Eva Sandler Shares Regrets in 1st TV Interview (6-Minute Inspirational Video)

Eva Sandler Shares Regrets in 1st TV Interview (6-Minute Inspirational Video)

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This is an edited translation of the Channel 2 News interview with Eva Sandler by Sivan Rahav Meir and Ofer Hadad

Interviewer, Sivan Rahav Meir: Hello, Eva Sandler

Eva Sandler: Hello

Interviewer: Thank you for speaking with us. Instead of asking you questions, I’d rather ask you what you would like to share with us.

Eva Sandler: What I want to say to people, wives as well as husbands, is that people need to pay more attention to their spouses. And to their children as well.

Sometimes we are tired, hungry, irritable, or busy. There’s a phone call. There’s something on the internet. There’s something to finish up on the computer. All sorts of things come up. And we end up not paying so much attention to our children or our husbands. And we don’t comprehend how important this is.

It’s funny, because when I went to sleep that night before the attack, I told my husband, “Oh no! Tonight, I was so busy I didn’t say “Shma Yisrael” with my children. And every night I would make sure to say Shma Yisrael with them, even when there were guests.

And that very night, that last night, I realized that I actually hadn’t recited Shma Yisrael with my children for 5 nights. because I had been with my parents for Shabbat [in Paris], so I told my husband, “OK, tomorrow I’m going to get back into the routine. This is important to me!”

I understand now that even when we are busy, we need to take the time to be with our spouses and children.

Even though I was busy, and I had many things to take care of, the main thing was that I should have said Shma Yisrael with my children. I should have sung to them like I used to always sing with them.

That is one thing I wanted to share. And something else I wanted to share is how much I hope that people will grow stronger religiously from my family’s tragedy. I don’t want that everyone will be terrified by this story for this first week or this first month, and then they will forget about it.

What I want to ask is that people will accept upon themselves a new mitzvah to perform, even something small, but something that they will be able to continue, so that these mitzvot in my husband’s and children’s memory will be considered in Heaven. And so that, G-d willing, these mitzvot will bring the Redemption.

Interviewer: How did you and your husband choose to dedicate yourselves to Jewish education?

Eva Sandler: Before we got engaged, Yonatan told me, “At one point I want to return to Toulouse to teach everyone there what I’ve learned. I have learned now, and I’m stronger religiously, and thank G-d, I’ve grown. And now I want to teach them.” And the truth is I thought that would be the end of it. I thought that when we would get married and have children, and we would settle down in Israel, that he would forget all about it. But he didn’t forget about it at all. He took this dream very seriously. And I saw how important this was for him, and then we decided to go [to Toulouse for 2 years].

Interviewer: Did you discuss antisemitism, fear of terrorism?

Eva Sandler: I actually lived here in Israel for 9 years. And my parents [in France] would always tell me, “Be careful, don’t take any buses! Don’t go to the market! But despite everything they said to me, I worried about them in France more than I worried about living in Israel. And now I see that I was right to worry about them, because there is antisemitism there.

Interviewer: And did you feel antisemitism during the years that you lived there?

Eva Sandler: It’s true that when my husband would go outside with his kippah, and when my children were on the street once or twice people said antisemitic slurs to them. But nothing so terrible.

Interviewer: And you certainly never imagined that there would be a terror attack in Toulouse…

Eva Sandler: Definitely not.

Interviewer: A lot of people who have heard about this truly horrifying story have asked where your strength comes from. I’m also asking myself the same question. I’m speaking with you here, and I expected to meet someone in a completely different condition.

Eva Sandler: The Holy One Blessed be He gives me the strength. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be standing today. At all.

Interviewer: This whole week hundreds and even thousands of people came here to the shiva. Your family’s tragedy is something personal and you could say it’s also a tragedy that’s affecting the entire Jewish people.

Eva Sandler: The truth is that this week I have seen the unity of the Jewish people, and that is what has strengthened me the very most over this week. Because there are many people who came to the funeral and shiva whom I don’t even know…

Interviewer: We’ve learned a lot about Rabbi Yonatan, about your husband. But we certainly didn’t know your children. Tell us a little about what they were like…

Eva Sandler: They were amazing. They were indescribably kind, even for children. My mother and father-in-law were in Israel two weeks ago for a wedding, and they wanted to take my oldest son, Aryeh, with them. And he stayed here with them for 10 days. At the end of the trip, my parents took him to a store, and they said, “Choose something. What toy would you like us to buy for you?” And he thought about it, and he said to them, “I’m already here, I’m enjoying myself, now I’ll buy something for Gavriel [his 3-year-old brother] so that he will also enjoy himself.”

Interviewer: Eva Sandler, thank you, thank you so much. May your family experience only happy occasions from now on.


  1. Thank you SO much for this article.
    It’s a message that I really need to hear. Thank you Eva and may Hashem bless you with the courage to fully grieve now, and with comfort and strength to start your life again in good time.

  2. Eva, you are truly a righteous woman. I am so deeply saddened for your horrific and tragic losses. May the Aibishter bentch you with koach, comfort & courage to somehow get through this unimaginable traumatic time. Thankyou for your words of wisdom and kindess to us all. You are very special to be able to think of all of Klal Yisroel at this sad time. May Moshiach Tzidkenu come now in the merit of your husband’s & beautiful childrens’ neshomos.

  3. Thank you, Chana Jenny.

  4. Thank you. What an incredible woman. My heart aches for her.

  5. ruth cohen

    we heard this interview on channel 2 – the interviewer was very very amazed by eva and treated her so carefully. not throwing words like they do without any regard for the damage they do. the interviewer was having a hard time not to break down herself
    eva was – there are no words.no words. perfect.in control.

    i hear that those who speak on behalf of the other mother aviva who will not talk to the media herself. they say that she is giving others hope as well. and that she is happy that her family are all in a better place.also the media covered the funeral very very carefully, i have never seen such a thing. they really showed respect for the family in a huge way

    are the media starting to do some soul searching ????

    these 2 women met and shared their experiences yesterday. what can we say – that is the power of am ysrael that we can rise above our own pains to help someone else in pain.so here we have the real jews,those who keep the faith the right way

    the lesson is simple, we need to be strong for the tough times that are coming and we need to give hope.always give hope to others. when a person is suddenly thrust into the spotlight they need to take the responsibility of affecting others in the most powerful way.and both these 2 women did that – they poured out light to the nation lost in darkness. and that makes them the gadolim of the dor.

  6. This video just came up as a recommended video and it made me wonder how she’s doing now.. have you heard anything?

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