Thousands gathered in the Jewish community of Elkana for the funeral of Reuven Shmerling, who was found stabbed to death in Samaria right before his 70th birthday celebration.

Reuven Shmerling, a Jewish man who was found dead in an industrial zone in the Israeli-Arab town of Kfar Kassem on Wednesday afternoon, was about to celebrate his 70th birthday.

“Everything was ready for your birthday, we had prepared a song and a presentation, t-shirts and all, but only the birthday boy was missing,” his daughter, Idit, said at his funeral on Friday. ‘We never had time to say goodbye.”

“Never had time to thank you for the important things you gave us: tremendous love, a beaming smile, Shabbat songs, being a devoted grandparent, and for your love of fellow human beings… Only two days have passed and we miss you so much.”

This heartbreaking eulogy is in Hebrew, but the tears, emotion and grief are understood.

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