Eulogy by Israeli President Peres at the funeral for Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frankel and Gilad Shaar

The President of the State of Israel delivered the eulogy at the funeral service for Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frankel and Gilad Shaar who were kidnapped and murdered by terrorists. The three boys have been laid to rest this evening in Modi'in. Please find below the text of President Peres's eulogy:

Dear Yifrach Family, Frankel Family and Shaar Family,

Prime Minister, Ministers, Rabbis, Knesset Members, Officers and soldiers of the IDF, citizens of Israel.

Today we lay to rest Naftali, Gilad and Eyal. Three wonderful boys, a part of the Jewish people. It has been 18 days and 18 nights that I, like all of you, was sick with worry.

We prayed, each of us alone and all of us together, for a miracle. We prayed that that we will seem them return in peace to the families, to their homes and to us all. Sadly we were hit by the tragedy of their murder and a deep grief enveloped our people.

We are an ancient people, united and deeply rooted. Our story is full of tears but the soul maintains the Torah. These three boys exposed the depth of our people and the heights it can reach. A nation with a soul that yearns. A nation which demonstrates resilience like no other. A nation that even in its years of exile, never lost its way.

A nation blessed with mothers like Rachel, Bat Galim and Iris. Dear mothers, your voices united a nation and educated a generation. You, the mothers and fathers, raised children that Israel can be proud of.  You inspired in them a love of their people. A love of Torah and a love of the land. You instilled in them devotion and a love of mankind.

Naftali, Gilad, Eyal, Many of us saw only small snapshots of your personalities, of who you were. From those snapshots a beautiful picture developed of confident young boys, sure of their way, in service of their people. Youngsters with radiant faces, who stood tall. With a thirst for knowledge and a knowledge of prayers. Sure of their purpose and fulfilling the commandments. You showed the face of our people with a bright and painful light, our unity and its morality. The victories of Israel, not only the eternity of Israel.

We also saw our soldiers, the IDF, the Shin Bet, the police, the border police and the volunteers, with focus in their eyes. Climbing over rocks with legs that did not slow. A sense of mission in a military uniform. I know that you will find the murderers, and they will be punished.  Israel will act with a firm hand until terror is uprooted. To those who celebrate our suffering, I say that terrorism aimed at us, hurts those who dispatch it.

Gilad, Naftali, Eyal. Wonderful boys, sons of the whole nation. Rest in peace. We will bow our heads but our spirit will not break. Dear families, I know your suffering and I also know how you dealt with, you turned your grief into a source of hope for the whole nation. May you find comfort in in the building of Zion and Jerusalem. May you know no more grief. May their memories be blessed for eternity.

Robert ‘Bobby’ Frankel honored

Legendary horse trainer Robert “Bobby” Frankel, a long-time Pacific Palisades resident, is among seven athletes and sports figures elected to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (IJSHOF) for 2011.

Frankel, who died a year ago, scored 3,654 first-place victories and his nearly $228 million in career earnings made him the second winningest trainer in horseracing history. He was a five-time recipient of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer.

Among this year’s seven honorees are five Americans, one Briton and one Russian. They will be inducted into the IJSHOF museum, on the campus of Israel’s Wingate Institute, in July 2013.

In addition to Frankel, the new inductees are:

London-born Samuel Elias, aka “Dutch Sam,” “The Terrible Jew” and “Star of the East,” who had to wait almost two centuries after his death in 1816 to make the Hall of Fame.

Standing 5-feet-6 and peaking at 135 pounds, Elias is regarded as the greatest small man in bare-knuckles ring history. He fought in 100 bouts, many lasting 35 to 60 rounds, and lost only one — his last, four years and 15,000 glasses of gin after his supposed retirement.

Judo pioneer Rena Kanokogi, the former Rusty Glickman of Brooklyn, known as the “mother of women’s judo,” almost single-handedly forced the Olympic Committee to recognize women’s judo. She coached the U.S. team in the 1988 Olympic Games.

In 1959, posing as a man, she won the New York State YMCA judo championship but had to return her medal after officials discovered her true gender.

Sports columnist Leonard Koppett, Moscow-born but New York-bred, is the only journalist elected to both the baseball and basketball halls of fame. In New York, “Koppy” wrote for the Herald Tribune, Post and Times, in addition to authoring 16 sports books.

Alfred Kuchevsky played a major role as defenseman in the Soviet Union’s domination of international ice hockey in the 1950s. He was named three times to the Soviet Hockey League All-Stars and is believed to live in Moscow.

The National Handball Association named Fred Lewis, a three- and four-wall handball champion, the 1970s “Player of the Decade.” He now lives in Arizona.

The International Pool Tour described billiards champ Michael Sigel as the “greatest living player of the 20th century.” He is the winner of 10 world titles and six U.S. Opens, including the World 8-Ball, 9-Ball, Straight Pool and Open championships. He now lives in Florida.

Los Angeles television producer and writer Joseph Siegman, who currently chairs the organization’s selection committee, founded the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1979. Since its beginning, the IJSHOF has inducted 350 sportsmen and sportswomen from 24 countries.