Visits with Families :
 

Daniel Harush
Home Visit: Tsfat: February 26th, 2007
The Family Of Daniel Harush

By Sara Bedein, Coordinator of Home Visits

Tzippi and Mano Harush's 16-year-old son, Daniel was murdered in a suicide bus bombing attack on March 5th 2003 in Haifa.

Tzippi has been on one of KMF's Mothers Healing Retreats and is a steady member of our Moa'don in Haifa.

Tzippi and Mano both received me graciously into their beautiful home. One 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 Chief of Staff's 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 daughter's 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 the three of us sit around the dining room table eating the wholesome dinner Tzippi has prepared, both Tzippi and Mano take turns telling me 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 non-observant 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 2:00 AM 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 flash cards 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."

 
 

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> Daniel Harush
> Tzipporah Alon