Israel – Tragic Explosion in Netanya Devastates Jewish Community


    Emergency response personnel stand outside of a damaged building after a gas explosion occured overnight on June 16 in the Israeli town of Netanya, north of Tel Aviv. EPAIsrael – The gas explosion in Netanya last night across from the Chabad center claimed the lives of four, including three teenage girls who were distributing Shabbos candles in Independence Square. Stacy Brock, 17, Rebbeca Dorai, 18 and Rebbeca Amsid, all Netanya residents who had emigrated to Israel from France three years ago, attended classes at the Chabad house and volunteered weekly distributing Shabbos candles.

    According to Rabbi Yaacov Mazouz, director of the Ohr Menachem Chabad House in Netanya said that the three girls gave out Shabbos candles every week, but while they normally distributed candles on Friday morning, this week they decided to start on Thursday night hoping to be able to distribute even more candles this week.

    Rabbi Mazouz eulogized the three girls saying, “they were close friends and one brought the other to classes at the Chabad house. They were wonderful girls, full of life, who were always happy to help out, in the kindergarten, with the children, with anyone who was needy. They were regulars in my house, friends of my own daughter and after they finished their own meal at home with their families on Friday night they would come join us. It is very difficult to accept something like this.”

    The three girls had gone out to eat after attending an evening class at the Chabad house and were accompanied by a fourth girl as well.

    “The fourth girl had to go home after they finished eating,” said Rabbi Mazouz. “It is a miracle that she is still alive.”

    Rabbi Menachem Wolpe Cohen was quoted by Israeli news service Maariv as saying “This is a very tragic event. We are talking about three young girls who went out to the square in order to inspire people. We are broken from the terrible tragedy that has befallen us.”

    A Netanya resident who was knew the girls described how the they would distribute the candles to passersby in Independence Square.

    “They were angels, filled with goodness, always giving to others.”

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