During Memorial Day on Tuesday, Tzur Yaniv, whose two brothers were killed earlier this year in a Palestinian terrorist attack, celebrated his bar mitzvah next to their graves in Jerusalem.
Hallel Menachem Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, were shot dead on February 26 when they were traveling close to Huwara in Samaria by a member of Hamas named Abdel Fattah Hussein Kharousha.
Yagel was set to join an elite unit when he was soon conscripted, whereas Hallel had recently finished his military service in the navy.
Ten days later, in Jenin, a hub of Palestinian terrorism, Israeli Defense Forces soldiers located and killed Kharousha.
Tzur, 13, celebrated his transition into manhood by donning a T-shirt depicting his two murdered brothers standing beside his parents, Shalom and Esti, and sisters, Rachel and Kama.
To commemorate the event, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote Tzur a letter.
All of us are brothers. Brothers in sorrow, brothers in joy, and brothers in agony. A young lad from Har Bracha [in Samaria], Tzur Yaniv, the brother of Hallel and Yagel, celebrated his bar mitzvah today of all days.
Tzur carries the memory of his loved ones, as every family dealing with loss does,” the premier wrote.
On February 27, Hallel and Yagel Yaniv were laid to rest on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
At the funeral, Esti Yaniv said, “Such a calamity is beyond words. “We bury our children instead of bringing them to the [marriage] chuppah.”
The same day, Palestinian militants murdered Israeli-American Elan Ganeles in the Jordan Valley near the Beit Ha’arava Junction.
Ganeles, a Connecticut native, served in the IDF between July 2016 and August 2018. While residing in Manhattan, he visited the Jewish state to celebrate a friend’s wedding.
Tzur and his father recited the Kaddish prayer on Memorial Day at the formal service at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
The Jewish state will switch from a day of mourning to a day of celebration at sunset on Tuesday as the nation honors its 75th Independence Day.
משפחות שכולות אהובות שלנו,
החיבוק האוהב של העם עוטף אתכן, בערבות הדדית שהיא יסוד קיומנו. כולנו אחים. אחים בכאב, ביגון, וגם בשמחה.
היום, דווקא היום, נער צעיר מהר ברכה, צור יניב, אחיהם של הלל ויגל, הגיע לגיל שלוש-עשרה בר-מצווה.
כפי שעושה כל משפחה במשפחת השכול, צור נושא עימו את…
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) April 25, 2023