(JTA) – A Jewish child was identified as the youngest of the 26 victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Noah Pozner, a first-grader like all of the children killed at the school on Friday, had turned 6 on Nov. 20. He will be laid to rest on Monday.
The Israeli news site Ynet reported that Noah’s twin sister also is a student at Sandy Hook but survived the shooting.
Rabbi Shaul Praver of Temple Adath Israel in Newtown told NPR Weekend Edition host Scott Simon that he spent Friday, which he termed "the day from hell," consoling Noah’s mother, who is a member of the synagogue.
"I told the mother that was grieving that I personally believe in the eternity of the soul, and I believe that she will see her son again," Praver said. "Other than that theological comment, the rest of it was getting her to think about taking a breath and not trying to plan the rest of her life out right now because she says, ‘What am I going to do without my baby?’ "
Praver was among the clergy, social workers and psychologists who arrived at a firehouse near the school where many of the victims and their families congregated after the shooting. On Saturday morning, Adath Israel held a community prayer service.
In response to the question of why such tragedies happen, Praver replied, "I don’t know the answer to that. I never try to present a theological answer to that. I think what’s more important is to have compassion, humanity and hold someone’s hand and hug them and cry with them."
Praver, who ended his NPR interview with a plea for listeners to pray for the families affected, also said that another friend of the congregation was killed.
Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on SUnday that she will introduce a bill on the first day that Congress returns to session in January to ban the sale of assault weapons and the sale of clips of more than ten bullets,.
“I’m going to introduce it in the Senate, and the same bill will be introduced in the House,” Feinstein said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”