The heavens opened as hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of Captain Daniel Perez at Mount Herzl military cemetery on Monday. Eldest son of Rabbi Doron Perez, Executive Chairman of the global Mizrachi movement, and Shelley Perez, Daniel, from Yad Binyamin, was a platoon commander in the 7th Armoured Brigade’s 77th Battalion.

The IDF informed the 22-year-old’s family, who made aliyah from South Africa in 2014, of his murder by Hamas on October 7 just 24 hours after a rally in Hostages’ Square for families of hostages in Tel Aviv where Rabbi Perez broke down whilst reciting a prayer for peace, the soldiers and kidnapped.

Daniel’s blood, found on a tank and jacket, was in his coffin as directed by rabbinical authorities.

Rabbi Perez told mourners that Daniel battled Hamas terrorists at Kibbutz Nahal Oz, the Nahal army base and Kibbutz Saad. His brother, Yonatan, was fighting at Nahal Oz.

Daniel’s body was taken by Hamas to Gaza.

“You not only saved the lives of many others, but you may have also saved the life of your brother,” he said. “I thank G-d for saving Yonatan, but I don’t know why He chose you for that mission. It is as if your whole life’s journey led you to be ready for that mission and you were.”

After speaking about Daniel’s virtues, Rabbi Doron addressed the Israeli and United States governments, allies and “fair-minded people around the world” for the release of all hostages.

“Every single one needs to be returned without any conditions,” he said. “Hamas are hiding as cowards underground while their children and our civilians are killed. We differentiate between civilians and combaters. We are doing our bit. It is time for the world and our friends to say yes there is a humanitarian issue and they (Hamas) are wholly responsible.”

Rabbi Doron ended by stating there was a “blood covenant” between the Israeli government and its people.

Yonatan, an officer in the paratroopers, was wounded on the first day of fighting in Nahal Oz and rushed to hospital with just a flesh wound to the leg.

He told mourners that his brother knew the responsibility of fighting Hamas.

Tomer Liebowitz, Itai Chen and Matan Angrest were in Perez’ tank team. Liebowitz was declared dead on October 7, the IDF confirmed Chen’s death earlier this month. A released hostage has reportedly seen Angrest in captivity.

Yonatan said: “I will miss our talks about the army and just sitting and talking with you in your room but mostly I will miss my best friend.”

Daniel’s sisters, Shira and Adina, spoke movingly.

Shira said: “The minute they told us the worst news, a stone was lifted from me because I know that these days you were with us all the time protecting us. Every day that goes by I will think of my hero, my amazing brother who put aside his personal desires in honour of G-d, the nation and the country.”

Adina said of her brother: “Your selflessness and dedication to our country was evident from your actions and as a result you saved countless Jewish lives. You strengthened others when they felt weak and cared for those around you and left an everlasting impression upon their lives. You sacrificed your life to protect us. You were a true soldier and a true hero. You will never truly be gone because a part of you lives in every one of us. We will celebrate your life because you continue to live within our hearts.”

Chief Rabbi David Lau noted: “We have a wonderful generation of soldiers who do everything to protect the nation, to protect Torah, to protect the land. Daniel, you came here as a child and came to defend the country on the day of the Torah, on Simchat Torah. Against those who came to destroy the nation, you and your friends went out to defend the country.”

“The IDF shares in the family’s grief and will continue to support them,” the IDF said in the announcement.

Rabbi Danny Mirvis, son of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, and acting CEO Mizrachi UK, said: “Over the past 163 days we have desperately davened for better news. Throughout that time, the Perez family has inspired us and strengthened us as we have sought to strengthen them. The global tefillot for his wellbeing will now become global wishes of comfort.

“This news came to the family on 7 Adar, the yahrzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu whose burial place is unknown, and has such become.