Emmanuel Terror Attack Aftermath
Yehudit Weinberg: “My baby’s dead, but maybe he saved my life”
Yediot Ahronot (p. 9) by Rivka Freilich — “When we return home we’ll try to expand the family despite everything that happened,” said yesterday Yehudit Weinberg, 22, from her hospital bed in the ICU in the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
Yehudit, who was eight months pregnant, sustained very serious injuries on Tuesday in the terror attack outside Emmanuel. She was struck by a number of bullets in her legs and hips, and the fetus she was carrying was in danger. She was taken to the hospital and after a long and complicated C-section operation gave birth to a boy. The baby was in distress and was defined as being in critical condition. The doctors at the Schneider Children’s Hospital fought for hours to save the newly born infant’s life, but he succumbed yesterday before dawn.
“After the operation Yehudit wouldn’t stop asking what was with the baby,” Yehudit’s mother, Ahuva Kupilovich recounted yesterday. “We said, ‘not good,’ and that he was in critical condition, and I hoped she would stop asking. In the end she asked if the baby had died. We told it had. She averted her glance. The entire time she still had hope in her eyes that it would be possible to save him, but he was hurt too badly. Hope was ended, and Yehudit said, ‘maybe it will be better for him this way.'”
On Tuesday, immediately after the bus was struck by the initial explosion, Yehudit managed to call her parents and said: “I’m in a terror attack, call an ambulance.” She lay down on the floor of the bus, and then the terrorists’ bullets struck her. Her husband, Zvi Weinberg, said: “I spoke with Yehudit before she got on the bus, and she said that she was running a little late. When I heard there had been a terror attack I called but she didn’t answer. It was hard. But her parents told me that they’d spoken with her and that she was alive, so I calmed down.” Yehudit recounted her experiences: “When I got on the bus I sat down in one seat, but I wasn’t comfortable so I moved. The woman who sat in that seat was killed. When the bullets were flying all around me I lay on the floor and I said the prayer ‘everything is done by His word,’ a prayer that is a blessing. That’s the only thing that passed through my mind, and I had a feeling that I would come out of it. My baby died, but who knows, maybe I was saved by him. During the terror attack I screamed for help because I was pregnant, and they really treated me first. Maybe that was his mission to this world.”
“Everything is still fresh and it’s hard talking about things,” said Zvi. “Just like every couple, we were eager for the baby, and that eagerness was taken away. But anything decreed in heaven is decreed for the best. Yehudit was struck by seven bullets and she survived by a miracle. We now need to regain our strength and to get back to normal life. To try and to be careful, but to continue living.” Yehudit and Zvi have a son, Shalom-Noah, who is 14 months old.
The baby that died yesterday was buried in a ceremony that was attended by Hevra Kadisha [burial society] representatives only. “According to Halacha, there’s no need to say kaddish,” explained Zvi. He said the burial was not complemented by a funeral, and no family members were to attend the ceremony.
Lived for 45 Minutes
Ma’ariv (p. 7) by Eli Berdenstein and Sharon Solomon — He was born in a terror attack — and murdered in a terror attack — without ever even being given a name. Yesterday he was buried in the plot for premature babies at the Segula cemetery in Petah Tikvah.
Yehudit Weinberg, 22, was in her eighth month of pregnancy. She was severely injured in her abdomen during the terror attack on Tuesday and began to lose blood. “I’m pregnant,” she cried to the medics, and they quickly brought her to the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikvah. There, out of the horror, a son was born in a Caesarean operation. The doctors were forced to operate to try and save the fetus’s life.
The premature baby was taken in mortal condition to the Schneider Children’s Hospital. For 45 minutes the doctors worked to save him, but at 2:00 a.m., they gave up. “The mother lost a lot of blood and the baby suffered from a lack of oxygen,” the director of the premature babies unit, Prof. Leah Sirota, explained. “We couldn’t save him. He was a perfect baby, weighting two kilo and 330 gram. It is so frustrating to lose a baby who had a happy life in front of him. Before he even opened his eyes, he lost his life.”
“Every bullet has an address, and what had to happen happened,” said his mother Yehudit yesterday, still hospitalized in moderate condition, “everything is from the Holy One. I may have been saved because of the pregnancy, because I shouted that I was pregnant and they treated me first.” Yehudit, who has another son a year and two months old, said:
“Now I know that we will try and have more children.”
“I hoped that the baby would be saved” said the father, Zvi, “But God wanted otherwise.” Yehudit’s mother, Ahuva Kupilovich, related that she was the one who told her daughter of her baby’s death. “She seemed to have already understood this by herself, because she picked up that the situation was not good. I hoped that she would stop asking, but she didn’t. She asked if he had died. I said yes. She didn’t say anything, just bowed her head and kept her thoughts to herself.”
“Yehudit was waiting for the child like any mother. But we accept this fate. She was saved thanks to Torah and this makes it easier for Yehudit to accept this loss, the knowledge that nothing happens without a reason,” said the grandmother.
Where is Daddy?
Ma’ariv (p. 10) by Uri Arazi et al. — “Where is Daddy? Where is he?” asked Or Haim Shilon, two and a half, yesterday, over and over. He himself was lightly wounded in Tuesday’s inferno. His sister Sara, nine months old, was killed. His grandmother Zilpa was killed, his mother was wounded and phoned his father Gal to come and help them. The father, 32, arrived at a run, and was shot to death by the terrorists.
Or Haim was hospitalized in Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, with his sister Galia Ester (Sara’s twin sister). The two were surrounded by love from relatives yesterday, who tried to hide their tears from them. At the same time, the mother, 29, who was moderately wounded by shrapnel all over her body, was taken into surgery at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tivka.
After she came out, the doctors told her that she had lost her baby girl, her husband and her mother. Ayelet pulled herself together and phoned her eldest son in the hospital. One relative related: “While talking to her a light came into his eyes. He calmed down and began to take care of his little sister. He gave her Bamba and shared a popsicle with her.” He told photographers standing nearby: “She likes that.”
Later on Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Law visited the children. “I’m scared,” Or Haim told him. “you’re a good boy, don’t be scared,” the rabbi replied.
At the same time the children’s grandfather, Moshe Mashiah Kashi, 72, of Givatayim, prepared for the funeral of his wife Zilpa. He told family and friends how he took Zilpa to the Bnei Brak bus station, where the 67-year-old woman got on the bus of death, along with her daughter and grandchildren. “She was always visiting the children. She was scared of nothing,” Mashiah said, who also related that five years ago malignant growths were found in Zilpa’s body, but that she had overcome the illness.
Hundreds attended the funeral in Yarkon cemetery. But her daughter Ayelet could not come, because of her injury. “Why have you left me,” Zilpa’s husband cried, holding on to her body, “why did you leave me?”
The funeral of Gal Shilon and of Sara Shilon will take place today. Yesterday Gal’s parents, Yaakov and Sylvia, cut short an organized tour of Russia and returned home. The father, Yaakov, is a registered nurse and responsible for the project of rehabilitating IDF injured; mother Sylvia has a beauty parlor in Ramat Ilan. Ten years ago they lost another son, Nimrod, when he was 17. A relative related that Sylvia did not want to go overseas and had a feeling that something bad would happen. Two weeks ago she told her daughter Ravital, that she dreamed that Gal was being shot and killed.
Gal served in the Air Force in an anti-aircraft unit, studied business administration and at the same time studied for a civilian pilot’s license while working for an airline in Canada. When he returned to Israel a few years ago, he began to come closer to religion, after an aerial exercise in which he was almost killed. Three years ago he met Ayelet through a match.
The two married, and a year ago moved to Emmanuel. His sister Ravital said yesterday: “I didn’t think my brother was killed in the terror attack since he wasn’t on the bus. I phoned him but he didn’t answer, so I phoned Ayelet’s cellphone. A Magen David Adom medic answered me and refused to give details, only asked me to come to the hospital, where I heard. Gal was dead.”