French School-Attack Widow: “My Husband Gave his Whole Self to Learning Torah”

French School-Attack Widow: “My Husband Gave his Whole Self to Learning Torah”

I am certain there’s not a JewishMOM in the world whose heart is not with Eva Sandler today, the young mother who lost two children and her husband in the savage attack yesterday in Toulouse. I personally have been crying a lot since I heard this tragic news about 24 hours ago. And as I read more about them, I feel so moved by this couple… Idealistic Yonatan who volunteered for 2 years of shlichut at his childhood school to teach Jewish children with learning disabilites, and Eva, who at her moment of indescribable shock and grief implores her community to honor her deceased family members by learning Torah and keeping mitzvot. This family screams out: “Mi K’Amcha Yisrael.” Hashem has chosen out his most precious jewels to bring them home to Him…

This post is translated from articles published on Ynet and NRG

Alone with her year-old baby daughter.

The wife of Yonatan Sandler (29) who was murdered in a shooting attack in France yesterday parted with the bodies of her husband and her children Aryeh (3) and Gavriel (6) that were brought to the school “Otsar Hatorah” in the city of Toulouse along with the body of the murdered daughter of the school’s principal Miriam Monsonego (8). Toulouse’s Jewish community conducted prayers and read Psalms alongside the newly widowed and bereaved mother Eva Sandler.

Eva Sandler told the audience about her husband, “He arrived with the goal to teach for two years and he travelled between Toulouse and Bordeaux in order to teach children with learning disabilities so they could succeed in becoming well acquainted with the Torah. He gave his all to this exalted goal and mission. He wanted to bring people closer to one another, and he didn’t want to give up on a single student.”

The Sandler family earlier this year. From the left Gavriel (6), Rabbi Yonatan, Aryeh (3), and Eva carrying baby daughter.

Sandler continued, “People ask me how they can help me,” and she added, “and I tell them, ‘The only help I’m asking for is that you will keep mitzvoth and become one with the words of the Torah.’ If this holy congregation will keep mitzvoth, I believe that the souls of my children will be accepted in Heaven.”

Eva, overwhelmed with grief, told friends yesterday, “I am in shock, just yesterday we returned from a visit to my parents in Paris. Who would have believed that this would happen?”

Friends of Yonatan Sandler explained that he had returned to Otsar Hatorah to teach for two years in order to repay the kindness the school did for him as a child, by taking him and educating him, a boy from a somewhat traditional family, and enabling him to become fully Torah observant.

A suggestion. In light of Eva Sandler’s request, let’s each of us do an extra mitzvah this week, say extra Tehillim, give charity, visit a sick person, learn some Torah l’ilui nishmat these holy Toulouse martyrs.

Eva with her son, Aryeh, HY"D

Gavriel Sandler, HY"D

Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, HY"D

Miriam Monsonego, HY"D

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12 comments

  1. Wow, I am still shocked from hearing the news yesterday, but to see pictures of the victims is unbelievable..this is like out of a movie, its so unreal.i remember the morning of 9-11 watching the news after a phone call at 7am telling me no work today..just watching things like these , its like a movie, so My opinion is to stop glamourizing all these movies that raise a generation that sometimes cannot tell right from wrong, and yearn for that fame even if it entails capital punishment . There are evils and wrongdoers in life, but tje fact is that the media loves to make us sympathize with the bad guy, thus creating in those disturbed people an outlet of acceptance, a misconstrued welcome to ezpress behaviour that is unacceptable. This holds for the increasing pedophile cases…the media shows nothing but sexual innuendo even in the form of cartoons, so even assuming that they are targetting normal people without any psychological problems, threy transform even the sane and timid to violent and sexually disturbed people with moral doubts and perversions. I pray that all Jewish mom merit to have a media free home and limited internet use on kosher sites only.

  2. And of course condolenses to this brave woman who I will have in my prayers. HYD.

  3. May H’ give her the strength to get through this unimaginable suffering and loss. They are all in our hearts and prayers.

  4. Marcel Mulvany

    My prayers go out to all involved and to those who are left behind. A horrific and unconscionable act. One that left me wiping tears from my eyes.

    Marcel,
    Aspen Colorado,
    USA

  5. As a practicing Roman Catholic, I am outraged over this senseless killing. I am praying a Rosary for the victims, especially the children. I know that God has received these victims into Heaven. I hope the person who did this is caught, tried, and taken to the guillotine. May his soul rot in Hell.

  6. Thank you for writting such a beautiful article. Eva sandler is my first cousin. Our entire family is in pain and grief, and we all pray that Eva will find the strength to overcome this tragedy. Hashem blessed her with a strong Emunah, she is a tsadeket. Thank you all for your support. May we only hear great things.

    Ps: We, the extended family, do not believe that Eva is pregnant. However if she is, she is certainly not in her eighth month.

  7. Hashem Yinkom Damam!

    The Islamic lobby CAIR wonders why radical Islam is being termed Islamo nazism…

    The same cult [Hamas or Hezbollah] that uses its own kids as pawns and as human shields to cause their deaths, in order to tarnish Israel’s iamge. Even though, humane IDF tries so hard to minmize casualties when defending its citizens from Arab racism & Islamic bigotry (the real cause/source of the conflict since the 1920s).

  8. shalom
    i went to the funeral this morning.like i did for fogel and for the parents of moshe – our moshe(india attack on chabad) and the boys of yeshiva rav kook.

    i went with am ysrael to pay the last respect to people we dont know but who are still ours,and was close by when they brought out the bodies and it is very hard to see such tiny bodies, especially as i buried my own baby girl years ago.

    i walked around the crowd and mda was busy all the time rescuing mostly women but also men who fainted or even worse. there was such emotion so much heartbreak such an inadequate word. everyone in trouble was feeling it was his son and grandsons that died. others like me just forced themselves not to breakdown so as not to affect others more – quiet restraint so powerful.

    there were faces familiar to me from jerusalem, our neighbour who invites everyone to shabbat in her house and is very upset when she cant get enough visitors. she was heartbroken and next to her 2 young women held each other and just cried brokenly for a long long time.

    french tv interviewed me and others. they asked me a few questions my reply was that we were surprised happy surprised to see france did heshbon nefesh no one expected that at all. and when asked who affected me the most about crying – i said it really blows me away when the rabbi’s cry in public.i was once at a place where a rabbi, a old man was talking and crying and it looked like any second he would have a heart attack and die. he was so intense so ….. no words.

    there were many many many young people too.

    my young friend from switzerland went to the funeral of the rabbi who died today at age 101 – dont know his name sorry she said that there were huge amounts of people there

    so that is what we do in jerusalem.
    like i told the french tv when she asked why i came
    well live here and the energy is so powerful to come and those who did not come , just could not it is to painful – for me its more painful not to go – after all what is the purpose of living here if not to reconnect to each other

    this story will have the same powerful effect as our moshe did – unified the nation immensly but this story has reached over to our overseas critics and enemies in a way that nothing else ever has. who can understand hashems wisdom ????????

  9. y at age 101 – dont know his name sorry she said that there were huge amounts of people there
    so that is what we do in jerusalem.
    like i told the french tv when she asked why i came
    well live here and the energy is so powerful to come and those who did not come , just could not it is to painful – for me its more painful not to go – after all what is the purpose of living here if not to reconnect to each other
    this story will have the same powerful effect as our moshe did – unified the nation immensly but this story has reached over to ou

  10. I was numb until I read all these passionate and stirringly beautiful comments from my fellow sisters.
    Thank you for helping me to feel this terrible tragedy with fresh intensity as I am surrounded by my own children, safe in our home.

  11. I’m muslim and i was very sad to hear this. May god give power to Ms. Eva to with stand this tragic moment in her life with courage.
    You are in my prayers sister…

  12. I am still crying, how not.
    I do not know this family but arent we ONE klal yisrael? I feel i am suffering as if it
    Is my child. Especially when 2 of my children are the same
    age as gavrie and aryeh. Not to mention resemble them
    this could have easily been any of our children
    Thats why the message i think, feel was given through Eva
    She woke my neshama right up. I am orthodox as well but have been
    Going through difficult times, personal and sometimes
    Its hard to keep remembering our goal. I for one wanted to give up
    When i see the faces of these babies. Then i hear their mother
    Speak, speaks straight to what i know is riight and true. Eva verbalizes it in THE most trying times
    Is tremendous to me….when I, A stranger cant pull myself together, she remembers that g- is most important ,amongst many other important messages. It clicked like a light what i had to do in these kids honor.
    You saved 6 neshamot by saving a mothers spirit and strengthening her emunah through
    Strength and courage to share your message.
    May h’ bless you and your daughter and may you be reunited all of us in the times of moshiach!
    AMEN
    Merci Eva

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