Hundreds Attend Funeral of Moshe Agadi, Killed by Gazan Rocket in Ashkelon

Many more turned away by Home Front Command, which limited crowd to 300 because of rocket threat

People cry during the funeral of Moshe Agadi in the city of Ashkelon, Israel, May 5, 2019.
Sebastian Scheiner / AP

Hundreds of people came to the funeral Sunday of Moshe Agadi, who was killed Saturday night by a rocket hitting Ashkelon. Many more mourners had to be turned away because the Home Front Command had limited attendance to 300.

“They said not to come, but I came anyway,” said Yizhak Hakimi, who knew Agadi from the local open market where he had worked as a greengrocer. “Those performing a mitzvah are not harmed,” he said, quoting the Talmud.

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Agadi, 58, was fatally wounded by shrapnel when a rocket fell in the yard of his mother-in-law’s home. He died later of his wounds.

With the sounds of shelling across the border clearly heard, the funeral was conducted under as much security as possible. At the entrance to the cemetery, a Home Front Command soldier gave each participant a flyer entitled “Defense instructions during the funeral.” After a number of short eulogies, the mourners made their way to the gravesite, where after a few minutes they were asked to leave the area. The entire funeral took less than an hour.

“When they told me he had died, I thought at first it was from heart disease,” said Pinhas Peretz, manager of the synagogue Agadi attended. “He was such a good guy, he gave a lot of money to the synagogue. Only yesterday he was dancing there with a Torah scroll.” “He was a person with a great soul, he was always helping,” said Agadi’s friend, Danny Maimon. “It’s a tragedy.”

Tali, a relative of Agadi’s, couldn’t avoid talking politics. “I voted for Bibi and I’ll continue voting for Bibi,” she said. “He’s a good prime minister. But it’s time that soldiers stop being killed.”

Peretz had a word for members of Knesset. “They should stop saying that we’re a strong nation. That’s not enough. It’s about time that they were strong. How much can we suffer?”

Maimon was more conciliatory. “How much can we invest in war instead of in peace?” he said. “Instead of investing in submarines and tanks, invest in sitting and talking.”