For the 11th Time: Memorial to Slain Rabbi Desecrated

YERUSHALAYIM -
Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai’s 16-year-old son, Eliyahu, cries during his father’s levayah, on Dec 25, 2009, in Yerushalayim. (Kobi Gideon /Flash90)

For the third time in a row, a memorial for Rabbi Meir Chai, Hy”d, was desecrated and defaced by Arabs – on the eve of Israel Memorial Day. Altogether, the memorial has been desecrated 11 times in the 10 years since Rabbi Chai was murdered in a terrorist attack. The desecrations usually happen around Memorial Day, or the yahrtzeit of Harav Chai in Kislev.

Rabbi Chai, a father of seven, was murdered by terrorists in 2009 as he was driving near his home in Shavei Shomron, in central Shomron . He was a teacher at a local school, and his levayah was attended by hundreds. A memorial sign was set up at the site where he was murdered. That sign has been the site of serial desecrations, with Arabs scrawling anti-Israel and anti-Semitic graffiti and images on it. This time, the memorial was completely uprooted from the ground.

Elisheva Chai Efrati, Rabbi Chai’s widow, told Yisrael Hayom that the family was in shock. “This is a battle of the spirit. They are trying to destroy our family during these difficult times, and it is from this spot I get my strength. I have been trying to understand why a piece of stone with Harav Chai’s name on it bothers them so much. Why keep destroying it? That is how I understand that this is a war of the spirit, not the rock itself. Harav Meir had a great spirit and was always happy, and this is the legacy they are trying to destroy. We will not let them destroy it.”

Shomron Council head Yossi Dagan said that an investigation would be launched to try and find the culprits. “We need to remember what happened here, and who our enemies are. You have to be a real lowlife to keep destroying over and over a memorial to a father of seven children who was murdered, especially around the days that are most difficult for the family. We will once again built this memorial, this time bigger and stronger.”