth victim, Sergeant-Major Zidan Nahad Seif, was not a rabbi – he wasn’t even Jewish.
Seif was Druze, a 30-year-old four-year veteran police officer and married father of two children who risked his life to save a Jewish woman during the terror attack, was critically wounded doing so and died Tuesday afternoon.
Many non-Druze, including Israel's President Reuven Rivlin, came to Seif’s funeral.
Postings on social media, initiated by one haredi woman and apparently lacking any official endorsement from haredi leadership, urged haredim to attend Seif’s funeral.
"We are asking anyone from the ultra-Orthodox community who is able to attend the funeral of the police officer who protected our praying brothers with his body. Come show him your gratitude," the social media post added, going on to describe Seif’s his actions as a kiddush hashem.
Ariella Sternbuch reportedly told Walla! news that she was touched by a photograph of Seif with his baby daughter.
"I was moved by the thought that he chose to sacrifice his life for the Jewish people. Haredim [ultra-Orthodox Jews], who were the main victims of this attack, should come pay him their last respects,” Sternbuch said, adding that she received donations to pay for buses to bring people to Seif's funeral.
Lt. Col. (res.) Erez Eshel reportedly told Walla! that he offered to pay for as many buses as haredim needed.
"The most important thing at this time is unity between the citizens of Israel," he said.
Multiple Israeli media sources reported that at least one busload of haredim – capable holding less than 100 people – left Jerusalem for Seif’s funeral, and some reported that several hundred haredim attended in all.
Sternbach told the Jerusalem Post before the funeral that about 40 people from the Jerusalem haredi community borded the bus in Jerusalem, and others were expected to get on when the bus stopped outside the haredi community of Modiin Illit. Others were expected to travel in private vehicles.
“This policeman had so much courage. He lives in this country and he was not of the Jewish people but he put his life on the line for us and sacrificed himself for us,” Sternbach told the Post. “He leaves behind a widow and an orphaned child and I think his deeds must be recognized,” she said.
Most haredim in Jerusalem do not own cars, and car ownership rates among haredim across Israel are low. But few appeared to be taking advantage of Sternbuch's attempt to organize buses.
Nonetheless, in all, thousands of Jewish Israelis attended the funeral.
Also, yesterday an interfaith gathering of Muslim, Jewish and Christian clerics was held outside the Har Nof synagogue where the terror attack occurred. Among the participants were haredi former Sefardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, who is now the Sefardi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem; Imam Rasel Atmani; the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem; the chairman of the Druze Religious Council; and the chairman of the Council of Muslim Leaders; as well as representatives from the Foreign Ministry.
The purpose of the gathering, Amar told the assembled, was to condemn terrorism.