Seven children from an Orthodox Jewish family who died in a New York house fire were laid to rest in Jerusalem.

The bodies of the Sassoon children, aged five to 16, were flown to Israel overnight from New York and were immediately taken to Jerusalem in a convoy escorted by police. According to Jewish tradition, funerals take place as soon as possible after death.

The victims were three girls, Eliane, 16, Rivkah, 11 and Sara, six, and four boys, David, 12, Yeshua, 10, Moshe, eight and Yaakob, five.

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An undated picture of Gabriel and Gayle Sassoon and seven of their childrenZishey Twersky/Twitter

"Why seven? Seven beautiful lilies," the children's father, Gabriel Sassoon, cried out in an anguished eulogy. "So pure. So pure."

He 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.

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Gabriel Sassoon delivers a eulogy before the burial of his seven children in JerusalemBaz Ratner/Reuters
sassoon family fire brooklyn orthodox jewish
The bodies of the seven Sassoon children are seen wrapped in shrouds at the beginning of their funeral at the Givat Shaul cemetery in JerusalemMenahem Kahana/AFP
sassoon family fire brooklyn orthodox jewish
The body of Yaakob Sassoon, 5, is carried to a burial plot in JerusalemBaz Ratner/Reuters
sassoon family fire brooklyn orthodox jewish
Yeshua Sassoon, 10, is buried at a cemetery in JerusalemBaz Ratner/Reuters
sassoon family fire brooklyn orthodox jewish
A mourner cries during a funeral service for the Sassoon children in JerusalemAmmar Awad/Reuters
sassoon family fire brooklyn orthodox jewish
Gabriel Sassoon cries during the burial ceremony for seven of his children in JerusalemBaz Ratner/Reuters
sassoon family fire brooklyn orthodox jewish
Gabriel Sassoon has his clothing cut as a symbol of mourning during the funeralMenahem Kahana/AFP

An eighth child, 15-year-old Siporah, and the children's mother Gayle, 45, survived the blaze. Both are in critical conditions. Fire officials said the flames would have prevented Gayle, who escaped out of a window, from reaching her children.

The fire has shattered the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in the Midwood neighbourhood of Brooklyn. Investigators believe it was caused when a hot plate, left on for the Sabbath, malfunctioned, setting off flames that incinerated the stairs of their home, trapping the children in their second-floor bedrooms as they slept.

The practice of keeping hot plates on for the Sabbath is a common modern method of obeying tradition prohibiting the use of fire on the holy day. Orthodox Jews closely adhere to strict rules that define rest and work on the Sabbath. Prohibitions include turning on and off electric appliances.

New York fire officials have described the blaze as the city's worst house fire in recent memory.

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The Sassoon family's house is seen after the fire that killed seven of their childrenKena Betancur/Getty Images
sassoon family fire brooklyn orthodox jewish
A firefighter surveys the aftermath of the fire that ripped through the Sassoon's house in BrooklynStephanie Keith/Reuters
sassoon family fire brooklyn orthodox jewish
Mayor Bill de Blasio embraces New York's Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro outside the Sassoon's fire-destroyed houseKena Betancur/Getty Images
sassoon family fire brooklyn orthodox jewish
Mourners attend the funeral for seven Orthodox Jewish children who perished in one of New York's deadliest fires in yearsBrendan McDermid/Reuters