Benjamin Schlesinger, an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor, died recently. Because he lived alone and had no immediate family living in Israel, there was a fear his funeral – which coincided with Holocaust Remembrance day – would be poorly attended.
Thankfully, 500 Israelis ensured that it wasn’t.
Schlesinger, 82, lived alone in Ashdod and had no immediate family living in Israel, raising concerns that his funeral would be so poorly attended that not even a minyan, the minimum quorum of 10 men required by Jewish religious law for public prayer, would attend.
Local news sites and social media activists called on residents late Wednesday night to attend Schlesinger’s funeral, and the turnout exceeded expectations.
They needed 10 people – and got 500.
“It was a moving event,” Lalutzashvili [one of the journalists who appealed for people to attend] said after the funeral. “I’m still surprised at the number of residents who showed up, who hadn’t even known him.”
“I started spreading the word, and it went on quickly from there. It was very moving, particularly considering that the siren sounded [calling for two minutes of silence for Holocaust Remembrance Day] in the middle of the funeral.”
What a moving way to say "we remember" and "never again."