Winning a battle against terror

A personal story of a battle against terror

“By Seeing the Good in Life, I am Winning My Battle Against Terror”

My name is Orit . I am from Otniel and grew up in a big, happy family. I have nine brothers and sisters. I am in the middle.

On 1 July, 2016, the unthinkable happened.

My parents went for a drive with two of my siblings. Terrorists met them on the way and shot more than 27 bullets at their car.

My father , Rabbi Michael ‘Mikki’ Mark was murdered, my mother Chavi was seriously injured, and my brother and sister were hurt.

My mother and father met when they were 13 years old. They were the perfect couple, so special and pure. They completed each other and now everything has changed. Forever.

Our mother and our father brought us up with values of respect, love and caring for others. My father was a rabbi and director of the yeshiva in Otniel. He had a unique and open mind. He greeted everyone with a smile and accepted everyone for who they were.

It still seems unreal that my father has gone.  The week of the shiva was a chaotic week that seemed like it would never end. We were lucky to have so many special people visit us in our home, while my father watches all this beauty from up in the clouds. So special, so many people helped us, so many supported us, so many gave us strength.  Among them, people from One Family. This amazing organization who has stood by us, taught us how to continue, how to continue the ways of our father and how to teach us about our own inner strengths.

The attack changed everything

Our lives will never be the same.  My father is no longer with us and my mother, was so badly injured that she is unable to be the mother she once was. She was completed by my father and now she is slowly learning to cope on her own.

Our mother was in hospital in Israel for 3 months. She lost an eye in the attack and had to have many surgeries to her head and neck. She also then traveled to the US with my brother where she had several surgeries to her face and brain.  She is a heroine.

Since the attack, my older sister and her husband has moved into our family home to look after the youngest in the family, even though our mother is now home, she unable to do what she used to for all of us.

We all make sure to spend Shabbat together, as when we are together, we feel that each of us has a part of father in us and his soul still lives on.

We are all different but our father taught us to respect our differences and be open minded. Our love and respect for each other is exactly what he would want- to support each other despite the differences.

Here too at One Family, I have met people from all walks of life. Religious and Irreligious.  Young and Old, People from small towns like me and people from big cities like Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem. People who work high-tech to people who are stay home mothers and widows like my mom. Despite the differences, it gives me such strength that at One Family we all feel normal. It is the only place where I can feel true to myself, where in the same breath I can laugh and cry. It is a place where people truly understand me and accept me.

This experience has taught me that you don’t know what is going to happen to you from one day to the next- that life is unpredictable but despite all the difficulties in this new found reality, I have also learned to appreciate all the good in my life. And there is so much good. I love my family. I am now happily married. I enjoy seeing the beauty in the world around me. I am able to still laugh and smile. I take an optimistic approach and I know that is how my father would react too. He would still want us all to be happy.

For me, by being happy and seeing the good in life, I am winning my battle against the terrorists every single day.

It gives me so much strength to know there are people around the world who care about victims of terror and show their support. I take great strength in continuing the ways of my father and trying to continue lighting up the world in the same way that he did.

For further information please contact andrew@onefamilyuk.org 

To make a donation please go to www.onefamilyuk.org/donate  

Israel Mourns Ari Fuld

Thousands gathered to mourn Ari Fuld

 

From late Sunday night into early Monday morning in Kfar Etzion, a religious kibbutz in the West Bank.

Ari Fuld, 45, left his home for a routine shopping trip and became a national legend for the way he shot a terrorist after he himself was mortally wounded near the Rami Levy supermarket in the Gush Etzion junction.

The father of four, Fuld was the grandson of a Holocaust survivor and had miraculously dodged a bullet while serving as an IDF soldier in Lebanon.

“If there is one word to describe my brother, it was a hero,” his brother Moshe told the mourners who surrounded the small chapel on the edge of the Kfar Etzion cemetery just after midnight on Monday.

“Who else could manage upon sustaining a fatal  injury, to draw his pistol, jump a fence and shoot his attacker to make sure that his attacker would not hurt anyone else; only my brother, only my brother,” Moshe said.

Courage was not just something that came to him in his death, said Moshe, adding that Ari. “was a hero in every aspect of his life.”

Moshe was one of many family members who described a man of strong convictions who stood his ground against all odds. A scholar, with a sense of fun, Ari loved his family, his country and his religion.

Born in New York, Ari immigrated to Israel in 1994. The dual US-Israeli citizen lived in Efrat with his wife Miriam, and was the father of three. He served as a sergeant in an elite paratroopers unit in the IDF reserves, and also served on the Efrat emergency squad.

A well-known pro-Israel advocate his Facebook page stated: “Living the dream! I have a love for the Nation of Israel, Land of Israel and Torah of Israel.”

“Ari never did things half way, whether it was his family, his love for his country, his love for Efrat, his all encompassing religious observance, his karate, his commitment to the security team.

“He was a scholar like no other. His head was always in the Talmud. He went through those pages, like us normal folk read a novel. The thirst for that next page, he could not put it down for anything.

“He was the most grounded person I know,” Moshe said, adding that he was able to stay focused and never neglect other facets of his life. “He had the weight of the world because he put it there and yet he managed to be everything for everyone,” Moshe said.

Ari’s wife Miriam spoke of how her husband had kept the shrapnel that had lodged in his bullet proof vest while he served in Lebanon. He also kept small notebooks in which he jotted down his thoughts during his IDF service.

His wife Miriam, read some of those words, in which he spoke of the importance of courage and his prayer that G-d would let the IDF persevere over their enemies.

“I pray only that I won’t die. I hope that the fear will subside,” Miriam read.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

made a surprise visit to Gush Etzion to visit the Fuld family prior to the burial.

“We are alive because of heroes like Ari. We will always remember him,” Netanyahu said adding that the embraced the family in the name of the nation of Israel.

Earlier under the night stars, teenagers gathered in the Gush Etzion parking lot to bid farewell to Fuld, a well-known social media personality and Israel advocate.

They carried Israeli flags, played guitar, sang mournful songs and placed candles on the pavement in the shape of a Star of David.

Well-known in Jewish communities around the globe, Fuld was assistant director of Standing Together, an organization that supports IDF soldiers. He was an outspoken defender of Israel in the media and online, regularly engaging with Israel’s critics through his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

 

To make a donation to assist victims of terror please go to www.onefamilyuk.org/donate

Terrorist Murders Father of Two Small Children

Stabbing leaves two children without their father

OneFamily is deeply shocked and devastated by the murder of Yotam Ovadia in a cold-blooded stabbing attack on Thursday, July 26 in Adam that also wounded two other people.

 

stabbing
Yotam with his family

Yotam, 31, was the father of two small children ages 2 and 10 months, and 7 months. May his memory be a blessing.

The murder robs the family of their loving father and husband, and leaves a widow and two more orphans too young to remember life before their family was shattered by terror.

The terrorist, a 17-year old Palestinian from a nearby town in the West Bank, infiltrated the town of Adam and began stabbing people he encountered, starting with a 58-year-old man, who was moderately wounded, and then Yotam. A third man heard Yotam’s screams and ran to help, sustaining a stab wound before shooting the terrorist.

The murder took place on the night of Tu B’Av, which is similar to Valentine’s Day in Israel. Yotam had brought flowers for his wife Tal and the couple put their children to sleep. He then went to his parents’ home to collect items he had purchased for a romantic dinner.

He never returned.

OneFamily has reached out to the Ovadia family. We are at their side through the difficult mourning period and will continue to be there through the stages of grieving that follow. We will stay at their side as long as they need us so that they never feel alone.

At his funeral, Tal spoke about Yotam as a devoted husband and father.  “I do not know what will happen to me now regarding the children. I do not know how to continue to be strong for the children,” she said.

“We were everything to him, the house was his kingdom. Yotam was a humble and modest working man. He loved me and the children in a way I never saw. Everything he did was only for us. He always made sure it was good. He always put himself last,” she said.

His father also spoke about the fate of Yotam’s children, who will grow up not knowing the father who loved them so much. “The heart breaks at the sound of your little son calling, ‘Daddy, Daddy.’ The little boy cannot go on without you,” he said.

Please help ensure OneFamily is able to help the Ovadia family and other terror victims who need us.

Please donate here to OneFamily today!

Victims of terror come to UK to speak over Yom Ha’atzmaut

One Family were privileged to bring over to London for Israel Remembrance Day and Israel Independence Day six young adults, all of whom served recently in the IDF and who unfortunately have become victims of terror.

During their visit they attended various communal events both remembering the fallen and then celebrating 70 years Of Israeli Statehood. They were also invited to a number of schools & societies to tell their stories and to join in with the various ceremonies taking place. A special thank you to  the following schools, societies and organisations for their hospitality:

UJS event at JW3

Redbridge Community Centre

Haberdashers Askes Boys School

Yavneh College

Michael Sobell Sinai School

JFS

Naima JPS

Immanuel College

Matilda Marks Kennedy School

Independent Jewish Day School

Hasmonean Boys School

Hasmonean Girls School

Leeds JSoc

The London Adani Community

Yom Hazikaron Ceremony at Finchley United Synagogue

 

 

 

To view the full gallery of pictures from the Israel 70 Party please CLICK HERE

 

We received the following messages from some of the schools:

School A – I just wanted to drop you an email to thank you so much for arranging soldiers m to come into school yesterday. I heard that the children really enjoyed listening to them.

School B – Just wanted to say a huge thank you to the soldiers for a wonderful event where they spoke superbly. Please pass them my thanks.

School C – Thank you so much for being our guest in Yom Hazikaron Assembly today. The soldiers were inspirational and their speeches left a high emotional impact on every member of the audience . Your participation in the assembly ensured it’s success and we are ever so grateful to you.  Please pass on our gratitude and warmest wishes to both. 

The week ended with a huge Israel 70 party where our guests ate, drank and danced the night away. The perfect ending to a very busy week.

 

Message from Ambassador Mark Regev – Moving ceremony at  to mark ’s remembrance day for fallen soldiers & victims of terrorism. Many thanks  for organising. After their work was done they visited the sights of London as well as having a few leisure activities in London. We want to thank this special group for sharing their experiences with so many people here in the UK.

 

If you are interested in sponsoring groups to London please contact andrew@onefamilyuk.org