President Reuven Rivlin came to be menachem aveil (condolence visit) on Wednesday afternoon in the city of Elad, at the home of Elad Salomon Hy”d, who was murdered together with his father Yossi, Hy”d, and sister Chaya, Hy”d, in the terror attack on Friday night in Halamish that shocked the world.
On his arrival, President Rivlin embraced the members of the bereaved family, and asked Tova, Yossi’s widow, about her recovery from injuries which she sustained in the brutal attack. She said that she was getting stronger, and told the president about her husband, her daughter – who was renowned as an excellent and dedicated teacher – and about her son who had been born after three sisters with whom he shared a close bond.
Orit, one of Elad and Chaya’s sisters, related how Elad had fought against the terrorist, while Tova also spoke of her appreciation of the soldier who arrived to stop the massacre and the terrorist.
“I raised him,” said Tova, who was the soldier’s kindergarten teacher, “he was in my kindergarten, and now he saved me.”
Orit told the president of how she discovered that the attack had been at her parents’ home, and of the horrific phone call with Michal, Elad’s widow, who told her what had happened. The president was greatly moved when she told him of how Elad and Michal’s eldest, Avinoam, had acted. The President hugged Avinoam and whispered words of support in his ear.
“The entire people of Israel are with me in this house today, astounded by your strength, and the family strength you displayed,” said Rivlin, adding that he had heard of Elad’s special personality, and said he could see how such a wonderful man was raised.
Elad’s widow, Michal, turned to Rivlin to voice her tremendous appreciation for the soldier who shot the terrorist. “We heard all kinds of voices from outside asking questions about why he only neutralized and did not kill him,” she said.
Rivlin responded by saying, “Anyone who asks this, should first ask themselves if they could do what he did.”
Michal continued, “The soldier was in the right place at the right time. Simply put, he stopped this massacre. Thanks to him and his father, my children and I are here today. It is truly important to me to say that. There are no words to express my appreciation to this family. I owe them my life. And it’s important to me that it is understood: this man is a hero.”
“You also carry values within you that we wish all of us in the Jewish people will respect,” said the President.
Before he left, the family members asked to thank the community in Halamish, and in Elad, for their unwavering support from the moment of the terrible murders.
The president was accompanied on his visit by the Director General of the President’s Office, Harel Tubi, and by the Mayor of Elad, Yisrael Porush.