(JNS.org) The seven children of the Sassoon family who died over the weekend in a fire at their home in Brooklyn were laid to rest at Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuhot Cemetery on Monday.
“I paid the ultimate sacrifice. Here before you are seven innocent lambs,” their father, Gabriel Sassoon, who was away at a conference at the time of the fire, said at their funeral service, the Jerusalem Post reported.
“They were such innocent children. This was a sacrifice for the Jewish people. I thought about my children’s future, I was looking forward to their mitzvot, I wanted grandchildren, but the Lord thought otherwise—to take them as a sacrifice at the height of their beauty. In the end it is for their benefit and for our benefit, but we cannot understand the master plan,” he said.
The Sassoon family had lived in Israel until moving to Brooklyn a year-and-a-half ago. Gabriel’s wife, Gayle, and daughter Siporah, 15, escaped the fire by jumping from a second-floor window. They remain in critical condition at a New York hospital. Authorities attributed the fire to an unknown malfunction in an electric hot plate, which is used by observant families to keep food warm on Shabbat. The Sassoon family’s victims included Eliane, 16; Rivkah, 11; Sara, 6; David, 12; Yeshua, 10; Moshe, 8; and Yaakob, 5.