Following the heartbreaking levaya of 13-year-old Yedidya Chiyut, one of the youngest victims of the Meron disaster, in Bnei Brak on Motzei Shabbos, the father, Rav Avigdor Chiyut, 36, and his son Shmuel Meir, 10, spoke to the media.
Reb Avigdor said to the reporters: “We’re here at the levaya of my son. As is known, he was missing from Thursday night – until we found out that he was killed immediately and wasn’t even evacuated to the hospital. ”
Turning to his son Shmuel Meir, who was sitting in a wheelchair next to him, he continued: “This is my son who lay next to me when we were on the floor with bodies piled on top of us. This is the boy that yelled out ‘Shema Yisrael, Vidui, Abba, I’m dying’ and here, Baruch Hashem he’s here. His ankle is sprained but he’s okay.”
“Unfortunately, Yedidya didn’t survive. He was a tzadik of a boy, a yeled kodesh. If he wanted me to say something here, it would have been one thing. We all have something in common. Right now we’re not looking to place blame. We’re maaminim and we know that what Hakadosh Baruch Hu does, He knows what’s He’s doing. It’s very painful but we know that He’s running the world.”
“If Yedidya was here now in my place, he would have said one thing. Rabbosai, let’s unite. It’s the time, it’s the place. When there are tragedies, no one checks which kipah the other one has, or if he has a kipah or not. Everyone helps the other one out. Let’s unite. No Jew hates the other. We need to be united.”
Ten-year-old Shmuel Meir told the reporters: “I remember that I was on the steps there and I fell and I knew that it could be that I wouldn’t be here anymore. I yelled: ‘Shema Yisrael’ from my heart.”
“Afterward when I realized that Hashem saved me, the first thing I did was call to the rescue services to save my father. Afterward, I told the police to search for my brother.”
A Channel 12 News reporter asked: “What did you feel during those moments?” When Shmuel Meir responded: “I felt bitachon and emunah,” the gasps of the people surrounding him were audible.
“I felt that only Hashem could save me,” he elaborated. “That there’s no else to believe in, only Hakadosh Baruch Hu.”
Below is a video of Rav Dovid Levi, the father of another Meron victim, Moshe Levi, z’l, who was a friend of Yedidya and died with him in the disaster. “For two years he talked about how he wanted to go to Meron,” his father said.
In a heartrending meeting, the two fathers met for the first time since the tragedy:
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 2, 2021
אביו של הבחור ידידיה חיות מנחם את אביו של הבחור משה לוי, כמה עצב. pic.twitter.com/VBvTCWNU7M
— אריאל אלחרר (@ariel_elharar_) May 2, 2021
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)