[COMMUNICATED] “He loved the Torah, the Mitzvos. He was so connected to tzadikim. To R’ Shimon. But R’ Shimon took him as a sacrifice in the place he loved the most.”
The emotional words of a close relative spoken at Yisroel Anakava’s funeral several days ago left no tear unshed. Anakava, the father of a toddler and a four-month-old was only twenty-four years old when he was tragically crushed to death in the Meron tragedy. According to several witnesses, he died a hero’s death.
“He lived for others, and he died for others,” writes Ankava’s young widow, Ruti. “At only 24 years of age, my husband died a hero’s death trying to help rescue others from the human avalanche at Meron. ‘Yisroel was able to get out of there. But he helped me get out with his last strength, until he fell..’ explained his friend to me during Shiva, with tears streaming down his face.”
Resources share that Ankava was always the first to help anyone. When he wasn’t answering his phone on Lag Baomer night, Ruti was surprised; It was unusual for her devoted husband not to answer her calls right away. But it had never occurred to her that she would never see him again.
“That night I called and called and called his phone. When he didn’t answer, I knew.”
“We have two little kids, who love their Daddy so much,” she writes.
“Our youngest is only four months old. They don’t understand what is going on, why he hasn’t come home. I sit mourning and I am trying to think of how I will tell them that Daddy is never coming home.”
Yisroel Anakava put a life before his own. That was simply the kind of man that he was. Now that he is gone, his family is inconsolable. A widow with two small orphans, they have a long and difficult journey ahead of them, one that they will walk without Yisroel’s constant love and support. Anemergency fund has been set up by the Vaad HaRabbanim to provide Anakava’s widow and two young daughters with much-needed financial relief for the challenging years ahead of them. Please click here to donate.