Yonatan Sandler’s Final Dvar Torah, and Eva Sandler’s First

Yonatan Sandler’s Final Dvar Torah, and Eva Sandler’s First

Something extraordinary.

Rabbi Yonatan Sandler HY”D was widely-known in the French-speaking Jewish community for his weekly columns on the parsha in the magazine Kountrass.

His final parsha column, which he managed to submit shortly before he was murdered, appeared yesterday for parshat Tazria Metsora, and he wrote about why certain people are considered dead even though they are alive, because they are people who for various reasons are unable to help others. And this inability to help others is the cause of such phenomenal suffering that these people are not even considered alive.

I think this final davar Torah gives us a deep understanding of what kind of person an inhuman Arab terrorist stole from the Jewish people this week. Yonatan Sandler was a person who lived to help others. A dedicated father and husband. A committed teacher who dreamed to continue learning Torah so that he could one day serve his community as the rabbi of Toulouse.

But what’s extraordinary in this story?

Only a few hours after the terror attack, Kountrass turned to Eva Sandler, this young grieving widow and bereaved mother and asked her if she would be able to replace her deceased husband’s column this week with a few sentences to honor his memory. And she agreed. She wrote up some thoughts about her husband’s legacy of love of Torah and love of the Jewish people. And, extraordinarily, this mother who just lost 2 sons and her husband, decided that she would add on a dvar Torah on the parsha as well. Because, she explained, that is what her late husband would have desired.

Eva Sandler told Yehuda Meshi Zahav, the chairman of Zaka, this week, “Tell the Jewish people that I brought bikkurim from France to Israel.”

Just as the first-fruits offered at the Temple were the finest, the most beautiful. So too, this week, Eva Sandler sent three of the Jewish people’s finest, most beautiful members to be buried here.

May Hashem comfort this holy JewishMOM and her family among all of the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, Amen.

Based on this Arutz Sheva article

Image courtesy of Flickr.com user Selenium


  1. Oi Lanu! The bikkurim sentiment is deeply touching! Does anyone know where this widow is sitting shiva? thank you!

    • I am Eva’s cousine…she is at jerusalem at the yechiva “beit halevy” in bayit vagan (sorry for my english)

  2. Rachael Leah

    Crying, crying, crying… thank you Chana Jenny for posting this, I don’t know how you write through the tears…

  3. What an incredibly brave and courgeous woman, with so much emuah.
    So utterly devastating

  4. The bikkurim sentiment is deeply touching, but I read on Arutz 7 that it was said by Miriam’s mother when she asked to give her daughter one last hug…

    • JewishMom

      I also read that Eva Sandler said it to Yehuda Meshi Zahav, I guess that’s what everyone’s feeling.

  5. I confirm this is true. I also work for Kountrass and I also do corrections on the texts. The last text of Yonathan I worked on was this one. We just said with my husband: how deep and interesting ideas he is bringing here. I was far from thinking this would be the last text I’d ever see from him. I was a true tzadik. May Hashem help his family and mostly his wife in this terrible ordeal.

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