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President Rivlin celebrated Bar and Batmitzvahs with children who have suffered terrorist attacks

Attached photo credit: Koby Gideon (GPO)

President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin hosted a Bar and Batmitzvah event for children injured in terrorist attacks this evening, as he does every year, in a festive event at Beit HaNasi. This year, the event was compered by Esther Ada and Eurovision winner Neta Barzilai will perform. During the event, Ahiya Emanuel Fisher, brother of Adva Fisher ז"ל who was killed in a suicide attack in 2003, spoke on behalf of the children. The Chair of the Organization of Victims of Terror Abie Moses and Director General of the National Insurance Institute Meir Spiegel also spoke at the event. The Organization of Victims of Terror has held Bar and Batmitzvah celebrations for the last 18 years.

Ahiya Emanuel Fisher, a bereaved brother who lost his sister Adva in 2003 in a suicide attack, spoke of his loss. “We are all kids who have grown up, but our growing up started long before we got to the age of Barmitzvah,” he said. “From the pictures and stories I have got to know Adva, the light she brought to our home. I am sure she is proud of me from above,” he added. Adva Fisher was murdered in 2003 when she was 19 years old in a terrorist attack at the Geha junction. Two and a half years later, her brother Ahiya Emanuel was born. At his Barmitzvah, Ahiya chose to donate all the gifts he received to people with special needs, in her memory.

The president spoke to the young people and said, “Today, you mark the transition from childhood to adulthood, the age when young men and women form their own opinions, come of age in the eyes of religion and are expected to take responsibility for their actions. You have all, unfortunately, already experienced the loss of a father, mother, brother, sister or other relative. Some of you have been injured yourselves. Already as children, too soon, you were asked to grow up, and you did. I want to say that you became heroes. When I see you here, strong, bright and smiling, when I see your spirit, I feel that you are the ones who give me strength.”

He added, “On this emotional day, the people of Israel are with you. Everyone is looking out for you and wishing you success and happiness. Your desire to keep on going, to grow, develop and mature, despite the difficulties and the pain, strengthens us all. Our responsibility today is to show you our love, our pride, and to do everything we can to give you everything necessary for you to continue to flourish and be the pride of the Israeli people. To ensure your safety and security – yours and all the children of Israel. May you continue to grow and flourish without fear. We believe in you and love you. Mazal tov, from me and from all of Israel.”

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