Father who lost teenage daughter to terror receives Independence Day honor

Rabbi Eitan Shnerb, whose teenage daughter was murdered by Palestinian terrorists, is honored for his charity work.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Rabbi Eitan Shnerb, whose teenage daughter Rina was murdered in a 2019 terror attack, is one of six Israelis chosen to light the ceremonial torches that will launch the annual Independence Day ceremonies, Transport Minister Miri Regev announced Tuesday.

Shnerb, 48, is one of the founders of the Chesed in Lod charity organization that assists people in need, distributes food to the poor and operates a second hand clothing store chain that makes low cost clothing available.

The charity also holds Torah study classes, builds hiking trails, rehabilitates nature sites and conducts day trips around the country, Israel Hayom reported.

The organization recently changed its name to Kol Rina (“sound of joy”), in memory of his daughter Rina, who was killed in a terrorist bombing while they were hiking near the Samarian town of Dolev. Rabbi Shnerb and one of Rina’s brothers, Dvir, were both wounded in the attack.

“Rabbi Shnerb … acts according to the belief that ‘a world of kindness will be built’ is a way of life,” said Transport Minister Miri Regev and Minister of Culture and Sport Hili Tropper, who referred to the saying taken from the Book of Psalms. The ministers have so far decided on five of the six Israelis to be honored to light torches that will be lit at the start of Israel’s 73rd Independence Day celebrations at sundown on April 14.

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“Rabbi Shnerb, strong in spirit and love for others, intensified the association’s activities after the murder of his daughter out of a desire to give a warm shoulder to the values ​​of family and cohesion of the people and the land,” the ministers added.

The theme for this year’s Independence Day celebrations is “Israeli fraternity,” with those chosen to light the six torches representing a salute to citizens who work to cultivate social resilience in the country and deepen that which is common and unifying.

Four of the other five torch lighters have been named. Joining Shnerb at the ceremony will be popular Israeli musician Shlomi Shabbat, 66, who recovered after being critically sick last year with the coronavirus and helped emphasize to the public the dangers of the disease and encouraged immunization.

The three others are Dr. Dror Dicker, 58, who established and managed one of the first coronavirus wards in Israel, IDF Major Maor Cohen, in charge of recruiting Israelis with special needs to serve in the military and who has helped volunteer recruitment increase by 25%, and Abie Moses, 71, one of the founders of the Organization of Victims of Terrorism who himself was seriously wounded by a molotov cocktail in a 1987 Palestinian terror attack.