Esther Klieman, a teacher for Downs Syndrome kids, & other victims of terror

March 24, 2002


1. Esther Klieman, 23, a teacher for Downs Syndrome kids is murdered
2. Atara Livne, 15
3. Mogus Mahento, 75
4. Noa Auerbach, 18
5. Tali Eliyahu, 26
6. Lidor, 12 and Oriah Ilan, 18 months
7. Avia Malka, 9 months
8. Some of the other victims this month
9. "Unborn baby fourth victim of suicide bomber" (Jerusalem Post, March 24, 2002)
10. "The last mitzva of your life" (March 24, 2002)

[Note by Tom Gross]


So far today (Sunday March 24), one Israeli, Esther Klieman, 23, of Neveh Tzuf, has been killed in a terror attack (shot in a bus by a Palestinian sniper).

Klieman was a kindergarten teacher for Downs Syndrome disabled children in Ofra. The gunman escaped into Palestinian Authority-controlled "Area A."

Several of you have asked for more details of terror victims. Below is a list of some of those murdered at random so far this month. Pictures and details are available if you click on the URL's. This list is not complete. I have pulled out seven examples at random. After this list are two other articles about victims. Many of these attacks were carried out by the Fatah movement headed and controlled by Nobel-peace prize winner Yasser Arafat.

-- Tom Gross


March 12, 2002

Atara Livne, 15, of Kibbutz Hanita was one of six Israelis killed when two terrorists opened fire on Israeli vehicles traveling between Shlomi and Kibbutz Metzuba near the northern border with Lebanon.

The two gunmen, dressed in IDF uniforms and armed with Kalashnikov and M-16 rifles and grenades, hid in undergrowth at the side of the road and opened fire on vehicles heading toward Kibbutz Metzuba around 12.30 P.M. Atara asked her mother, Lynne Livne, to drive her to visit a friend in nearby Kibbutz Metzuba; both were killed by gunfire.

"I lost a wonderful wife and an incredible daughter", said Tuvia, Atara's father. "You were so pretty, like a flower. It seems like only yesterday I was at your birth. Now I and your siblings are burying you."

Atara attended high school at Kibbutz Gesher Haziv. Her friend Emily said, "Atara was an amazing girl. She was funny, full of the joy of life." A cup of water, a cup of apple juice, a notebook, and a textbook about the western Galilee during the War of Independence remained standing on Atara's bedroom desk.



March 20, 2002

Mogus Mahento, 75, of Holon, was one of seven people killed in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus No. 823 traveling from Tel Aviv to Nazareth at the Musmus junction on Highway 65 (Wadi Ara) near Afula.

He was on his way to Upper Nazareth to pay a condolence call to the family of Maharatu Tagana, a friend who was killed in a suicide bombing at the Afula central bus station on March 5.

Mogus Mahento immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia in 1991, in Operation Solomon. He came from a village in the Gonder region, where he was a locksmith. In Israel, he first lived in an absorption center in Hadera, before moving to a senior citizens' home in Holon. Friends said that he spent most of his time helping with his grandchildren.

Mogus Mahento was buried in the Yarkon cemetery in Tel-Aviv. He was divorced, and is survived by four children and 13 grandchildren.



March 17, 2002

Noa Auerbach, 18, of Kfar Sava was killed and 16 people were injured when a terrorist opened fire on passersby in the center of Kfar Sava. The gunman was shot and killed by police. Most of the victims were students from the Tel Aviv High School who were on their break. Other students witnessed the shooting from the school windows.

Noa Auerbach, a social science student at the high school, had left with her friends after classes to buy falafel for lunch. She was fatally wounded in the shooting. "She was a beautiful girl and a good student, with a wonderful sense of humor," said the school principal.

Noa, the youngest of four children, turned 18 last month. She was buried in Kfar Sava. She leaves behind her parents, Naftali and Haya, and her three older brothers – Yaniv (31), Amit (24) and Ido (21).



March 9, 2002

Tali Eliyahu, 26, of Jerusalem was one of 11 people killed when a suicide bomber exploded at 22:30 PM Saturday night in a crowded cafe at the corner of Aza and Ben-Maimon streets in the Rehavia neighborhood in the center of Jerusalem.

Tali had just begun her first day as a waitress at Cafe Moment. She was supposed to work for just two hours.

Café Moment was teeming with dozens of people at the time of the attack. Tali Eliyahu was one of 11 people killed and 54 injured in the explosion.

Tali grew up in a very religious family, the youngest of ten brothers and sisters. Although she later decided to leave the religious way of life, she remained very close with her family. After a year of studying pre-school education, she enrolled in the Hebrew University, majoring in Middle East studies.



March 2, 2002

Lidor Ilan, 12, and his sister Oriah 18 months, of Rishon Lezion were two of 10 people killed in a suicide bombing on Saturday evening near a yeshiva in the ultra-Orthodox Beit Yisrael neighborhood in the center of Jerusalem.

Lidor and Oriah were at the Mahane Israel yeshiva in Jerusalem with their parents, Shimon and Ronit, and sister celebrating a family bar mitzvah - Ronit's nephew.

Shimon Ilan said: "My son Lidor was sitting in the car listening to music. I held Oriah in my arms, and went towards the trunk. I called to Lidor to bring me the keys to open the trunk. As he stood next to me and I opened the trunk, the explosion occurred. Oriah flew out of my hands." Both children were killed, along with five members of the Nehmad family.

Lidor and Oriah Ilan were buried side by side in Rishon Lezion.



March 9, 2002

Avia Malka, 9 months, of South Africa was killed when two Palestinians opened fire and threw grenades at cars and pedestrians in the coastal city of Netanya on Saturday evening, close to the city's boardwalk and hotels.

At about 8:30 P.M. two Palestinians tossed grenades and sprayed gunfire on guests in the Jeremy Hotel as they were leaving after a traditional "Shabbat hatan" celebration, held on the Sabbath before a wedding. A Magen David Adom volunteer medic was also killed in the attack, and over 50 people were wounded.

Avia Malka, just nine months old, was the youngest of five children of Michel and Ruthi Malka, of South Africa. They had arrived in Israel just a week before to attend Ruthi's brothers's wedding and to visit Avia's grandparents, who live in Hashmonaim. Her father Michel was seriously wounded in the attack.



Israel Yihye:

Eyal Lieberman:

Yehudit Cohen:

Ofer Kanarick:

Lynne Livne:

Lt. German Rozhkov:

1st Lt. Tal Zemach:

Limor Ben-Shoham:

Nir Borochov:

Danit Dagan:

Livnat Dvash:

Dan Imani:

Uri Felix:

Natanel Kochavi:

Baruch Lerner-Naor:

Orit Ozerov:

Avraham Haim Rahamim:

St.-Sgt. Kobi Eichelboim:

St.-Sgt. Haim Bachar:

Sgt. Yacov Avni:

Chief-Supt. Moshe Dayan:

Shlomo Nehmad:

Gafnit Nehmad:

Shiraz and Liran Nehmad:

Shaul Nehmad:

Tzofia and Yaakov Eliyahu:

Sergei Butarov:

Lt.(res.) David Damelin:

Sgt.-Maj.(res.) Avraham Ezra:

Sgt.-Maj. (res.) Eran Gad:

Vadim Galigulov:

Capt. Ariel Hovav:

1st Sgt.(res.) Rafael Levy:

Sgt.-Maj. (res.) Yochai Porat:

Sgt.-Maj. (res.) Kfir Weiss:

Didi Yitzhak:

Sgt. Steven Koenigsburg:

Avi Hazan:

Sgt. Michael Altfiro:

St.-Sgt. Shimon Edri:

SWO Meir Fahima:

Alon Goldenberg:

Cpl. Aharon Revivo:

Bella Schneider:

Arik Mordechai Krogliak:

Tal Kurtzweil:

Asher Marcus:

Eran Picard:

Ariel Zana:

St.-Sgt. Edward Korol:

St.-Sgt. Matan Biderman:

St.-Sgt. Ala Hubeishi:

Sgt. Rotem Shani:



Unborn baby fourth victim of suicide bomber
By Etgar Lefkovits
The Jerusalem Post
March 24, 2002

Gadi and Tzipi Shemesh had walked out of the downtown Jerusalem medical clinic where they had gone for Tzipi's ultrasound exam Thursday afternoon. Tzipi was five months pregnant with the couple's third child.

Both lives – and the life of their unborn baby – were cut down at 4:20 p.m. when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on King George Avenue.

Tzipi, 32, died on the spot, while Gadi, 34, a warrant officer in the IDF, died two hours later on the operating table at Jerusalem's Hadassah-University Hospital at Ein Kerem. The two were residents of Pisgat Ze'ev.

About the same time the Shemeshes left the Mur clinic, Yitzhak Cohen, 48, left the nearby perfume store where he worked. He was walking toward his bus stop when he was killed in the blast.

Ironically, Cohen had moved with his wife and six children from the settlement of Alon Shvut to Modi'in seven months ago in search of a more peaceful life.

His family began worrying about him when Cohen, who would always call and calm everyone down after a terrorist attack, did not phone this time.

Cohen was buried Friday in Jerusalem's Har Hamenuhot Cemetery, while the Shemeshes, after receiving special permission from Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, were buried side by side at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl Military Cemetery at nearly the same hour.

Their two orphaned daughters, Shoval, seven, and Shahar, three, were with their grandmother, Bracha, when their parents were killed in the blast. The three were watching the TV news of the attack.

"I hope daddy is not there," Shoval told her grandmother.

A short while later the dreaded knock on the door came from the town major, who informed the grandmother that her son was critically wounded and her daughter in law, who worked as an accountant at the Akademon book store at the Hebrew University, was 'missing.'

The grandmother raced with other family members to the hospital, where her son was fighting for his life. Soon she learned that both her son and his wife were dead.

"The girls keep asking, 'Where is mommy, where is daddy?' Gadi's brother, Yigal, said. "We tell them they are in a better place, that they are in heaven."



The last mitzva of your life
Robby Berman
March 24, 2002

Death doesn't often spawn life. But the tragic deaths last month of 17-year-old Netanel Goodman and 16-year-old Rachel Thaler did just that. Their families donated their organs for transplant, saving the lives of seven people.

These selfless act of kindness are rare for two reasons. First, Jews among all ethnic groups have the worst record of organ donation. European countries, which share organs based on supply and demand, have thrown Israel out of the European Union Organ Donor Network. And justly so.

The second noteworthy fact is that both the donors and their families are Orthodox. They donated organs in spite of the misperception among Orthodox and secular Jews alike that Jewish tradition categorically prohibits organ donation. While there are legitimate halachic issues concerning the moment of death that might, in certain circumstances, forbid donation, Judaism places the highest priority on saving and preserving human life. Most rabbis agree that saving a life overrides the biblical and rabbinic prohibitions of mutilating, delaying burial, and getting benefit from a corpse.

Religious culture seems to propagate superstitions that would contraindicate organ donation, such as the necessity to retain organs for resurrection. Firstly, organs deteriorate almost immediately upon burial; and, assuming the Almighty is all mighty, creating new organs shouldn't be a problem.

Others claim that signing a donor card invites the "Evil Eye" to cause them harm. This assertion is irrational and unsubstantiated; if all the people in Israel who have signed donor cards were fatally injured there would be plenty of organs to go around. The primary debate among halachic authorities concerning organ donation is whether or not a brain-stem dead person is halachicly dead.

It should be made clear that brain-stem death is not coma. People can wake up from a coma because their brain stem is alive, but no one has ever woken up from brain-stem death. With the help of a respirator the organs of a brain-stem dead person can continue to function for a few more days, but complete systemic failure is inevitable.

The disturbing question of our day is why Orthodox Jews don't donate organs after cessation of heartbeat. According to all halachic authorities once the heart irreversibly stops beating, the person is dead. In certain medical circumstances, organs such as kidneys and corneas can be recovered for up to 40 minutes after the heart stops beating. This is no small thing – more than 700 of the 1,100 Israelis waiting for organs are waiting for kidneys.

With that in mind, the newly formed Halachic Organ Donor Society provides a new type of organ donor card that allows people to donate organs according to their particular halachic belief. One can indicate one's desire to donate after brain-stem death, or, alternatively, after cessation of heartbeat. By introducing this new element of control we will hopefully raise people's comfort level in signing organ donor cards.

Last year in Israel, 130 people died in such a way that made them viable organ donors, but their families refused to donate. In the same year 114 people died waiting for organs that never came.

This summer, a religious man was shot by terrorists and was brain-stem dead. An organ transplant coordinator gently approached his wife and told her that her husband's organs could save eight other people. She refused to donate. Her reason: "Halacha forbids it." The coordinator, a religious man, accepted her decision.

He didn't tell her that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has ruled that brain-stem death is halachic death, based on a response of Rav Moshe Feinstein, another major halachic authority. Why not? Because the moment of death is not the appropriate time to discuss with the newly bereaved the different halachic opinions concerning brain-stem death.

The time to learn about this topic and make an informed decision is now, when you and your family are healthy and clear-headed. The number of people who need organs is dramatically increasing every year. We need to dispel superstitions, clarify Jewish law, and focus our energies in overcoming the emotional barriers that make it difficult to consent to donate the organs of a loved one. For further information visit the Web site

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.