Brooklyn, NY – With the Jewish community still reeling from the devastating loss of four members of a single Brooklyn family in a tragic menorah fire, video footage has surfaced of one of the victims of the Chanukah blaze serenading his mother at his bar mitzvah which took place last May.
The two minute clip shows 13 year old Avraham Azan, who has performed with the SYC Boys Choir, singing to his mother, Aliza, with friends and family looking on and taking pictures of the emotional moment.
As her third child sings “Ima, you are always there for me,” a white gown-clad Aliza Azan holds hands with her son, embraces him and kisses him lovingly on the top of his head.
Hundreds turned out in Flatbush on Monday night to pay their respects to Aliza Azan and her children Moshe, Yitzchak and Henriette who were all flown to Israel for burial. Avrohom Azan, who escaped the fire together with a cousin who was staying with the family, accompanied his mother and siblings to Israel where they will be buried in Holon, as reported by Ynet News (http://bit.ly/2B1Zrgj).
Special permission was granted to bury the Azans in Holon, where Aliza Azan and her husband Yossi had once lived and where Aliza Azan’s father, Rabbi Avraham Hamra, former chief rabbi of Damascus, led the city’s Syrian Jewish community for years.
The request was made by David Azulai, minister of religious service and was granted by Avraham Manala, director general of the greater Tel Aviv burial society.
Nearly three years ago, when a catastrophic fire claimed the lives of seven members of the Sassoon family in Midwood, Yossi Azan posted on Facebook “I know this family. It is impossible to understand this. Three of those children go to school with my children. 7 children.”
Yesterday, the father of the Sassoon children, Gavriel Sassoon, sent a letter to Yossi Azan expressing his sympathies which appeared on Israeli news site B’Chadrei Charedim (http://bit.ly/2BIjowz).
“It pains me greatly, my brother Yosef,” wrote Sassoon. “My fire was also on Rosh Chodesh, Rosh Chodesh Nissan. The day that the nesiim brought their korbanos to the mizbayach and by you on Chanukah itself. We are from the same community. Our children learn in the same schools and were friends.
“The nesiim brought their korbanos to dedicate the mishkan and on Rosh Chodesh we are asked to bring korbanos to atone for the diminishing of moon. Today we have no beis hamikdash and Hashem has taken tzadikim from us in atonement.”
Sassoon called on Azan to rise above his circumstances, despite the difficulties.
“Yosef, now you are not of the regular people,” wrote Sassoon. “You have to go higher. This is the rule by which you must live. There is no other way to overcome the immense grief. How do you go higher? Just by loving. To accept the hardships with love. To love Hashem. To love every member of klal yisroel and to do for them. And the strength of that love will give you the ability to triumph over the forces that pull you down and will bring you closer to Hashem. Because love is life.”