“...I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.”
Recently we got to know the Shavo family. Boaz, the father, is 60 years old today. He can’t work due to his medical condition.
In 1996 he was ambushed by radical terrorists and they stoned him. In self-defense, he responded by shooting at the ground to drive them away and one of the terrorists claimed that he got injured. This led to over 15 years of legal battles resulting in very big financial distress. But that was far from the end of the tragedy.
Boaz then lost his wife and three of their children in a separate terror attack in 2002. Thankfully Boaz and four of his children survived. His son Asael tells a powerful story:
“In the year 2002 a terrorist broke into our house and shot to death my mother and three of my brothers. I was shot in my right leg--three bullets left me severely wounded. My leg was amputated afterward. I was nine years old. My family went through a terrible trauma; our house was burnt down, I spent two years in the hospital following that terrible night.”
A few years ago, Boaz who was a medic, was called to a terror attack site, where he discovered that his son’s friend’s parents were murdered.
At the Shiva, he was trying to bring light, hope, and faith.
“My message is that the people of Israel are overcomers and are not afraid. In my case, they wanted to destroy my family—and still, I rose up again, despite the ongoing pain and difficulty. They murdered my wife and three children, but 4 survived, and after remarriage, we have triplets and the house is full of light. We adopted a son 7 years ago and truly there is a lot of joy. I always ask myself, what would Rachel want me to do? The drastic change between the life I had to the new life is hard, there is no school that teaches that.”
According to him, coping is difficult but you must get up on your feet.
“I relive the attack all the time. Every little event startles me. [When] I’m on a trip up north, I remember where my son hiked. My dear ones were born in Itamar and were murdered there, and I also buried them there. But we move on, that’s the answer. To raise a family and more families and more children, because the People of Israel is alive.”
Boaz is proud to tell his son’s Asah’el extraordinary success story, who was severely injured in the terror attack and lost his leg.
“He was 9 years old at the time, and he took control of himself. From the day that he woke up in intensive care, he always told me, dad, I want to do everything by myself. I told him, but you don’t have a leg. He insisted on jumping on one leg.
Today he is a grown man. But in the first few years, I accompanied him every day with a lot of difficulties. Sometimes I carried him in my arms until he learned how to walk. Today he is an exceptional swimmer and also a basketball player in Israel’s Disabled Team and he represented Israel in the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics (2016).
Today it doesn’t bother him, he feels like he has 2 legs. He has fun, works, and teaches swimming. He finished his bachelor’s degree in Phy Ed at Wingate. He teaches children to swim and he managed to teach a girl who didn’t want to get out of a wheelchair to swim. I know that the whole subject of terror attacks still hurts him, but he goes on. That is the hope and that is the continuity.”
Boaz is such an inspiration to us—having lived through tragedies that most of us will never experience, yet keeping an optimistic and positive outlook on life. He has no income due to his injuries from the terror attack. Yet he now finds himself with a huge debt. We at Vision for Israel want to help alleviate some of this debt. Will you join us and help Boaz and his family get out of this huge debt?
VFI is supporting the family to cover their balanced debt of $65,000. Will you consider helping us to present them with a financial gift?