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Transformed tragedy

Friday, 18 June, 2010 - 12:24 pm

Dear Friends,

I remember that day, 9 years ago. It was the most horrific day in the history of terrorist attacks in Israel. Organized by Hammas, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the center of Jerusalem at a Sbarro restaurant. Fifteen people, including seven children, were killed and over 100 wounded on that vacation day in Israel.

When the details started coming out, the sadness and shock was beyond description. Five of the victims were members of one family, parents and three of their children: Mordechai, Tzira, Raya, Avram and Emda Schijveschuurder were murdered together while out on a "fun day" in Jerusalem. Their funeral was one of the most painful in the history of Israel. The images of the five surviving young children of the family were burned into the consciences of all Israeli residents, including myself, forever.

This week I met those children again.  I recognized the two boys’ faces. They came to the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe this past Tuesday to mark his 16th Yahrtziet. Together with them was one of my closest friends from Yeshiva, Rabbi Benyamin Wolff, a Chabad Rabbi in Helsinki, Finland.

Wondering about the connection, I was told that the Schijvsechuurder brothers met Rabbi Wolff on a trip to Europe and pledged to build a Chabad house in Helsinki in memory of their family members.

It is hard to imagine how this family was able to collect themselves after such a terrible tragedy; it is admirable to see how they have turned it into energy of goodness and kindness.

Comments on: Transformed tragedy

Suhib wrote...

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