Mother, widow of French-Jewish victims issues plea

JERUSALEM (AP) - The widow of the slain rabbi and mother of two children gunned down at a Jewish school in France this week issued an emotional plea online Friday in the memory of her loved ones.

In a letter published on the website of Orthodox Jewish Chabad movement, Eva Sandler wrote that the "spirit of the Jewish people can never be extinguished."

She urged all Jewish parents to honor her dead family members by loving their children and teaching them to love "their fellow man."

Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and the couple's sons, 5-year-old Arieh and 3-year-old Gabriel, were killed outside their school in Toulouse by a man on a motorcycle. The three were buried in Jerusalem on Wednesday, along with 8-year-old Myriam Monsenego, the daughter of the principal of Ozar Hatorah Jewish school, who was also killed in the school shootings.

During the burial ceremony, hundreds of sobbing mourners thronged around the bodies laid out on stretchers as eulogies were delivered. Among the mourners were grieving relatives who arrived from France, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and leaders of the French Jewish community.

The suspected killer, Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent, was killed Thursday after police raided the Toulouse apartment where he had been holed up for 32 hours in a standoff with authorities.

"May no one ever have to endure such pain and suffering," Eva Sandler wrote. "I thank the Almighty for the privilege, short though it was, of raising my children together with my husband. Now the Almighty wants them back with Him."

Sandler has one remaining child, a toddler girl Liora, and Israeli media have reported that she is pregnant.

"Parents, please kiss your children. Tell them how much you love them, and how dear it is to your heart that they be living examples of our Torah, imbued with the fear of Heaven and with love of their fellow man," Sandler wrote.


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