This weekend, we were horrified to hear of a house fire in New York City that claimed the lives of seven children. The Times of Israel reports that the youngsters’ bodies were flown to Jerusalem for burial today, and that their grieving father remembered them as “beautiful lilies”:
Seven Jewish siblings who were killed in a devastating New York house fire over the weekend were laid to rest Monday after their bodies were flown to Israel for burial.
Hundreds of mourners, including the chief rabbi of Israel, attended the emotional service, which was repeatedly interrupted by anguished cries.
“Why seven? Is one not enough? Seven beautiful lilies,” their father, Gabriel Sassoon, cried out during a eulogy. “So pure. So pure.”
Sassoon — who lost seven of his eight children in the deadly blaze — said the kids were “innocent lambs.”
Quoting a verse from the Song of Songs 6:2, “My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies,” Sassoon said: “God plucked seven lilies.”
“To you God I give everything. My soul. Everything. This is my feeling,” he added.
David Lau, Israel’s chief rabbi for Ashkenazi Jews, described the fire as an unspeakable tragedy and urged the family to remain strong. “Each one is a flower in God’s garden,” he said.