Terror in the yeshiva

By Simcha Shumacher

Speech by Simcha Shumacher at a recent fundraiser for Israel Emergency Solidarity Fund/One Family.

Honoured Speakers, dear friends and supporters of Israel,

My name is Simcha Shumacher.

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By Simcha Shumacher

Speech by Simcha Shumacher at a recent fundraiser for Israel Emergency Solidarity Fund/One Family.

Honoured Speakers, dear friends and supporters of Israel,

My name is Simcha Shumacher. I am-nineteen years old, born in Israel and now study at the Atzmona Jewish studies Program for Students who have graduated High school, and choose to strengthen themselves, before serving in the Army.

On the invitation to this evening, it was said that I am an American – sorry, no, I am an Israeli, but I do have Canadian citizenship, as my parents made Aliyah from Toronto, almost twenty five years ago. I have been invited here today, to tell you about my experience as a victim of terror. I have two very personal stories to tell you about. One, happened to me exactly seven days ago, and the second, to my sister, seven months ago.

As I mentioned, I am a student at the Jewish Studies Program in Atzmona. At our school, the students enroll for one or two years, and then serve in the Israeli army. A lot of stress is on strengthening our Jewish identity. Graduates go on to be soldiers and officers in the best units of the army. Last year, three new air-force-pilots were Atzmona students.

Last week – seven days ago, Thursday night, we were in a class room. We were all unarmed students. A lecture took place – the topic was the Pesach Hagadda – about 40 students attended this lecture. Many other students, were in the main study hall, the Beit Midrash. A few others were in the dormitory. On Thursday nights, we often continue our studies all through the night, until the early morning of the next day.

That night, at about eleven forty, a large boom was heard. It was the sound of a grenade. A single terrorist, no older than myself, had entered. The grenade exploded in one of the dormitories, and the building went up in flames. My friend Arik was inside. He was burnt to death. Immediately afterwards, we heard the bullets of an automatic rifle. It seems that the terrorist entered the area some time before, and waited in hiding for his moment.

This suicide terrorist, in cold blood, began his attack at the dormitory. I guess he thought that we would all be sleeping – it was almost midnight. As I said, the dormitory went up in flames and he began to shoot in all directions. At that first burst of fire, two others were killed. Ariel Zana was hit with nineteen bullets! Nineteen bullets! A full magazine was emptied on him. Eran Pickard, standing nearby , was hit in the neck. He later died, in the hospital.

The terrorist proceeded to another room, where six of my friends were inside. He tried to enter, but they held the door from inside so he couldn’t enter.My friend, Asher Marcus was outside and tried to take cover. He was shot to death. The terrorist moved on, towards the lecture hall. The forty students who were listening to a lecture before the shooting started, had tried to take cover under the tables. He shot from the outside, shattering the windows and threw two grenades through the window. My friend Tal Kurtzweil took the brunt of the blow. We tried to revive him but he was killed almost immediately.

From the first burst of fire – maybe five minutes went by. A soldier who lives in the residential part of Atzmona, risked his own life, ran to the scene, and shot and killed the terrorist. The casualty toll, nine machine gun magazines and six grenades later – four dead and over twenty five wounded. Two were flown by helicopter to hospital. One of them died in the operating room. Aviad Ohayon remains today in intensive care, paralyzed from the waist down. Ron Berkowitz had his foot amputated and now they are trying to save his leg. Amos Efrati suffers from internal injuries. The others had shra-pnel and bullets in parts of their body – most of the others will be released from hospital by today.

We all, one hundred and forty students and staff, are trying to deal with the tragic loss of our friends. I personally, went in an ambulance to accompany a wounded friend to hospital. That day, thousands of people attended the funerals. All five were buried within a fews hours. I was at three funerals. Sunday morning, I went with my father to visit the injured who were hospitalized. Later that day, with heavy heart, we went back to Atzmona – 90% of the students were back – trying to make sense of the tragic events, mourning our losses, praying for the recovery of the wounded. Tonight, as I speak before you here in New York, the lecture in Atzmona will continue, picking up where interrupted. Many Alumni have come back for a few days, to inspire and support us.

Unfortunately, this was the second time I have been exposed to terror. The other time occurred seven months ago, in Jerusalem. My younger sister, Yaffa, went with three friends, for pizza, at her favorite restaurant in Jerusalem at Sbarro. She was in line at the counter when a suicide terrorist released his bomb. Fourteen were killed, among them Ben Zion’s parents and three siblings.

My sister heard Mordecei Schevuschuuder tell his children to repeat, with him, “Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokaynu Hashem Ehud” Yaffa was injured in her legs and arms, her face and neck burnt. Her elbow was shattered. All the TV footage around the world showed my sister, Yaffa, being evacuated. Yaffa was in the operating room for ten hours, the doctors working hard to save her arm. She was in hospital for two weeks. My parents, my brother, sister in law, sister and I, were with her twenty fours hours a day, supporting her, loving her, hurting with her. She was in a wheel chair for two months, and her recovery is slow.

We have to be patient. Even today, seven months later, she has treatment four times a week. The One Family Organization has been with us from the beginning. As soon as Yaffa saw signs of improvement, she went to visit and help others, wounded worse than her, wounded in terrorist attacks that have occurred since. Because, all in all, we are really One Family – when one is hurting, we all feel the pain.

© Israel My Beloved




The PLO was instituted in 1964 three years before the six day war in June 1967 when Israel, in a war of self-defense, recovered the so-called “West Bank”, now seen and proclaimed by nearly everybody as the quintessence crux of the Middle East problem.
This however shows that the PLO (All Palestine needs to be liberated) was not formed to erect a Palestinian state on the ‘so called’ West Bank but was instituted to replace all of Israel with a Muslim Palestinian State.

A Word From Zion

The New Testament Basis for the Restoration of Israel

Jesus was asked by His disciples whether He would restore the kingdom to Israel at that time, to which He replied:
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.