The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis — joins the people of Israel and Jews across the world in mourning the savage killing of 17-year-old Rina Shnerb by a terrorist bomb on Friday, August 23, 2019, while she was hiking at a natural spring outside the town of Dolev in Samaria, Israel. Her father, Eitan, a rabbi in Lod and a battalion rabbi in the Israel Defense Forces, and her brother Dvir, 19, were injured when the bomb detonated and currently are in serious condition in a Jerusalem hospital. Tragically, this terrorist attack occurred just one week after Rina celebrated her birthday. Israeli police have determined that an improvised explosive device was used and that the bomb was planted there early and was triggered remotely when the family approached it. As the Sabbath approached late Friday afternoon in Lod, hundreds of mourners attended the funeral.
Rina’s uncle, Shmulik Shenhav, called his niece, “an innocent, G-d fearing girl.” “She was so sweet, with her whole life head of her,” he said. Her sister, Tamar Levanoni, spoke at the funeral about how Rina, “constantly strove to advance, to learn and understand.” “This hole is not just felt by the family; it is a void in the heart of the nation,” said her sister. “The space now needs to be filled; the work begins now. Dearest, beloved Rina, thank you for the years we had with you. I hope that together we an fulfill the mission you left us.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who held a security meeting following the attack, offered his condolences and vowed to capture those responsible. “We will continue to strengthen communities,” Netanyahu said. “We will spread our roots deeper and strike at our enemies. Security forces are in pursuit of the vile terrorists. We will reach them. Our long arm will pay them their dues.”
United States Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman stated, “Heartbroken and outraged by the brutal terrorist attack in Dolev that left a 17-year-old girl dead and her father and brother seriously injured. No words to describe the sadness of the moment as we grieve and pray for the injured to recover. May they receive God’s blessings.”
United States Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt likewise offered his support: “Another savage attack by Palestinian terrorists kills an Israeli teenager enjoying time with her family. This isn’t the path to peace, just endless suffering.” Greenblatt further stated, “Hamas praised 17-year-old Rina Shnerb’s murder by Palestinian terrorists. The PA must unequivocally condemn this attack & the recent murder of 18-year-old Dvir Sorek. If they don’t, donor countries should demand the PA answer for why their donor funds continue to be used to reward attacks.”
United States House Majority leader Seny Hoyer also condemned the attack. “I strongly condemn the attack on Rina Shnerb, her father Rabbi Eitan, and her brother Dvir,” Hoyer said in a statement. “I extend my deepest condolences to Rina’s family and friends and I hope those responsible are swiftly brought to justice.”
The RAA condemns the cold, inhumane act of terror and hate that took the life of Rina Shnerb and that seriously injured her father Rabbi Eitan and her brother Dvir. Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, stated, “Words cannot express our outrage. As Jews, we are sadly all too familiar with terror, hate and violence, and the trauma of living with fear of violence. With a history of pogroms, the Holocaust and terror in Israel, we, as Jews and Americans, join the people of Israel and Jews world over in mourning this tragic loss of life and terrorist attack. What started as ordinary days should never have ended in death, chaos and destruction. We call upon every decent peace-loving person to lock hand in hand and to condemn this violence and resolve upon ourselves as human beings and as Americans to not rest until these cowardly terrorists are found and all those responsible for this heinous act of murder, death and destruction are held accountable.”
Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, presidium chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, called upon “members of the Jewish faith to say additional prayers for the victims of these massacres and to pray that, as Americans, we should never see such acts of death and destruction again. The only way to combat hate is through love and acts of kindness. We urge all decent people to build and strengthen local communities to provide care in times of need and support in times of stress. This country needs more prayer, more faith and more love.”
May He who makes peace in Heaven shall make peace on this earth and may we not know of such incidents anymore.