Tributes have been paid to a ‘wonderful, compassionate’ young Brit killed in a devastating crush at a festival in Israel.
Moshe Bergman, 24, was buried at a funeral in Jerusalem in the early hours of Sunday after the disastrous stampede that left 45 dead and more than 150 injured.
His grieving family have now flown from their home in Kersal to the Israeli capital to sit shiva – a customary period of Jewish mourning custom – with his wife Shira.
Mr Bergman was among scores killed when they became trapped in an overcrowded passageway at the Lag B’Omer festival, near Mount Meron in northern Israel, on Friday.
Rabbi Arnold Saunders, a friend of his family, told the Manchester Evening News Mr Bergman as a ‘wonderful’ young man.
And he has described the agony his family endured as they waited to find out what had happened to their son – who was one of the last to be identified.
“The family have been overwhelmed by the support they have received from family and friends and the authorities,” Rabbi Saunders said.
“They have accepted that this was a tragic accident and as people of faith accept the will of God. They don’t want to engage in a blame game.
“They want the facts to be investigated to ensure nothing like this ever happens again but there is no bitterness. I was very inspired by their reaction.”
Mr Bergman was training to be a Rabbi in Jerusalem, where he had lived for the last two-and-a-half years.
He married Shira, who is originally from Prestwich, 18 months ago – just before the coronavirus pandemic began.
Before that Mr Bergman had lived with his parents and siblings in Salford, Rabbi Saunders said.
“He was a very quiet studious young man,” he said.
“A dedicated husband for the last 18 months, a wonderful son, brother and a caring and compassionate young man.
“He was a very considered and quiet young man and he will be very very sadly missed.
“He was the sort of person nobody would have a bad word to say about.
“He got on with everyone and you could rely on him for anything. He would do anything for anyone. His death is a terrible tragedy.”
Mr Bergman’s funeral took place very quickly after his death, on Sunday morning, as is customary in the Jewish faith.
His family were able to watch the ceremony online while in Salford and have since flown to Israel to sit shiva with Mr Bergman’s widow.
“The fact the family spent hours not knowing what had happened to him was terrible,” Rabbi Saunders said.
“He was one of the last to be identified.
“The wait for the family was most agonising.
“In the fog of such a terrible event they heard different rumours. I can only imagine what they must have been going through.”
Israel today mourned the 45 people killed in the stampede at Mount Meron.
The festival had drawn 100,000 people, most of them ultra-Orthodox Jews.
It is the deadliest civil disaster in Israel’s history.