Modi’in, Israel – In what may have been a first for many Israelis, both in attendance and watching at home as part of a nationally televised viewing audience, Rachel Fraenkel, the bereaved mother of murdered teen Naftali Fraenkel, rose alongside her husband Avi and son Shlomo to recite the Kaddish at her dead son’s funeral on Tuesday.
HAARETZ.com (http://bit.ly/1lTbAZW) reports that for many Israelis, including Chief Rabbi David Lau and other religious leaders who were in attendance, it was quite likely the first time they have responded “Amen” to a woman’s recitation of the Kaddish.
Rachel Fraenkel, the only fluent-English speaking parent of the slain teens, has risen to national prominence over the past 18 days since the boys went missing, serving as the de facto point person for the families in dealing with the media.
Throughout the process many Israelis have come to view her as a a national and religious heroine of sorts due to her stoicism and profound commitment to her faith, most notably following her recent statement to girls praying at the Western Wall to whom she said, “God is not our servant.”
Rachel Fraenkel, who is known professionally as Rachel Sprecher Fraenkel, is commonly referred to as “Rabbanit” in her work as both director at the Jewish women’s studies institute Advanced Halakha Program at Matan and Jewish law instructor at Nishmat.