JERUSALEM (VINnews) – A month after losing two young sons in the Meron stampede, a Breslover family has made clear their desire for justice, inscribing both gravestones with an abbreviation normally used for those who suffered violent deaths at the hands of another.
Haaretz (https://bit.ly/2SPPfVX) reported that the epitaph etched on the gravestones of both 18 year old Yosef Dovid Elhadad and 12 year old Moshe Mordechai Elhadad acronym הי״ד, standing for the words Hashem yikom damam, may G-d avenge their blood. As previously reported on VIN News, Meron survivor Rabbi Menachem Mendel Moskowitz recounted his belief that the power of the Shma Yisroel uttered by Yosef David Elhadad in his final moments spared him from certain death.
The Elhadad family has been vocal in its demands for accountability in the wake of the tragedy that took the lives of 45 people celebrating Lag B’Omer in Meron. Family spokesperson Shimon Yisrael Elhadad, a brother of the two who died, declined to comment on the damning wording on his brothers’ gravestones, but he has repeatedly called for those responsible for the celebration’s safety be held accountable for its horrific outcome. The boys’ father, Rabbi Nachman Meir Elhadad, accused officials of spending their time creating a cover up of what he called “the biggest civil disaster in the history of the country” instead of conducting an investigation geared to preventing future tragedies.
Much finger pointing has gone on over the past few weeks as discussions of a formal investigation have gone nowhere. Charedi lawmakers have reportedly been opposing a state inquiry, saying that it would be biased, pushing instead for one that would be include officials from several ministries as well as the chief rabbinate. But member of the victims’ families have rejected that idea, saying that it posed a conflict of interest as some panel members would be investigating their own ministries.
The Times of Israel (https://bit.ly/3g0iRrF) reported that some of the families joined together in creating The Forum of the Bereaved Families of the Meron Martyrs, sending a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several other high ranking officials demanding an independent state investigation, saying that it is the only way a comprehensive inquiry could actually happen. Taking things one step further, the family of singer Shragee Gestetner, the first victim identified in the stampede, said last week that it would bring in the American government if a state investigation was not created shortly.