Only two weeks before their lives were taken in a devastating fire in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, the Sassoon children, ranging in age from 5 through 16, recorded an emotionally charged song about standing strong in the face of death.
The song lamented the decades long violence and acrimony of the Arab-Israeli conflict while recalling the tragic loss friends and offering calls for peace in the turbulent region.
According to a report in the New York Post, the lyrics used in the song were those of the poignant tune “Cry No More.” It is a song made popular by Yaakov Shwekey, an internationally renowned Orthodox Jewish singer.
The lyrics of the song are:
Many tears have fallen, many years we’re calling. Please no more..
Many broken-hearted, friends lost and departed. Please no more.
Now the time has come, everyone must stand together, and be strong forever more.
Young and helpless children, illness and confusion. Please no more.
Old and hungry people, hunger, war and evil, Please no more.
The lyrics are a supplication to G-d to endow the world with peace and to vanquish catastrophic events, illness and poverty. On the recording, the Sassoon children could be heard singing with passion and fervor; emotionally connected to every Jew who suffers irrespective of where they reside. The youngest child, Yaacob, 5, of blessed memory, could be heard singing in a “touchingly off-key” way that makes the song even more endearing.
A member of the local Orthodox community told the New York Post that the children recorded the song so very soon before the fire that the family had no time to create a CD.
Yaacob, 5, Sara, 6, Moshe, 8, Yehoshua, 10, Rivkah, 11,, David, 12, and Eliane, 16 perished in the blaze that engulfed their home on Shabbat Vayikra (March 21). They were laid to rest at the Har HaMenuchos cemetery in Jerusalem on Monday, March 23rd.
Their mother, Gayle, 45, and sister, Tzipporah, 15 are still hospitalized at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx and Staten Island University Hospital North respectively.
The shiva period for the children concluded on Sunday and it has been reported that both HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlia and HaRav Chaim Kanievsky (two gedolim of Eretz Yisroel) sent letters of condolences to the grieving father, Rabbi Gavriel Sassoon.
Rav Shteinman wrote”: “I heard about the tragedy that happened to you last week, as the sages told us that one should see and understand certainly that everything is for the best, and who knows the ways of Hashem, and certainly from here on, only goodness and mercy will be in your tents, and may this be a comfort to you, like our sages tell us, and may you be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”