Sunday, August 31, 2008

Jerusalem - Young Hero Yeshiva Student In Mercaz Harav Attack Goes Back to School

Jerusalem - Naftaili Sheetrit, a 14-year-old boy seriously wounded in the terror attack at Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav yeshiva, will return to the yeshiva this week after a long absence.
The next few months will mark yet another struggle for Naftali as he attempts to return to his normal life.
“I have a lot of schoolwork to make-up,” he said. “I hope that I will succeed in my tests and I am waiting to go back to my routine already.”
The yeshiva attack took place five months ago when an armed terrorist entered Mercaz Harav and began firing at students in the library there.
Eight people were killed and more than 10 were wounded in the terror attack.
“It was a Thursday and I went to the library to study a little. I was deep into one of my books when suddenly I heard massive shooting outside the library,” Sheetrit said.
“I escaped into one of the library’s passageways and hid. I sat on the floor completely scrunched up. I placed my head between my hands and waited for it to stop.”
During the difficult ordeal, Sheetrit says, he began to read Psalms. “These were moments of terror and helplessness and then the terrorist came towards me and started shooting. I didn’t look at him and I kept hiding my head in my hands,” he said.
“During the shooting he yelled something but I didn’t understand what he said,” Sheetrit recounted. “His bullets hit me, one after another and then he moved on to the next boys.”
Bleeding Naftali waited for the rescue teams to arrive. Finally, Magen David Adom paramedics came and evacuated him. During the ride to the hopsital, they told Sheetrit that he must not fall asleep. “I told myself that they started treating me and that I am very tired, so I fell asleep. Exhaustion simply overcame me me,” the boy said.
Sheetrit awoke to his new life following eight days of unconsciousness. A gifted student, he has now become a student of physical therapy. “I miss going to school at the yeshiva,” he said this week.
In the meantime, it seems that returning to a normal routine at the yeshiva will take more time. Naftali still spends three mornings a week at the rehabilitation center at the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital in Jerusalem.
He is aware of the difficulties but maintains his optimism. “God willing, I will be able to play soccer again,” he says.
Another injured teen who will return to his studies at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva is 14-year-old Nadav Eliyahu Samuels, one of Naftali’s classmates.
Samuels was severely injured during the terror attack and was treated for an extended period of time at the hospital. His relatives said that they prefer keeping the incident in the past and starting anew.
“We don’t want Nadav to talk about the attack again and prefer to make him to forget what occurred,” his mother said.

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