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…
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.”
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.