By Cleve Bryan

LAKEWOOD Twp., NJ (CBS) – An Orthodox Jewish community is mourning the loss of a rabbi with ties to Lakewood Township who was killed in an Israeli synagogue attack.

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Rabbi Moshe Twersky only lived in Lakewood for a short time but his son Rafael Twersky is a student at the rabbinical college.

Lakewood Committeeman Meir Lichtenstein went to Rafael Twersky’s home early Tuesday morning as names were released of the victims in Jerusalem attack.

“Well I walked into the apartment and he was just crying,” says Lichtenstein who tried to console the younger Twersky and help him make travel arrangements to attend his father’s burial.

Tuesday afternoon he delivered a statement from Rabbi Moshe Twersky’s widowed wife:

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“He was a most remarkable, beloved husband, father and grandfather who had a special relationship with each family member. He was a teacher to thousands of students. He was extraordinarily kind and gentle and couldn’t harm another human being. He dedicated his life to serving God,” read Lichtenstein from a hand written note.

Lakewood Mayor Manesha Miller says the Twersky family is one of the most revered in all of Modern Orthodox Judaism.

Many locals traveled to Israel to study under Rabbi Twersky at his English speaking Yeshiva.

Tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews live in Lakewood Township and are deeply concerned about the safety of friends and relatives in Israel following the synagogue attack.

“These weren’t fighters, these weren’t people in the military, this wasn’t police or law enforcement. This is regular residents going to a synagogue to pray and that’s how this terrorism happens. So this certainly is a wake-up call to all of us to be vigilant and diligent in what’s going on,” says Miller.

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