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Three-Month-Old Baby’s Funeral

October 23, 2014 | by Eli Kaufman

My thoughts and feelings after attending the heart-rending funeral of the baby brutally killed by an Arab terrorist.

I just got back from the funeral of the three-month-old baby that was killed in the terror attack and I feel a need to write. It may be a ramble so I apologize.

Unfortunately I've been to funerals before, way too many to count. I've been to funerals of people who passed away of old age, of sickness, of accidents, of suicide and drug overdose. I've been to funerals of old people, middle aged and teenagers. But I’ve never been to the funeral of a baby. A little three-month-old baby. A healthy baby, brutally killed in broad daylight.

It hit me hard. Real hard.

I'm crying now, I’ve been crying for hours already.

I got to the funeral and made my way to the front. I saw the little baby wrapped up in shrouds, placed in front of everyone. It was so small, a little package on a huge slab of marble. The mother was right there, sobbing – wailing – screaming for her little baby girl.

There was a great sadness in the air, as well as this tension. No one was comfortable. It shouldn't be like this. The parents are so young – they look like children themselves. It shouldn't be that a 90-year-old rabbi eulogizes a little baby. The father spoke, it brought wails up from everyone in the crowd. They waited years to have this baby and had taken her that day to the Kotel for the first time.

What can we say? What can we do?

God has his plans and we aren't privy to the details. It’s painful and I could only imagine what that mother and father are going through. Losing their only child, right in front of their eyes.

I feel guilty in a way. The whole thing happened right outside my house. I heard the entire commotion but I didn't see exactly what happened. My son was watching and said he heard someone say a baby was hurt. I calmed him down. He asked me about the baby before he went to sleep but I didn’t' have the heart to tell him that she died.

I didn't cry at first. I didn't know the identity of the couple. It was sad but..,

Then I heard who it was and I cracked. I cried like a baby and I am still crying. I don't even know them that well, but they are family friends. My sister had a baby the same time as them and shared a hospital room with the mother. The grandmother is one of my mother’s really close friends. I don't know what it was but it hit me. They lost their baby, a little sweet pretty girl.

We went on a trip during Sukkot together just last week. I sat behind that sweet little baby, she wore a pink bow.

Hashem help us.

I now understand clearly, like never before, why our sages tell us that it’s better to go to a funeral than to a wedding.

We need to do something different. I don't know what but I am different because of tonight.

May Hashem send us only good things and he send comfort to the family and all of klal Yisrael.

Her name was Zissel. Chaya Zissel z"l bas Shmuel Elimelech n''y

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