the light rail. The attacker waited and then accelerated, driving di-

Reportedly American, infant killed in attack had just visited Western Wall
Jewish Press wires
Three-month-old infant Chaya
Zissel Braun, who died in the hospital after her stroller was hit in
an Oct. 22 vehicular terror attack
on the Ammunition Hill light rail
station in Jerusalem, was a U.S.
“We express our deepest condo-
lences to the family of the baby,
reportedly an American citizen,
who was killed in this despicable
attack, and extend our prayers for
a full recovery to those injured,”
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Chaya and her parents were on
their way back from the infant’s
first visit to the Western Wall.
“They had their picture taken,”
said Chaya’s grandfather, Shimshon Halperin, according to Israel
Hayom. “They held her in the direction of the Temple Mount. They
told her ‘that is where the Temple
was, and that is Temple Mount.’”
The parents had just gotten off
the light rail. The attacker waited
for people to gather at the station
and then accelerated, driving directly into the crowd.
“The car hit the baby’s stroller,”
Halperin said. “The baby flew 10
or 20 meters (30-60 feet) in the air
and hit her head on the concrete.
The doctors at the hospital did the
best they could. I want to thank
Hundreds of mourners attended
the infant’s funeral late Wednesday night, Oct. 22 in Jerusalem.
Chaya’s parents had “waited for
a baby for several years,” said Halperin.
“The parents are in shock,” he
said. “They are traumatized. The
baby was born after a long period
of time that they did not have children, and they were overjoyed at
her arrival. I have been living in
the U.S. for 40 years, but we were
here with them for the holiday. I
kept joking that God sent them a
gift from heaven.”
Halperin, called Chaya a “pure
soul” who “didn’t do anything bad
to anybody,” but said he and her
parents have accepted “with love”
what he sees as God’s decree.
Chaya Zissel Braun
“We believe that from the whole
wide world, from the land of Israel, from Jerusalem, she was chosen to be the public sacrifice,” he
told a group of reporters, alluding
to sacrifices given in the Ancient
Israelites’ Temple. “God gives,
God takes away.”
For Halperin, Chaya’s death is
a sign that Jews should rededicate
themselves to Torah, good deeds
and Jewish commandments. He
said he hopes, in Chaya’s merit,
that more Jews observe Shabbat
and imbue their lives with more
“God is trying to wake us up,”
he said. “To take [something] upon
ourselves, to try to get better, to try
to do a good deed, to behave to
each other better.”
The attacker, 21-year-old eastern Jerusalem resident Abed alRahman Shaludi, was shot by a
police officer and later died of his
wounds in a hospital. Shaludi was
a Hamas activist who had been
imprisoned in Israel for 16 months
for security offenses.
Released from prison in December 2013, Shaludi was the nephew
of Mohiyedine Sharif, a one-time
commander of Hamas’s armed
wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam brigades.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor
Liberman said in a statement that
the Jerusalem attack and an attack
on the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa are both a result of the rise of
radical Islam.
“The terror attacks which took
place yesterday almost simultaneously at two sides of the world, Jerusalem and Ottawa, demonstrate
again that terrorism is a worldwide epidemic that must be fought
strenuously and without compromise,” Liberman said.
Play tells story
of hope for girl
during Holocaust
Powerstories Theatre presents
I Never Saw Another Butterfly on
Wednesdays through Sundays,
Oct. 29-Nov. 16 as the first show
in its PowerPlay Series.
The play, written by Celeste
Raspanti, will be performed at
Powerstories Theater, 2105 W.
Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa.
The show is at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Thursdays and 2
p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $20 per
person. Group rates and discounts
are available.
A true story, I Never Saw Another Butterfly is set in 1942 and
is about 12-year-old Raja Englanderova, who was sent to Terezin,
a Czechoslovakian ghetto that was
a way-station for Jewish prisoners
bound for Auschwitz.
In those bleak surroundings she
meets Irena Synkova, a teacher
who is secretly giving art and writing classes for the children. This
play is about hope in the face of
intimidation and the power of education and art to bring out the best
in every person.
To purchase tickets or for more
information, go to to or call (813) 2532000.