JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a Bible study session attended by the parents of three Israeli teens killed in June.
Iris and Uri Yifrach, Rachel and Avi Fraenkel, and Ophir and Bat-Galim Shaar joined the Tanach Study Circle at the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem on Sunday evening.
Netanyahu renewed the circle two years ago. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, had started the tradition.
Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron also joined the study group, which focused on the upcoming weekly Torah portion of Bereishit, the opening chapters of the Bible.
Netanyahu said at the beginning of the meeting, “We are preparing to celebrate Simchat Torah, when we will conclude reading the Torah and begin it again. The cyclical nature of reading the Torah and starting it again from Genesis also symbolizes the renewal of our people in our land. Despite all attempts to destroy us, each time we build ourselves up again, deeply linked to also growing the tree called the Jewish People, with our deep roots and branches that reach ever higher.”
The teens were kidnapped in mid-June and their bodies were found near Hebron 18 days later following a massive search.