Refusing to succumb to terrorism, a young Israeli overcame his severe wounds and came to the Western Wall to celebrate his triumph and bar mitzvah.
The young Israeli boy who was injured in the infamous stabbing attack that took place in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev two months ago, celebrated his bar mitzvah on Thursday at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Naor Shalev was stabbed and critically wounded on October 12 by two Palestinian boys, ages 14 and 13, while riding his bicycle . Despite the traumatizing experience, Naor offered his own words of inspiration on the occasion of his 13th birthday.
“Today I am celebrating my acceptance of the mitzvot [commandments] as a grown man and a member of the Israeli nation. I am now responsible for my actions.”
A number of local dignitaries celebrated the bar mitzvah, including Jerusalem’s Deputy Mayor Jerusalem Meir Turgeman, who delivered a speech in which he described Naor’s survival as a “miracle.”
“Today you celebrate a big miracle. God miraculously saved you from a stabbing and you are standing with us here today. What is most moving and important is that we are in one of the most important places to the Jewish people – Jerusalem,” he said.
Addressing Naor directly, the deputy mayor added: “You are celebrating your bar mitzvah even though the terrorists tried to kill you. That is our answer to all the terrorists and the murderers who try to disrupt life in Jerusalem. It won’t succeed.”
Turgeman also used the platform to call upon the Israeli government to take “real actions to protect the citizens of Israel.”
He suggested a number of measures, including closing the villages from which the terrorists originate, emphasizing that while the Jewish people are a “humane and sensitive people, there has to be a limit to everything.”
In an interview with TPS, Naor’s uncle, Joshua Ben-Ezra, duscussed the emotions he felt on the occasion of his nephew’s bar mitzvah. “I will tell you the truth. I have already accompanied Naor for a while and heard him talking about the significance of this bar mitzvah for a while.”
“Every time without fail, he moves me and reminds me that every day is a gift,” Ben-Ezra said.
At the conclusion of the opening bar mitzvah ceremony, the crowds burst into song as they paraded to the Western Wall’s tunnels, where Naor read from his designated chapter of the Torah to family and friends.
“Last week we celebrated Chanukah and we marked the ascent from darkness to light. This applies perfectly to these days too,” the bar mitzvah boy stated.
By: Alexander J. Apfel/TPS