Posted by: gruvenreuven | April 3, 2009

Bat Ayin a sweet voice silenced from this world

Shlomo Nativ ZL

Shlomo Nativ Z"L

Last Shabbat we had a beautiful bar Mitzvah in our community of Bala Cynwyd Pennsylvania. A young boy days before, now a young man, reading beautifully from the Torah. There is something sweet in the air when a young man leins Torah for the first time. The gates of heaven surely swing wide open. Unfortunately this Shabbos one of these beautiful voices has been silenced forever in this world.

Yesterday, the 8th of Nissan, just shy of a week before Pesach, a young man was brutally murdered by an Axe wielding Arab youth, who at the time of this writing has escaped. At 12:15pm Israeli time, reports rang out that a Terrorist disguised as a Jewish settler entered the peaceful torah community of Bat Ayin Israel. His victims were two boys, 13 year old Shlomo Nativ Z”L & 7 year old Yair Gamliel. Shlomo was killed in the attack, while Yair was rescued through the heroics of Avinoam Maimon who got in between Yair & the terrorist. Avinoam struggled with the Axe wielding terrorist, but unfortunately he broke free and escaped.

Yair Gamliel (Yair ben Michal, Please Daven for his full recovery) remains in the hospital in serious condition with a fractured skull. Shlomo Nativ Z”L was laid to rest 5:00pm that evening.

I found out about the attack via my twitter stream. My sister in-law and her family live in Bat Ayain, and were amongst one of the original families who helped settle the community. I had the pleasure of spending a Shabbos in Bat Ayin in 2004 when I was over for my Eldest Nephew’s wedding. I can say with out a doubt, it was one of the most beautiful Shabbats that I have had the pleasure of experiencing. Bat Ayin an earthy Breslev Torah community is nestled in the beautiful Judean Hills. It is truly a place where Earth meets Gan Eden.

For me, hearing the news reminded me of the brutal murder of Bat Ayin resident Erez Levanon just two years prior (a week before Purim). My Sister in-Law was visiting us at the time and got a call from her husband at 5:00am telling her of the attack. Our house filled with sobs and scream of “No!”. Erez was a talented musician as well as a real Tzadik. I fondly remember Erez from my 2004 trip. The report of Shlomo & Yair, flashed me back to an eerie sense of déjà vu.

After hearing the news about Shlomo and Yair, I called my wife who in turn called her sister. She didn’t get through as she was at the funeral. I then sent an email to my Sister in-law inquiring about Yair’s mother’s name so I could Daven for his full recovery.

I davened Maariv last night at the Philadelphia Kollel. It hit me there, that the exactly tefillos I was saying was said each night by young Shlomo as well. Tonight, those words were silenced from one beautiful voice.

When I got home from the Kollel, (morning Israeli time), I got the below email which I would like to share with you. News reports are just that… Impersonal.. This email really hits home, as these are not just names, but loving a peaceful people. (My comments in [] )

Hi Reuven,

This was a tragedy. Yes…she [Yair’s mother] is a very good friend of mine. She always lent us her car for the period when we had no car….

Anyway….her name is Michal. Yair ben Michal.

Shlomo Nativ, the boy who was so brutally killed with the ax…was Ishai’s [My Youngest Nephew] very dear friend. They were bike buddies. And we are all broken. The funeral was heavy. Over a thousand Jews…and we all walked slowly up the hill to Kfar Etzion…the tears were really flowing and still are. It’s terrible. I hardly slept last night…

This whole thing happened right across from their own home, in the center of the yishuv!!!! People working in the office…the guy, the animal, I should say, is 17 years old. He disguised himself as one of us…large kippah, peyoth….an army coat. He walked into the yishuv somehow, and then ran out.

We should hear good news…we desperately need the Moshiach…and today!!! Korban Pesach…Shlomo ben Chaim…

Be well…



  1. I can’t leave a response.

    But neither can I come here, read your post and say nothing to pay my respect. I can’t say anything because I am choking too much. It aches, and I know that tonight we will pray for refuah shelemah for Yair ben Michal, and remember Shlomo Nativ z”l for ever.

    Thank you for writing the post.

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