Ruti Fogel, HY”D: A Modern-Day Woman of Valour

Ruti Fogel, HY”D: A Modern-Day Woman of Valour

The brutal massacre of 5 members of the Fogel family last Shabbat has cast a shadow over my life and, I think, all of Israel this week.

Ruti and Udi Fogel were, by all reports, awe-inspiring human beings. At the funeral, Hillel Ben Yishai, brother of Ruti Fogel, said of his murdered sister and brother-in-law: “Ruti and Ehud, there wasn’t a moment in your lives that wasn’t connected to Torah and acts of lovingkindness…Hashem, you took five from us. And we Jews must attempt to learn from the holiness, the purity, the saintliness, the naturalness of these supremely holy individuals.” (If you know Hebrew, you can hear Hillel ben Yishai’s entire intensely moving eulogy in the final video below)

This morning I spoke with Efrat Razel, a close friend of Ruti Fogel HY”D from Noam Elementary School and Tzvia High School, about her lost friend. Efrat remembers, “Ruti was an extremely beautiful, funny, deep, and strong woman. She was very idealistic, and she was never afraid to say exactly what she thought. She was, in short, a totally amazing human being. I still remember talking with her at her wedding about what an intensely spiritual experience the wedding preparations had been for her. And I remember a trip that we took together with a few friends to Tiberias when we were still single. We sat by the water and talked and talked for hours about so many things. Ruti was such an incredibly alive person, the polar opposite of death. I just cannot believe that she is gone…”

To get a sense of this great woman whom her brother described in his eulogy as “Ruti’le, the woman of iron,” watch this interview with Udi and Ruti Fogel talking about why they enjoy living in Itamar:
Forward to 2:10 to see Ruti’s interview:

Click here to see footage of the Fogel family at happier times— Rabbi Udi Fogel playing with his children in their home and dancing with his son at a celebration at the Itamar synagogue this past January.

Rabbi Aryeh Nivin taught this week that these days leading up to Purim are among the holiest and highest of the year, parallel to the 10 days of Teshuva between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. And just as it is a rule in nature that the night is darkest before the dawn, the same is true on a spiritual level. The spiritual darkness in the world is thickest right before the redemptions of Purim and Passover.

How true this feels this year as we wander around like blind people within the current darkness of recent tragedies…And how hungry we are for that sun, please God, to finally break above the horizon.

The intensely moving eulogy (in Hebrew only) of Ruti Fogel’s brother, Hillel


  1. en lee milim- im speechless- these things happen to wake up our senses -compassion- ahavas yisroel, and achdus- unity as a nation – our enemies just strengthen our oneness and hashem wants us to be one.

  2. Thank you Chana Jenny for giving us a glimpse into this amazing woman instead of her whole identity being her tragic death. We must learn from her inspiring life as well as take lessons from her terrible death. Mrs. Shira Smiles gave an incredible shiur in memory of the Fogels. The video is on

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