Tonight, as a cantor sang during a service at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Lihi Shaer weeps. Her 16-year-old nephew, Gilad was one of the three teens killed. From the pulpit she says "3 holy souls that did nothing wrong. Their only sin, that they were on their way home for Shabbat from school."
Ever since getting the bad news Shaer has been in a state of shock. For the 18 days she prayed "until the last moment I was shocked. I really believed they would survive."
At the Simon Wiestenthal Center, there were prayers for the 18 days the teens were missing. In Judaism 18, or the letter Chai, means life and, said Rabbi Marvin Heier, "in this case 18 merans death because on the 18th day - after 18 days -their bodies were found."
Israeli Consul General David Siegel called this "an absolutely devastating day." He was the one who broke the bad news to Lihi Shaer that her nephew was dead. And, with regard to Primie Minister Benjamin Netanyahus call for action Siegel says, "there's no doubt Hamas is responsible for this and they should pay a heavy price. Any country would have to respond and we will respond."
Meanwhile, at this service at the Beverly Hills Hotel Lihi was clearly grieving. Just an hour earlier, in a very sad twist, she lit a memorial candle. It was supposed to be for her uncle on this, the anniversary of his death. Instead, she lit it for Gilad.
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