Hundreds of Haredim from Har Nof and elsewhere joined Israeli leaders and the Druze community at the funeral in the Galilee for hero Druze police officer Sergeant-Major Zidan Saif, who lost his life in a gun battle that ended in the death of the two eastern Jerusalem Arabs who murdered four Jews praying in a synagogue Tuesday morning.
Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious leaders joined the Druze community to mourn the death of Saif.
Haredim provided buses free charge for people to show their respects and thanks for Saif’s courage.
An unusual decision in Jewish law pronounced by the late Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and reported here earlier today was widely publicized by Haredim to support reciting the Jewish memorial prayer for non-Jews.
Rabbi Yosef ruled that the prayer may be recited at the funeral and also in synagogue for a “Druze soldier who is killed “defending Israel against enemies.”
Part of the Druze creed is to be loyal to the country in which they live, and serving in the IDF has been a long-standing tradition for the Druze since the re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
Druze leader Mouafiq Tarif eulogized Saif and said his community would continue to fight for the country but also pleaded for the government to “lower the tensions” in Jerusalem.
Among the Israeli dignitaries at the funeral were President Reuven Rivlin, Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch and National Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino.