NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Brooklyn father on Monday was forced to say goodbye to his seven children, all lost in a fire this past weekend.

The seven Jewish siblings who were killed in the devastating house fire in Midwood early this past Saturday were laid to rest in Jerusalem on Monday, at an emotional ceremony attended by several thousand mourners.

Friends and relatives of the Sassoon family attended the service, as well as supporters who only learned of the tragedy through the news. The chief rabbi of Israel and mayor of Jerusalem also paid their respects.

“Why seven?” Seven beautiful lilies,” their father, Gabriel Sassoon, cried out during a eulogy. “So pure. So pure.”

PHOTOS: Brooklyn Fire Kills 7 Children | Funeral For Children Killed In Brooklyn Fire

The bodies of the Sassoon siblings, ages 5 to 16, were flown to Israel form New York in small wooden coffins, and whisked away to Jerusalem in a convoy escorted by police.

Sassoon recounted how his children enjoyed studying the Torah and other Jewish texts.

“They were such innocent children,” he said, his voice choking up. He later called out the names of his children, one by one.

In agony, he said in Hebrew that he finds strength in trusting in God’s plan.

Sassoon described how his wife, although burned, managed to jump out of a second-floor window to try and get help to save her children. He said he is drawing on his faith for strength.

The children’s bodies, wrapped in shrouds, were placed on stretchers for the memorial service, held in a room at Jerusalem’s main cemetery packed with scores of mourners. Thousands more stood outside.

Some mourners rocked back and forth in prayer, their cheeks wet with tears, as they listened to the eulogies. Afterward, many in the crowd walked with the family in a procession to bury the bodies.

Israeli media have said the family lived in Jerusalem before moving to New York two years ago.

Alon Edri, who identified himself as a rabbi and relative of the family, said it was significant for the religious family to be buried in the Holy Land.

“We believe that being buried in Israel is important because all of your sins are then absolved,” he said.

Meanwhile back in Brooklyn Monday night, the Nets held a moment of silence for the Sassoon family before their game against the Boston Celtics at the Barclays Center.

The family’s close-knit Orthodox community in Midwood was shattered by the fatal house fire believed to have been caused by a hot plate left on for the Sabbath.

Investigators say the hot plate apparently malfunctioned, setting off flames that incinerated the stairs, trapping the children in their second-floor bedrooms as they slept.

Authorities identified the victims as girls Eliane, 16; Rivkah, 11; and Sara, 6; and boys David, 12; Yeshua, 10; Moshe, 8; and Yaakob, 5.

“The children were so lovely. Whenever it snowed they would clean my walk without even telling me. I would give them lollipops and they were so happy with the lollipops,” neighbor Rose Insel said.

At their funerals in Borough Park, Brooklyn on Sunday, Sassoon described his three daughters and four sons as “angels” who brought joy to his life.

“My children were unbelievable. They were the best,” he said. “They were so pure.”

His wife, Gayle Sassoon, and 14-year-old daughter, Siporah Sassoon, survived and remained in critical condition Monday. Sassoon wasn’t at home when the fire erupted.

Meanwhile, as CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported, a push has been launched to keep other families from suffering the same fate.

“My daughter, she has six children. I was waiting for the Sabbath to be over so I could call her and tell her, ‘don’t use the hot plate again. I want to talk to you about it,’” Hikind said.

The practice of keeping hot plates on for the Sabbath is a common modern method of obeying tradition prohibiting use of fire on the holy day, something Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) said the Jewish community should reconsider for safety reasons.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the FDNY is considering other devices that might be safer.

“When you leave things plugged in and unattended, there’s always a risk — even if it’s a very small risk,” Nigro said. “One can imagine leaving an iron plugged in — any type of device that gets hot.”

Nigro said the tragedy could also have been prevented if the Sassoon family had working smoke detectors on all floors of their brick home. They only had one, and it was in the basement.

Nigro held a closed-door meeting on the subject with Jewish community leaders. City officials and Jewish community leaders are now pushing for smoke detectors.

“This simple beep is an indicator that it’s operating,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as he held a smoke detector.

“Whoever doesn’t have a smoke detector at home is putting his, his wife and kids’, and his entire family’s lives in danger,” said Rabbi Moishe Indig.

Adams is also calling for a burn unit in the borough, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

“You can’t have the largest borough in the city of New York go without a burn center,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hikind is also warning people to beware of bogus online fundraisers for the family.

“Unfortunately, there are people out there who will take advantage of a horrible tragedy, whoever they are, collecting money on the internet or even in the community,” Hikind told 1010 WINS. “There is nothing that has been established by the family or anyone connected to the family to raise money.”

He said if and when a legitimate fund is established, that information will be shared with the public.

A Grief-Stricken Mother Has Advice On Moving Forward

As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, not many parents experience such horrible tragedy like the Sassoons did. But Phyllis Seidenfeld does know some of the pain the Sassoon family is going through.

“Ten years later, I don’t remember my children’s voices. I have a very selective memory. I try to think of what their laughs were like,” she said. “I guess in a way, that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Seidenfeld’s home in Teaneck, New Jersey caught fire in March 2005. Four of her children died, and she herself spent three weeks in a hospital fighting for her life.

“Once I was back home and had to digest what had happened, I think it took three months, even, for me to figure out my new place and space in life,” she said.

Seidenfeld said it will be some time before the remaining Sassoon family members can even process their loss. Healing will not happen until that reality sets in.

“I’m thinking that it’s just literally not even the hour, the moment by moment right now. The shock, the numb, the pain,” she said.

One of Seidenfeld’s children, Natan, was a special-needs child. A new project to create a Jewish special needs village called Anan Kvodo is her new focus and purpose.

“If that’s the benefit to their having left this world, I somehow justify that passing to another place by creating this project in their memory,” she said.

That legacy aside, Seidenfeld said it is the Sassoon’s Jewish community that will be their greatest source of healing.

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