“To me, this is how a Jewish family responds to tragedy, by giving back to their community and by strengthening their connection to God and the Land of Israel.”
Over 500 people attended a special Hachnasat Sefer Torah – dedication of a Torah scroll – in the eastern Jerusalem community of Pisgat Ze’ev in memory of the youngest victim of terror in Israel’s history. The event took place Monday evening, exactly a year after the attack, according to the Hebrew calendar.
Shira Ish-Ran was 21 years old and 30 weeks pregnant in December 2018, when she was shot in the abdomen by a Hamas terrorist while waiting at a bus stop outside the community of Ofra in Samaria. She was seriously wounded, and doctors delivered the infant in an emergency C-section.
The premature baby died after spending three days in intensive care. His father, Amichai, sustained moderate injuries in the attack.
The baby was named Amiad Yisrael (the nation of Israel is eternal) before being buried in Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives cemetery.
At the time, Shira’s father, Chaim Silberstein, said his grandson’s funeral was “very difficult, especially when Shira and Amichai couldn’t attend and remained at the hospital… We felt closure in being able to lay him to rest on the Mount of Olives.”
Silberstein, who lives in Beit El in Samaria, is the founder and president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech, a Jerusalem public diplomacy and advocacy organization.
Throughout the past year, “our family has been trying to take this tragic incident to good places, to elevate it. This Torah dedication was a very appropriate and uplifting event to do exactly that,” Silberstein told United with Israel.
“Shira and Avichai are both trying very hard to get back to a normal routine,” he said. “They still face physical and emotional challenges but they are very brave, making great efforts to overcome the challenges.”
(Video of Torah dedication – courtesy)
This past October, a Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulance in memory of Amiad Israel began operating in the Jerusalem area, donated by Florida-based donors to American Friends of Magen David Adom. In contrast to Islamic terrorists, “our heroes are the ones who protect life and save lives,” Amichai said in a statement, as reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The dedicated Torah scroll will be housed in the renamed Amiad Yisrael synagogue in Pisgat Ze’ev, where Refael Ish-Ran, Amichai’s father, is the congregation’s rabbi.
Larry Zeifman, a pro-Israel activist in Toronto who spends a few months each year in Israel, where he has a second home, told United with Israel that the event “was very special.”
“To me, this is how a Jewish family responds to tragedy,by giving back to their community, and by strengthening their connection to God and the Land of Israel,” he said.
“The courage and leadership of this young couple and their special parents – the Ish-Rans and the Silbersteins – has been a model for us all. I was at Amiad Yisrael’s funeral last year and it was so special to be at the Hachnasat Sefer Torah this year. I said to the Silbersteins – olim [immigrants to Israel] from South Africa and pioneers in defense of the Land of Israel – that I hope to only be with them for smachot [happy occasions] in the future. They had a new grandson the day before the event. It is a true privilege and honor to be connected to such people.
“When we see the recent horrors of anti-Semitism in the US, we know we are very fortunate to have such role models,” Zeifman concluded.