More than a thousand people accompanied Otniel resident Daphna Meir on her final journey to Jerusalem on Monday morning.
Some 1,500 attended the proceedings.
Meir was laid to rest at the Har Hamenuchot cemetery in Givat Shaul after being stabbed to death by an Arab worker-turned-terrorist.
Among the mourners were Likud Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev, Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick, Bayit Yehudi chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan and MK Moti Yogev. Yesh Atid MK Elazar Stern and Opposition Leader (Zionist Union) Isaac Herzog also were present.
In addition, relatives of Rabbi Eitam and Na’ama Henkin, who were both murdered in front of their children while traveling in their car on a road in Samaria this past October, came to show solidarity with the family and community.
Israel Chief Rabbis Yotzhak Yosef and David Lau both attended and spoke, as well.
Rabbi Lau pointed out that this was not the first such funeral he has attended since the start of the current “wave of terror.” “This isn’t the first time over the past four months we’ve been here,” he said, “and every time the pain forms anew… [Daphna] was devoted to [helping] Jews, Arabs … everyone. Master of the Universe! You said you would not take a mother of children, and [yet] here was a mother taken in front of her children.”
A naturopathic practitioner specializing in fertility and the female body, her services were often sought by those living in the south Hebron Hills Jewish communities. She also worked as a nurse at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.
From the hospital, Professor Yochanan Peiser eulogized her at the funeral in Otniel: “Who would have believed that we would be standing here today in such tragic circumstances?” he asked. “Daphna was saving lives here, and her own life was taken.”
Meir is survived by her husband Natan and their six children, including the two youngest, Yaniv, 4, and Yair, 6, who are adopted. The oldest are Renana, 17; Akiva, 15; Ahava, 10; and Noa, 11. All the children cried throughout the funeral.
Hundreds of women paid tribute on the road to the courageous nurse who gave her life to protect her children when she fought off the attacker at her home in Otniel.
Women headed by the Women in Green lined Highway 60 at the Gush Etzion and Efrat Junctions Monday morning, singing psalms as the funeral convoy passed by.
“We will continue your great kindness, your love for all people,” Otniel Chief Rabbi Re’em HaCohen said at the funeral held in Daphna’s community prior to the procession to Jerusalem. We know how to fight against the evil monsters who have lost their humanity.”
Her oldest daughter, Renana, told her mother, “I’m sorry that in your most difficult moments, I was unable to help you.” But it was, in fact, Renana whose screams upon spotting the terrorist attacking her mother that helped drive him away, and she was the one who immediately called security for assistance.
Daphna’s husband Natan Meir directed his words to the One Above.
“Dear Father, I am not questioning You. Give me strength, be with me at our home, give me a sense of Your warm embrace, Your love.