Hundreds of students, parents and teachers from OTS Derech Avot high school in Efrat were joined by OTS Chancellor Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, OTS Director General Yinon Ahiman, Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi and Gush Etzion Mayor Davidi Perl this morning for a public tefillat Shacharit to honor the memory of their beloved teacher, Rabbi Yaakov Don hy”d. Following the public prayer service at Gush Etzion Junction – the site where Don was murdered exactly one week ago – the students marched back to the high school, proudly carrying Israeli flags.
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, head of the OTS network and Rabbi of Efrat, spoke movingly of Don acknowledging the impact he had on the lives of so many. “So many students and alumni of Derech Avot have told me the same thing: I owe Yaakov Don my life. Our Sages tell us in relation to our Forefather Yaakov that as long as his children were alive, he too still lived. All of you, all of us, are the children of Rav Yaakov; as long as we live and carry out his legacy, Rav Yaakov too continues to live.
Rabbi Riskin said, “I want to tell our enemies: You will not win… the Torah will win, Rav Yaakov’s way will prevail.”
Derech Avot’s principal Yitzchak Grunwald also spoke: “I believe that Yaakov is very proud of us, that we can stand so close to the place where he was murdered. It was always Yaakov who organized events outside of the school such as this one. Now we have to organize them without it. The price that our school has paid is too heavy.”
Photos: Gershon Ellinson and Blumberg Communications