'How do you write a eulogy? They don't teach this at school'

‘How do I go on?’ Funerals held for 4 Israelis killed in West Bank terror attack

Elisha Anteman, 17, buried next to Ofer Fayerman, 64; mother eulogizes Harel Masood, 21: ‘Everyone was blinded by your beauty’; grandpa of Nachman Mordoff, 17: ‘You never did harm’

Michael Bachner is a news editor at The Times of Israel

  • (Left to right) Harel Masood, 21, of Yad Binyamin, Elisha Anteman, 17, of Eli, Ofer Fayerman, 64, of Eli, and Nachman Mordoff, 17, of Ahiya, who were killed in a shooting attack by Palestinian terrorists near the West Bank settlement of Eli on June 20, 2023. (Courtesy)
    (Left to right) Harel Masood, 21, of Yad Binyamin, Elisha Anteman, 17, of Eli, Ofer Fayerman, 64, of Eli, and Nachman Mordoff, 17, of Ahiya, who were killed in a shooting attack by Palestinian terrorists near the West Bank settlement of Eli on June 20, 2023. (Courtesy)
  • Relatives and friends mourn during the funeral of 17-year-old Nachman Mordoff, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, at the cemetery in Shilo, on June 21, 2023. (Photo by Menahem KAHANA / AFP)
    Relatives and friends mourn during the funeral of 17-year-old Nachman Mordoff, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, at the cemetery in Shilo, on June 21, 2023. (Photo by Menahem KAHANA / AFP)
  • Friends and family attend the funeral of 17-year-old Nachman Mordoff, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, at the cemetery in Shilo, on June 21, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Friends and family attend the funeral of 17-year-old Nachman Mordoff, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, at the cemetery in Shilo, on June 21, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Relatives and friends mourn during the funeral of 17-year-old Nachman Mordoff, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, at the cemetery in Shilo, on June 21, 2023. (Photo by Menahem KAHANA / AFP)
    Relatives and friends mourn during the funeral of 17-year-old Nachman Mordoff, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, at the cemetery in Shilo, on June 21, 2023. (Photo by Menahem KAHANA / AFP)
  • Relatives of Harel Masood, 21, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, mourn during his funeral in Yesodot, June 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
    Relatives of Harel Masood, 21, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, mourn during his funeral in Yesodot, June 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
  • Friends and family attend the funeral of 21-year-old Harel Masood, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, at the cemetery in Yesodot, on June 20, 2023. (Liron Moldovan/Flash90)
    Friends and family attend the funeral of 21-year-old Harel Masood, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, at the cemetery in Yesodot, on June 20, 2023. (Liron Moldovan/Flash90)
  • Friends and family attend the funeral of 64-year-old Ofer Fayerman, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, at the cemetery in Eli, on June 21, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Friends and family attend the funeral of 64-year-old Ofer Fayerman, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, at the cemetery in Eli, on June 21, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Mourners carry the body of terror victim Nachman Mordoff, 17, during his funeral in the West Bank settlement of Shilo, June 21, 2023 (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
    Mourners carry the body of terror victim Nachman Mordoff, 17, during his funeral in the West Bank settlement of Shilo, June 21, 2023 (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
  • Mourners carry the body of terror victim Harel Masood, 21, during his funeral in Yesodot, June 20, 2023 (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
    Mourners carry the body of terror victim Harel Masood, 21, during his funeral in Yesodot, June 20, 2023 (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

The four Israelis killed in a Palestinian terror shooting in the central West Bank were buried on Tuesday night and Wednesday, two buried side by side in their home settlement of Eli, near where the attack occurred.

Nachman Mordoff and Elisha Anteman, both 17 years old, as well as 21-year-old Harel Masood and 64-year-old Ofer Fayerman, were at a hummus restaurant and an adjacent gas station when a pair of armed Palestinians opened fire, killing them and injuring four others. One of the terrorists was shot dead at the scene by an armed Israeli civilian, while the second fled and was killed some two hours later by special forces.

Elisha Anteman was buried late Tuesday night at the cemetery in Eli, where he was from, with hundreds of mourners in attendance.

Anteman worked as a waiter at the branch of Hummus Eliyahu targeted in the attack.

He was also a 12th-grade student at the Bnei Akiva Eli Yeshiva. The school issued a statement eulogizing him, offering condolences to his family and offering assistance to students in coping with their grief.

Binyamin Regional Council head Yisrael Gantz eulogized Anteman, saying: “I saw you today for the first time. Your face had the special, warm smile of a good child of the Land of Israel. Your face told us to continue, to act, to grow despite the immense pain. Meeting your parents at the scene of horror, we saw your deep roots, roots of devotion and power, and they are the source of our strength.”

The funeral for Harel Masood, who recently completed his mandatory military service, was also held Tuesday night in a regional cemetery near his hometown of Yad Binyamin.

“I can’t believe I am eulogizing you, a father does not eulogize his son,” Gil Masood said during the funeral, according to Ynet. “My Harel, I see all of your many friends here, if you saw it you would be embarrassed. I see your friends and I am reminded of you, see their love for the land of Israel. This is a bad dream.”

Masood’s mother, Yael, said: “How can I talk about you in past tense? You were just discharged from the army, from the most rigid organization, and you were blooming. Now, when you were finally starting to live, fulfill your dream and settle the land you loved — now it has taken you into its earth. You were so beautiful, I would boast about you. Your eyes spoke silently, modestly, and everyone was blinded by your internal and external beauty.”

The brother of 21-year-old Harel Masood, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, eulogizes him during the funeral in the cemetery in Yesodot, on June 20, 2023. (Liron Moldovan/Flash90)

Masood’s older brother Dvir delivered a heartbroken eulogy: “My brother is dead. How do you even start writing a eulogy? They don’t teach this at school. How do I go on from here, my brother? I’m broken, I’m devastated. I don’t know how to go on. This is just a nightmare I’m waiting to wake up from.

“On Saturday, we gave you a nice shirt for a date. It’s okay, you don’t need to give it back, keep it,” added Dvir.

The funeral for Nachman Mordoff, who was a resident of the Achiya outpost in the central West Bank, was held on Wednesday morning in the settlement of Shilo. Like Anteman and Masood, he had been at the hummus eatery when the attack began.

The funeral featured long breaks in which Mordoff’s parents and seven siblings broke down in tears.

Relatives and friends mourn during the funeral of 17-year-old Nachman Mordoff, who was killed in a terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli, at the cemetery in Shilo, on June 21, 2023. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)

“Our precious and beloved Nachman, we love you so much,” said his grandfather Pinchas Barda. “You never did harm, never. You were honest and genuine. I ask for forgiveness if I ever offended you.”

The family issued a statement saying Mordoff was “a smiling, energetic kid loved by all his friends. His actions were always holy, helping others, smiling and strengthening the weak. He loved people and the land. His connection to the land and its Creator was done through animals, which he loved, and he loved hiking the land while shepherding sheep and goats.”

Fayerman, who lived in Eli and was shot while filling his car with gas, was buried at noon Wednesday in a grave adjacent to Anteman’s. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Fayerman’s son Matanel said during the funeral that “I would do everything to make him proud. He accompanied me on the simple things. Everyone knew him, every soldier who entered Eli. On Fridays, he would bring schnitzel to my base. I would get a half-empty tray, and he would say: ‘I left some for the guard.'”

His neighbor, Neria Meushar, hailed Fayerman’s generosity and diligence, saying: “We know your soul is now up there and you are experiencing eternal joy. I am sure of one thing — even up there, you will not ask for rest. I ask of you, when you get there please bang on the table and tell God: ‘Look here, there are too many orphans and widows.'”

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this story.

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