“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:1-6)
The New England Patriots held a moment of silence before Monday evening’s home game against the Buffalo Bills in honor of slain 18-year-old Massachusetts native Ezra Schwartz, who was murdered on Thursday by a Palestinian terrorist in Israel.
Schwartz was one of three people killed when a Palestinian gunned down vehicles in Gush Etzion last week. He was studying in an Israeli yeshiva for the year and was delivering food to lone IDF soldiers in the area when he was killed.
The moment of silence came at the request of former Knesset member Dov Lipman, who reached out to Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft in a letter.
“It would mean so much to the people of Israel, to supporters around the world, and to Ezra’s family and friends if the Patriots could do something in his memory,” Lipman wrote, the Jerusalem Post reported.
According to Ari Schwartz, Ezra’s father, his son was an avid Patriot’s fan and would bond with his family back in the US over football while studying in Israel. “Football kept us connected and we loved it together,” Ari said at his son’s funeral on Sunday in Massachusetts.
Speaking with the Times of Israel, Lipman said, “Mr. Kraft is a first class human being who does what is right and just. His support for Israel during these tough times has been unwavering and a pillar of strength for all of us. I am usually a Washington Redskins fan, but tonight – and possibly from now on – we are all Patriots.”
The US State Department said in a statement on Friday that it was “deeply saddened” by Schwartz’s death, an American citizen. The day after Schwartz’s murder, a whitehoue.gov petition has called on US President Barack Obama to publicly acknowledge and condemn Schwartz’s death. The petition has already garnered close to 42,000 signatures.
WATCH: New England Patriots Hold Moment of Silence for Ezra Schwartz