Special edition: Praying for Shira

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Friends,

A young woman just buried her baby, a son, four days old. Not just any newborn, but a child born out of terror. His parents, Shira and Amichai, newlyweds all of a year, stood at a bus stop and were picked out and gunned down – for being Jews. Yes, by a palestinian arab, for simply being Jewish and living in the land of Israel. These innocent smiles belie the tragedy of this week as seen in the second photo, taken last night at the heart-wrenching funeral on the Mt of Olives for this baby boy. First, in accordance of Jewish law he was given a name, and then he was buried in the sacred land of Jerusalem, forever. We take solace in the steadfast faith of his family, as witnessed by his name: Amiad Yisrael – My people Israel forever. This little soul, in its four short days of life, has succeeded in uniting us, inspiring us and urging us forward.

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Here’s how it felt just after the terrorist attack…

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Sarah’s message from earlier this week:

Many of you have attended our Yes! Israel missions – and included in those has often been a close-up look at how we live with the threat of terror in our daily lives. One such mission comes to mind this week, as some of you visited Israel in October 2015. Our very first morning together began with a horrific terror attack in the south of Jerusalem, at the beautiful overlook of the city – on the #78 bus: American Richard Lakin was murdered, along with 2 others. I don’t know if you remember us discussing that terrible attack but we discussed how even though we are a country of 8 million people, everyone is connected to one another. After every terror attack we rush to our phones to check in on our immediate family, and hopefully exhale when we locate each other, then continuing to check in on friends and neighbors, waiting for that inevitable connection to the victim. When you experienced the wave of terror in real-time that October, you were also inducted into the extended Israel family.

And now it has come full circle. Many of you have met and toured with the inspiring man who was our guide that day, a man who has dedicated his life to Jerusalem and its environs. He sped from the terror scene to meet us at Nebi Samuel where he highlights the realities of Jerusalem’s northern neighborhoods, its borders and mix of residents, with maps both new and old.

Chaim Silberstein, our dear, dedicated long-time friend, is the father of the pregnant young woman Shira, shot at close range by Arab terrorists in a drive-by shooting near the town of Ofra. The baby boy was delivered via emergency c- section but remains in critical condition, fighting for his little young life, begun early by terrorist hate. Shira – whose name means ‘song’ – is in serious condition, recently opening her eyes to see her husband Amichai (his name: ‘My nation lives’!), also shot but out of danger.

Security cameras at the scene captured a heart-wrenching act of violence, a white car pulling up to the bus-stop and opening fire on the pedestrians standing in reach. Four sixteen-year old girls were injured, along with pregnant Shira and her husband. Soldiers rushed back to the scene, helping the wounded and unable to chase the white car fleeing the havoc it left in its hatred wake.

Have you read about this in the news? Perhaps if you follow some of the media we’ve suggested over the years, Arutz 7 for example. But probably not – forgotten and done, while Chaim and his wife Leora sit at their daughter’s bedside, praying for her response and for the life of their newborn grandson. It is unimaginable, and yet, the circle of violence reaches us, too close for comfort, once again.

Reach out to Chaim and his family if you’d like, through his organization’s website: www.keepjerusalem.org, with an expression of caring, so they know they are not alone.

Am Yisrael Chai – the people of Israel live – but we want to do so in peace and security, for all our childrens’ sake. Thank you, dear friends –

Sarah & Ruthie

Please keep in your prayers:
Shira, daughter of Liora Sarah
Amichai, son of Fayge Glila
and the young soul, Amiad-Yisrael hy’d (may God avenge his death)

Photos: Chaim Silberstein, father of Shira & founder of Keep Jerusalem (www.keepjerusalem.org), explains the intricacies of the city from ancient history to modern politics. Pictured here with members of our delegations.

chaim Silberstein and Congressmen
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