Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Back Through Death’s Doors

Sarah Pardes

The last thing he remembers is looking the murderer in the eye before the axe came down on his head, and when the medics evacuated him, they assumed he’d be on the casualty list within a few hours at most. But Har Nof massacre victim Rabbi Eitan Mualmi — who’s been in our prayers as Eitan ben Sarah — has defied all medical predictions and is standing up again. On his first visit back to the shul where it happened, he finally faced the nightmare head-on.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Bloodstained talleisim lay alongside open siddurim. Tefillin were strewn on the ground next to overturned shtenders and benches. Outside the beis medrash and in the middle of the room lay scattered the bodies of four G-d-fearing Jews — Rav Moshe Twersky, Rav Kalman Levine, Rabbis Aryeh Kupinsky and Avraham Goldberg Hy”d — holy martyrs who had been murdered during their early morning avodah. That’s how the morning Shacharis service ended at Kehillas Bnei Torah in Har Nof six months ago on Tuesday, the 25th of Cheshvan. The horrendous bloodbath will forever be seared into the collective heart of this generally tranquil Jerusalem neighborhood, and yet, that blood-soaked Tuesday was also a day of tremendous Heavenly mercy for all those who were saved from its horrors: those in the shul who were miraculously spared from the murderers’ axes, as well as those who were critically injured yet ultimately wound up on the road to recovery. Rabbi Eitan Mualmi (Eitan ben Sarah), 49, belongs to the second category. He is a resident of Har Nof, father of nine and a grandfather of eight, and a melamed at Talmud Torah Ohr Chodosh in Har Nof. When Reb Eitan was brought to the hospital, the emergency medical staff who received him was certain that his name would be added to the list of fatalities within hours. Askanim and family support chesed organizations, as well, were solemnly waiting for word of his death. The people who took him out of the shul would later relate that his return to life was nothing short of a miracle.  Reb Eitan suffered an extended period of pain and struggle, enduring operations and protracted hospital stays that were accompanied by open miracles and endless Heavenly kindness. This week, five and a half months after the massacre, he returned for the first time to Kehillas Bnei Torah. He hasn’t fully recovered and is still in need of extensive rehabilitation and copious amounts of Divine mercy. But he’s walking on both feet, and his heart is filled with gratitude for everything — both his extensive suffering and surprising recovery.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Pitcher-Perfect
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”