This coming Sunday marks Israel’s memorial day, when the Jewish state marks 22,645 Israelis who were killed in battle or murdered by Arab terrorists since the genesis of the State of Israel in May 1948.

The following story gives a human face to one family who fell victim to Arab terrorists.

This story was written by Sara Bedein, the coordinator of home visits for the Koby Mandell Foundation, an agency which provides service for the families whose loved ones have been murdered or injured by Arab terrorists.

The Koby Mandell Foundation is named for Koby Mandell, the 13- year-old son of American immigrants to Israel, Seth and Sherry Mandell.

Koby and his friend Yosef Ishrin were beset upon and hacked to death by Arab terrorists in May 2001.

Jerusalem – Daniel Harush was 16 years old when he was murdered in a suicide bus bombing attack on March 5, 2003 in Haifa.

The pain could have still been too much for the parents Tzippi and Manu.

But Tzippi confronted her grief by going on one of the Mothers Healing Retreats.

Even when guests come to discuss Daniel, Tzippi and Mano receive them graciously into their beautiful home.

The presence of their son is there – an entire wall of the living room serves as a memorial wall for Daniel. An electric memorial candle burns day and night alongside the many pictures showing various stages in Daniel’s short life. Most prominent are pictures of Daniel in the military academy at the Riali School in Haifa, receiving various awards and pictures in army uniform training with his classmates. Two of Israel’s chiefs of staff are graduates of this prestigious academy. Daniel’s dream was to become a pilot.

Facing the memorial wall is a wall covered with pictures of the couple’s three older daughters’ weddings, as well as pictures of their grandchildren.

Around their necks and close to their hearts, Tzippi and Mano, as well as their three daughters, wear at all times a gold necklace with a pendant engraved with Daniel’s smiling handsome face. Daniel was their only son, born 9 years after the couple’s third daughter. Mano says, ” I had a crown, and Daniel was the jewel in the crown.”

As they sit around the dining room table eating the wholesome dinner Tzippi has prepared, both Tzippi and Mano take turns talking about the special person Daniel was and what a loss he is to his adoring family, his friends who looked up to him and the promise of the great leader that was nipped in the bud by a cruel killer consumed with mindless rage and hatred. Time has only served to intensify the loss.

“Daniel was every parent’s dream of a child,” said Tzippi. “You never heard the word ‘no,’ from him. No matter what you asked him to do, he always willingly went about the task. He gave us the utmost honor and respect.”

When Daniel became bar mitzvah , he reached a turning point and became torah observant. His enthusiasm for observance of Jewish tradition was infectious, and Daniel served as a bridge between nonobservant and observant Jews. Though attending a secular military academy in Haifa, Daniel would charm his friends into getting up early on Shabbat mornings to make up the quorum needed to conduct the Sabbath service in the small synagogue on the premises of the school.

At Daniel’s shiva, the father of one of Daniel’s classmates related how his son had asked Daniel to study with him for a very difficult upcoming test. Daniel agreed but on the condition that the friend got up on Shabbat morning to make up the quorum needed for the services. The friend balked, saying that it was the only morning he could get up late and, besides, what did he know about praying. Growing up on a Shomer Hatzair kibbutz, he didn’t even have a bar mitzvah. Daniel would not be deterred. He repeated: “This is the condition. Take it or leave it.” The friend knew that Daniel was the only one in the class capable of helping him pass this test. He agreed to the condition, and true to his word, Daniel sat up with his friend until 2 a.m. and helped him get a good grade on the test. The friend also kept his end of the promise and showed up bright and early for Shabbat morning services. Daniel had written out on small flashcards the blessings his friend needed to say when called up to the Torah. When services were over, the friend told Daniel that though he had lived his entire life in a Jewish country, this was the first time he felt Jewish! When the boy returned home, he asked his kibbutz secular parents to buy him a pair of tfillin (phylacteries).

After Daniel’s murder, his friends renovated the small school synagogue and named it for him.

Tzippi visits her son’s grave without fail every Friday. She spends several hours there, tending to the “Garden of Eden” that she planted around the grave, updating Daniel with what’s going on with the family and pouring out her heart filled with pain. Mano visits the grave on Thursdays, spending several hours there.

The family donated a Torah scroll in Daniel’s memory. The Torah Scroll was placed in the Abuhav Synagogue in Tsfat’s Jewish Quarter, where Daniel’s bar mitzvah ceremony was held. To pay for the high cost of the Torah scroll, the couple used the money they had been saving up for Daniel’s higher education and the wedding day he will never have.

Every Shabbat, Mano attends services at the Abuhav synagogue, and when the Torah scroll is brought out, he holds it close to his heart in a tender embrace, making believe for those brief moments that he is embracing his slain son.

It is difficult to look into Mano’s eyes as he recounts story after story about his son. His eyes are so filled with pain, and often fill with tears that roll down his cheeks unchecked. Pointing to the memorial wall in the living room, he says, “When I feel really, really sad, I sit facing this wall for a long time and feel like I can’t go on living. When the feeling is about to consume me, then I turn around and look at this wall – the pictures of my daughters and the lives they have built for themselves and know that I need to find the strength to go on.”

©The Bulletin 2007


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.