Nine children lost their fathers to terror on Wednesday when two Palestinians went on a stabbing spree outside the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. OneFamily shares in the grief of the families and opens its heart in support of the mourners.
Rabbi Reuven Biermacher, 45, a father of seven and a teacher in the Spanish division of Aish HaTorah, and Ofer Ben-Ari, a father of two, were killed in the brutal attack. A third person was wounded. Please pray for the recovery of Mordechai ben Leah Miriam.
OneFamily Director Chantal Belzberg said the organization has already started sending aid. “We will do everything we can to help the families,” she said. “It’s so important that no-one should be alone in this time of need.”
According to medical personnel on the scene, Rabbi Biermacher sustained massive injuries to his chest in the attack and succumbed to his wounds hours later. “He spent the morning teaching Torah and was murdered on his way out of the Old City,” Rabbi Steven Burg, Director of Aish HaTorah, wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
Rabbi Burg noted that he was particularly popular with students who were just beginning their path in Torah. “His students would come into our yeshiva not even knowing the Hebrew alphabet. He was very patient and worked with them to bring them up to speed,” he said.
Rabbi Biermacher, a resident of Telz Stone, came to Israel from Argentina and was a beloved teacher to Aish Hatorah students from South America. He leaves a wife and children ages 2, 7, 11, 13, 14, 16, and 18. His wife, Naomi, is an only child with no family in Israel. Rabbi Biermacher has two brothers in Argentina, including the famous writer Marcel Biermacher.
Ofer Ben-Ari, 46, was killed by a stray bullet fired by Israeli security forces on the scene of the attack. He died trying to stop the stabbers when he saw the attack taking place. Ofer operated a recording studio in Jerusalem and often allowed youth at-risk to use it for free. He also provided temporary housing for homeless people in one of his Jerusalem properties.
“My father was a hero,” his daughter told reporters after he passed away.
The two terrorists, who were killed at the scene of the attack, had both previously served time in Israeli prisons for terror-related crimes.