The families of the victims from yesterday’s Armon Hantziv terrorist attack found it hard to accept the bitter news. Erez Auerbach, Shir Chajaj, Shira Tzur and Yael Yekutiel, may G-d avenge their blood, were in the middle of activities in Jerusalem when they were cut down buy a Palestinian terrorist who ran them over with a truck. Here are their painful stories.
Erez Auerbach will always be remembered for his constant smile and desire to volunteer and help others.
Erez Auerbach, age 20 from Alon Shvut, volunteered to serve in the IDF and was a cadet in Training Base 1. Rabbi Yaakov Fisher, Dean of Neve Shmuel where Erez learned, spoke of Erez’s unique attributes. “Erez was full of strong will, ambition and was very determined but was soft and sensitive inside, with values and principles; he was loved by all. He loved Torah and feared heaven together with good character traits and humility; a very special family.”
An announcement went out in Alon Shvut in the Gush Etzion area their home town informing the town that one of their own, one of 6 children of Uri and Karen Auerbach, was killed in a terror attack. People there said: “He will be remembered for his always smiling and being ready to volunteer for every worthy cause.” Yaron Rosenthal from the Kfar Etzion School knows the family and said: “there’s no one in Gush Etzion that doesn’t know the Auerbachs. They are an integral part of the town like its stones. We again need to dig another grave in the hard rocky soil of the Gush Etzion cemetary. 69 years after the fall of the “Convoy of 10” (who died trying to supply the Jews in Gush Etzion Kibbutzim in 1947) we need to bury Jews killed only because they were Jewish. How much longer (must we do this)?”
Second Lieutenant Erez Auerbach is survived by his parents and 5 brothers and sisters. His funeral took place at the Kfar Etzion Cemetary at 11:00 am.
“Shir Chajaj was a flower, my crown.”
Shir Chajaj from Maale Adumim left her parents and three sisters behind. Her father wrote to IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkott: “These are our children. We send them to the army and we know they may not return (home). Can I tell you that I thought this would happen to me? Not in my life!”
Shira’s mother spoke about the terrible moments after the terrorist attack. “We stood by the door and prayed that they (the soldiers informing of her death) wouldn’t come. We said on one hand it’s good that they didn’t come (maybe she’s alive). On the other hand we called the hospitals and the IDF City Officer, whom didn’t we call? She was a flower and the crown of my head. We had great hopes for this girl. She with her great determination and perseverance; there just aren’t any girls like her. None.”
First lieutenant Shira Chajaj’s funeral is 2:00 pm in the Mt. Herzl Military Cemetary.
Yael Yekutiel: “A person full of light and happiness, always (looking out) for the other.”
The Yekutiel family is taking the loss of Yael very hard. In her family’s home in Givatayim, many family members and Yael’s friends came. “She loved life, loved everyone and everyone loved her. People here can’t digest this yet,” Yael’s aunt told Ynet. She left behind her parents, a brother and a sister.
Yael’s friend tearfully spoke about her: “She had the biggest heart. Someone full of light and happiness; there are simply none like her. Everything she did was for others. She was my best friend and one of the most awesome people I ever knew. She was there for me in my most unpleasant moments. She was there for everything and always knew the right thing to say. She was so smart and so intelligent and had amazing emotional intelligence”
Yael Yekutiel’s funeral will be 3:00 pm at the Kiryat Shaul Military Cemetary.
Shira Tzur: “Full of energy and always smiling; always looking to give.”
The Denia neighborhood in Haifa was shocked when they heard the news that Shira Tzur was no longer with them. “Our Shira was full of happiness and loved to give. She was a scout counselor and excelled in everything she did,” a family friend said. “Shira went to an officer’s (training) course from the desire to give and influence. We will always remember you smiling and thinking about the next challenge. Shira and her family are the “salt of the earth”. We all embrace their family in this difficult time. Our Shira was cut down in her prime and the song of Shira will never stop. She was a smiley girl full of energy. In everything she did she looked where to give. Youth like Shira are the youth (who will make) the Future of Israel. We all share in Shira’s pain. Her smile and her song will never stop.”
Shira Tzur’s funeral will be in the Haifa Military Cemetary at 2:00 pm.
May G-d avenge their blood and protect His nation from harm.