Hundreds Attend Levayah of Soldier After Social Media Call

YERUSHALAYIM -
Motorcycle accident. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Hundreds of people attended on Wednesday night the levayah of IDF soldier Eliyahu Bitton, z”l, who had been killed in a motorcycle accident a day earlier in southern Israel. Most of the people who attended the levayah did not know Bitton – and had responded to calls on social media by his fellow soldiers to attend the funeral, because “we can’t be there ourselves.”

Bitton, 20, was on leave from his unit and was on his way to visit his father, Rabbi Reuven Bitton of Yerucham, who was in the hospital, when he was killed in a motorcycle accident. The accident occurred when Bitton’s bike slipped, and he hurtled to his death at the Maccabim checkpoint in central Israel.

The levayah was set for Wednesday night, but soldiers in his Netzach Yehudah unit of the IDF were unable to attend, as they were on a mission and could not leave. Concerned that attendance at the funeral would be sparse, they issued an appeal on social media asking the public to attend in their place, “in order to pay respects to one of our fellow soldiers.”

Hundreds of people responded and attended the levayah, which took place in Yerushalayim. Members of the family expressed gratitude to the large numbers who attended, Channel 20 reported.