Three Years since the Fogel Family Massacre in Itamar

After three years, a memorial was held in memory of the Fogel family that was massacred by Palestinian terrorists. Parents Ehud and Ruthie, alongside their three children, Yoav, Eldad and Hadas, were slaughtered. They were survived by Roi, Yishai, and Tamar.
Fogel family Photo Credit: Channel 2

Three years have passed since Palestinian terrorists entered a family home in the Itamar community on Shabbat evening and massacred Ruthie, Ehud, and three of their children.

They slaughtered almost the entire Fogel family. Their children Roi and Yishai were asleep at the time and survived. Their daughter Tamar was at a friends’ home and returned to discover the disaster scene of the terror attack inside her house. 

On the door of the family home are the first photographs hung since the mourning period. Until today, the family has registered photographs from moments in their lives, whether happy or sad moments, as well as routine events. In the family room, there are regular children’s books found among memorial books. “Every one is here,” Rabbi Yehuda stated. 

Remembering the Family

“The Ehud House” is part of educational offices named in honor of the Fogel family that is now under construction. Families are impatient to arrive, to visit and to be updated. There was also a memorial commemoration marking three years since the brutal massacre.

“The first year I think was a year of pain, great pain,” Haim Fogel, father of the late Ehud Fogel, stated. “The second year was one of overcoming. The third year was one of sad longing. This is no more.”

In the Ehud House, a meeting was recently held between bereaved families and 20 children from adjacent communities in memory of the Fogel family. “This group is very excited for us,” Tali Ben Yishai, the mother of the late Ruthie Fogel, testified. “We saw children that called out their names and continued their legacy.”

Tamar Fogel Became a Symbol

Of all of the surviving family members, the most attention goes to the eldest daughter Tamar. “I think that seeing Tamar and witnessing how she deals with the situation, one feels empowered,” Ben Yishai stated. “Perhaps everyone has something to deal with and seeing a little girl deal with it strengthens the power of everyone.”

A few months ago, Tamar demonstrated against freeing terrorists outside the home of the Prime Minister. Almost every day, she is busy dealing with the fate of Jonathan Pollard. A year after the terrorist attack, she even visited him in his prison cell. “It’s exciting to see someone like that,” Tamar stated.

From where does the power come? Why in the last three years did they almost never stop their optimism? The code word accompanying the family always is “shirking off persevering dust.” These words were written for the first time on the home of Ehud and Ruthie in Netzarim, on the eve of the evacuation from Gush Katif. It was their kind of message before leaving their home in quiet, without a desire to confront the IDF.

These precise words arrived quickly at the funeral of the parents, from Ruthie’s brother Yochai. From there, it scattered to a crowd of thousands in Caesarea, when the singer Amir Benayoun sung them in a song dedicated to Tamar.

The family is not only raising three children but is also counseling and lecturing, coming to visit almost every family that experienced a tragedy within the country. Tali explained that the massacre was a test of their worldview. “We’re not anxious,” she stated. “The process is theirs, not ours. The way is difficult; salvation will not come without pain. It comes with a lot of pain. But at the end; we are sure that we will be a big light and good will prevail over evil.”

But still, one needs to pass the concept of redemption with the help of doing ones homework, gathering fruit from the garden. The biggest child Tamar and Roi see in Tali a grandmother, but the little Yishai doesn’t. So this injured family that lived through tragic changes without recognizing one night from three years, succeeded to deal with bereavement together with hope. 

 



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