Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90
Jews react by lighting candles at the spot in south of Jerusalem from where the three young Jewish teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Sha'ar were abducted on June 12. The bodies of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad were found in a field north of Hebron earlier this evening. June 30, 2014.

The Rabbinical Council of America and the Orthodox Union issued a statement on the day the fate of the kidnapped Israeli teenagers was learned, Monday, June 30. The theme of the statement was the unity of the Jewish people. It was united in prayer and now it is united in grief.

We cry out in anguish and in outrage at the unspeakable horror of today’s announcement that the three teens, whom Jews and so many other people of good will around the world dared to hope would be found and returned safely to their families, were instead murdered in cold blood by their Hamas kidnappers, apparently shortly after their abduction 18 days ago.

The Rabbinical Council of America and the Orthodox Union, with the rest of acheinu kol beis Yisroel (our brothers and sisters, the entire nation of Israel), mourn this unthinkable tragedy, this worst possible end to the search for Naftali Frenkel, 16; Gil-Ad Shaar, 16; and Eyal Yifrach, 19. This is, unfortunately, only the latest episode in which innocent lives have been snuffed out by adherents of a murderous, amoral death cult sworn to the destruction of Israel, and the genocide of the Jewish people.

The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America offer their profound condolences to the families of these three boys, whom we have all come to think of as our own sons. Naftali, Gil-Ad and Eyal were our family, our brothers. The world needs to recognize, as it often fails to do, the nature of the enemies that are arrayed against Israel and the level of inhumanity of which they are capable. We join in the call for swift and resolute punishment for the perpetrators of this atrocity, and call upon world leaders to continue to affirm that such heinous tactics have no place in the civilized world.

The recurring theme expressed by the courageous mothers of the teens, as they saw the throngs who joined with them in support, is the unity of the Jewish people. Before, we were unified in prayer and hope for the boys’ safe return. Now, tragically, we are unified in grief.

May the families, the people of Israel, all those who stood with the families and held them in their hearts and prayers, be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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