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July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
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Funeral Begins from Lakewood Yeshiva Student Aaron Sofer

Sofer, who may have died from dehydration after falling in a ravine while hiking, is being buried in Beit Shemesh.
Eulogy at funeral fro Lakewood, New Jersey Yeshiva student Aaron Sofer.

Eulogy at funeral fro Lakewood, New Jersey Yeshiva student Aaron Sofer.
Photo Credit: Screenshot

Thousands of mourners turned out Friday morning for the funeral of Lakewood, New Jersey yeshiva student Aaron Sofer whose body was found Thursday after seven days of searching since he was reported missing last Friday evening.

His parents said they were “overwhelmed” by the sad news, which also brought a certain relief from the week-long anxiety that was deepened by fears that Sofer, 23, had been kidnapped by terrorists.

The funeral began with eulogies in the Ezrat Torah neighborhood of Jerusalem, and Sofer is to be buried later in the day in Beit Shemesh.

His disappearance, after he and a hiking friend had separated in the hills of Jerusalem, brought out passionate pleas from New Jersey community and political leaders for the IDF and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) to conduct massive search for Sofer.

Search and rescue workers found his partially decomposed body Thursday afternoon. Sofer did not have a cell phone, and if he was alive after he fell, the inability to communicate by phone may have left him doomed to death by dehydration.

“Ever since Aaron went missing, communities throughout the United States, Israel, and beyond gathered in worship on behalf of Aaron,” said New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez.

“During this period of mourning, I hope the Sofer family can be comforted with the knowledge that countless people, friends and strangers alike, prayed for Aaron’s well-being, and those acts of devotion will only continue,” he added. “It has become clear to me that everyone who knew Aaron saw tremendous promise in this young man who was committed to his family, his Jewish faith and his community of Lakewood.”

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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4 Responses to “Funeral Begins from Lakewood Yeshiva Student Aaron Sofer”

  1. This is so sad. There is some comfort to know that he was not the victim of hatred. זכרונו לברכה

  2. Barry Graham says:

    One lesson here is that we shouldn't circulate speculative e-mails that assume there was terrorism involved, quoting famous leaders in our community who apparently said that he had been kidnapped, which turned out not to be what actually happened and frankly I doubt whether the statement was ever actually made.

  3. Beth Kaufman says:

    If you are religious and in Israel ALWAYS CARRY ACellphone!, rabbis wake up, stop forbidding cellphones in the Charedi community!

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