Israeli terror victim’s family celebrate a Bar Mitzvah


In February 2016 Avi was injured in the back and neck during a fatal terror attack while shopping at a grocery store. He was stabbed several times and one of the stabs was one millimeter away from hitting a main artery. The terrible thought of the near-death attack comes up often in Avi and his wife’s minds and brings them to tears. They often thank God that Avi got a second chance at life.

When Avi was stabbed, he cried for help and one of the soldiers in the area came running. That soldier also got stabbed, directly in his main artery, and died. Another soldier also heard Avi’s cries, ran to him and saved his life. That soldier was trained as an ambulance driver and showed incredible initiative when he stopped Avi’s bleeding in the neck with a tourniquet.

Due to the injury, Avi was forced to leave his job in Jerusalem and spend several months at home, during which he was under medical supervision. While he stayed home, he did not receive a salary and even though he was eligible to receive refunds from Social Security, complicated bureaucracy caused the family to fall into debt.

Recently Avi went back to work–not in his old job, which involved a lot of high tension and pressure, but as a driver in a transportation company. His wages are much smaller now and since Avi is not compensated for the decrease in his earning capacity, the family is in a very difficult financial situation.

Besides the physical injury, Avi describes his and his family’s immense difficulty with dealing with the trauma and fear, understanding that life is fragile and can end suddenly.

This past month, the family celebrated their son’s bar mitzvah. Vision for Israel gave the family a generous donation to lighten the financial load and ensure them that they are not alone in these difficulties. Avi described the celebration as moving and joyful. Among the guests was the soldier who saved Avi’s life. Avi was asked to share a few words with the guests, and he told everyone that it’s not for granted that they were all celebrating together. If it wasn’t for that millimeter and the soldier who saved him, he wouldn’t be there to celebrate his son’s bar mitzvah.

This article originally appeared on Vision for Israel, November 14, 2016, and reposted with permission.