Long Time IDF Battalion Rabbi Killed in Meron Recalled as Father Figure

By Sandy Eller
Posted on 05/03/21 | News Source: Vosizneias.com

Jerusalem, Israel - Hundreds of people accompanied Rabbi Moshe Tzarfati to his final resting place in Jerusalem’s Sanhedria Cemetery on Sunday, paying their respects to a man who served as a father and rabbi to many members of the Israel Defense Forces. A 65 year old father of four and grandfather of 25, Rabbi Tzarfati lost his life in the Lag B’Omer stampede in Meron.

Rabbi Tzarfati was a volunteer with the Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion, formerly known as Nahal Haredi, reported Ynet (https://bit.ly/339iu8r). A former IDF officer, Rabbi Tzarfati was recalled as someone who would visit with soldiers, bringing them food, a listening ear and encouragement.

“He loved volunteering,” said son Shai Tzarfati. “He loved soldiers. He loved life. He was a young man in a 60 year old’s body.”

Having spent years mentoring soldiers as the battalion rabbi, Rabbi Tzarfati was remembered for his physical and spiritual strength, a seemingly endless supply of happiness and an incredible love for his fellow man.

Joseph Singer enlisted in Netzach Yehuda in 2005. He recalled Rabbi Tzarfati’s visits to the battalion.

“He would come and breathe life into the soldiers who were under stress,” said Singer. “Good words, food, attention – things the soldiers lacked. He would take care of them and give them hope.”

Singer noted that Rabbi Tzarfati had the ability to relieve the pressure that he and his fellow soldiers lived with in their day to day lives.

“He would give people air to breathe, exactly the air he did not have in the terrible disaster,” said Singer.