Jerusalem – A rabbi and three children gunned down at a Jewish school in France were buried Wednesday in a Jerusalem cemetery, with a bereaved mother and wife begging her slain loved ones to “come back home.”
The four were killed Monday in the French city of Toulouse when a man on a motorcycle opened fire with two handguns outside the school. Hundreds of French police descended on the suspect’s hideout in Toulouse on Wednesday, but by midday still hadn’t drawn him out after hours of gunbattles and negotiations.
The bodies of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 3, and 8-year-old Myriam Monsenego were flown to Israel early Wednesday. The families had asked for burial in Israel; the children held dual Israeli-French citizenship and the rabbi had lived in Israel for years.
At the funeral ceremony, Myriam’s eldest brother, Avishai, in his 20s, wailed and called to God to give his parents the strength “to endure the worst trial that can be endured.”
In the name of the four remaining Monsenego children, he urged his father and mother to “keep going, keep going, keep going.”
Hundreds of mourners, many of them sobbing, thronged around the bodies laid out on stretchers as eulogies were delivered. The slain members of the Sandler family had been wrapped in white prayer shawls while Myriam had been draped in black velvet.
Mourners then walked to the burial grounds. Men carried the bodies on stretchers and buried them, while women watched from behind a nearby fence.
Later, Eva Sandler, the widow of the slain rabbi, walked to the freshly covered graves of her sons and husband and laid her hands on them. “Come back home,” she cried out in French.
Israeli media reported that Eva Sandler is pregnant and had arrived in Israel with her remaining child, a toddler…
The above and more in the Huffington Post here.
In the meantime, French police have arrested the suspected jihadist shooter, one Mohamed Merah, a French citizen of Algerian origin.