JERUSALEM (AP) — The four men killed by two Palestinian attackers as they worshipped in a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday were rabbis, and all were immigrants to Israel with dual citizenship — three born in the United States and one in England.
A fifth fatality, policeman Zidan Saif, who was critically wounded by one of the terrorists in the gunfight in which they were killed, died of his injuries late Tuesday.
In a press conference late Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the four Jews murdered at prayer as both “innocent and pure.”
Similar tributes to their character were paid by mourners at their funerals on Tuesday afternoon.
RABBI MOSHE TWERSKY
A Boston native who came from a line of influential rabbis, the 59-year-old Twersky was a “gentle, saintly scholar,” said his brother-in-law in New York City, Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt.
“He lived his life with a kind of perfected modesty and precision,” said Rosenblatt, who is married to Twersky’s sister, the former Tzipporah Twersky. “He lived in the image of a gentle God.”
Called an “eminent educator” by New York’s Yeshiva University, Twersky was the son of Rabbi Isadore Twersky, who founded Harvard University’s Center for Jewish Studies, and the grandson of Joseph B. Soloveitchik, one of the most influential Jewish theologians of his generation.
After immigrating to Israel in 1990, Twersky became the head of the Torat Moshe Yeshiva, one of the first in the country established to cater to post-high school students from English-speaking countries. He is survived by his wife Miriam, five children and 10 grandchildren.
RABBI KALMAN ZE’EV LEVINE
Born Cary William Levine, the 55-year-old had dedicated his life to the land and people of Israel, said his brother-in-law, Jonathan Bein.
“There are people, once they get there, their ethic is to never leave the land of Israel. He was one of those people,” said Bein, who is married to Levine’s sister, Shelly Levine, of Boulder, Colorado.
“He was a very peaceful, sweet guy — guileless, learned,” Bein said. “Israel was his calling.”
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Levine attended the University of Southern California, where he studied the Torah and Talmud. He left in his 20s for Israel, where most recently he was teaching at a Jerusalem seminary, Bein said.
Levine’s son, Yerachmiel Levine, recalled his father’s dedication to his religious studies. “He would study all day long and would return home at night only to learn more until he would fall asleep in his chair,” the son said.
Levine is survived by his wife, nine children and five grandchildren.”
RABBI ARYEH KUPINSKY
The 43-year-old immigrated to Israel from the United States, and worshipped frequently at the synagogue where he died.
Real estate executive Jacob Goldman, 43, who studied with Kupinsky at a suburban Detroit yeshiva, described him as “a really nice kid …a really great guy.”
He is survived by his wife and five children.
AVRAHAM SHMUEL GOLDBERG
The 68-year-old native of Liverpool, England, immigrated to Israel in 1993, and was a near daily participant in morning prayers at the synagogue where he died.
David Osborne, a friend who was near the Jerusalem synagogue when it was attacked, said Goldberg was “the most wonderful person you could meet.”
He is survived by his wife, six children and grandchildren.
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