Israel Celebrates Life over Death by Honoring Coming of Age Terror Victims

President Rivlin celebrates with child victims of terrorism. Photo courtesy of Mark Neiman, Israel GPO.

President Rivlin celebrates with child victims of terrorism. Photo courtesy of Mark Neiman, Israel GPO.

In Jewish tradition, the coming of age celebration—the Bar Mitzvah for boys and the Bat Mitzvah for girls—is a momentous occasion that marks the transition from childhood into adulthood. And for victims of terror attacks in Israel, that is doubly worth celebrating because they were almost prevented from making it that far.

So Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hosted an event for 58 victims of terror at the President’s Residence Monday evening, including for a young man stabbed in the neck by a terrorist his own age just two months ago. In a press release from Rivlin’s office, the Israeli President was quoted as telling Naor Ben Ezra, “We are so excited to celebrate with you. Your celebration—like the celebrations of all of you—symbolizes the triumph of joy over pain and the victory of life.” The significance of the event wasn’t missed by Ben Ezra.

“Until this very moment the thoughts of what I had gone through do not leave me,” Ben Ezra was quoted by the press release as saying. “I cannot let go of the thought that I may have not woken up from this injury, have had my life ended through no fault of my own—all because of my attacker, a boy my age, educated on hate and resentment of the Jewish people, who hurt me just because I was a Jew.”

The young Israeli noted that his stabbing injury could have resulted in brain injury or death. Instead, he is rehabilitating with plans to go back to school and life as normal.

Said Ben Ezra, “Thankfully, and because of my strong will power and the fact generic klonopin versus brand that I didn’t give up, the support of my family and devoted care of my doctors, it was a great miracle by which I was saved… As the doctors said—the way forward is long but I’m willing to deal with everything and not give up.”

That determination is a trait that marks the Israeli people, who have dealt with decades of Palestinian terrorism leading up to the latest explosion of violence. Rivlin pointed out that not all terror victims suffer physical injury, as others lose parents and siblings to attacks.

Said Rivlin,“In recent months we have witnessed difficult events. Young children have once again become orphans because of the murderous actions of our enemies. We pay a price to our devotion to this country, and we pay a price for our being Jews. It is a painful and hard price to pay—a price that each and every one of you knows personally, but we also have much pride, strength and energy.”

The Israeli President used his speech at the event to give dozens of young adults who have had their childhood scarred with violence a reminder of what they have accomplished so far as they celebrated the Bar and Bat Mitzvah tradition, which capped a day of activities organized by the Association of Victims of Terrorism.

Said Rivlin, “You young people, who make up the family of the victims of terrorism, have had to handle some of these pressures too soon and too quickly. From an early age you handled loss, pain, responsibility, changes and physical and mental difficulties… All of you have chosen to grow out of the difficulty and out of pain.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, December 21, 2015)

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