Members of Baltimore's Jewish community are coming together to grieve after the murder of three Israeli teens, whose bodies were found earlier this week.
Sixteen-year-olds Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel, along with 19-year-old Eyal Yifrah were kidnapped on their way home from school in Israel last month.
- Hamas member killed after Israeli teens found dead
- Baltimore's Jewish community responds to Kansas City shootings
- Shootings at Jewish centers called ‘heinous' attacks
Hundreds gathered for a memorial service at the Beth El congregation Wednesday night. The hope that the teens might have be found alive was gone, replaced by grief.
“We are stunned into silence by the shock and horror of the deaths of children,” said Rabbi Amy Scheinerman, of Howard County Hospice. “It is said that sorrow shared is sorrow halved.”
The dispute between Israelis and Palestinians has raged for decades, but the mourners in Pikesville say these three murders touched a nerve, because the boys were young and innocent.
“So much promise, so much potential, so much good, snuffed out,” said Rabbi Chaim Landau, of the Baltimore Board of Rabbis.
The murders have sparked massive protests in Israel -- and calls for retaliation.
Those calls were purposefully absent at the Beth El memorial service.
“There's a lot of different opinions about what should be going on over there, what we can do what the Israelis can do what the Palestinians can do. I'm glad that it was pretty much an expression of unity, of Jewish unity, and of loss,” said Cantor Thom King, of Beth El congregation.
Jews around the world have been displaying yellow ribbons in the hope that the teens would be found alive. After the service in Pikesville mourners received black ribbons to replace them.
“It is something that is almost unforgivable in any religion that this kind of thing would happen,” said congregation member Mark Rome.
On Wednesday the Palestinians accused Israeli extremists of kidnapping and killing an Arab teenager and burning his body. They believe it is retaliation for the murders of the three Israeli teens.
STAY INFORMEDClick here