Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Grandfather Makes Poignant Tribute to Baby Victim in Jerusalem Light Rail Attack

(JTA) — Have faith. Be strong. Do good.

That’s the message a tearful grandfather has taken from the murder of his 3-month-old granddaughter in a suspected terror attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Chaya Zissel Braun died when a Palestinian man rammed his car into a crowd of people waiting to board the Jerusalem light rail. Seven people also were injured in the attack.

Chaya’s grandfather, Shimshon 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.

“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 on Thursday night in Jerusalem, alluding to sacrifices given in the Ancient Israelites’ Temple. “God gives, God takes away.”

Standing in a dim courtyard in a haredi Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem, outside the apartment where the family was sitting shiva, Halperin said that his daughter and her husband had wanted a baby for years. He explained that Chaya’s middle name, Zissel, comes from the Yiddish word for “sweet,” and teared up describing how his daughter would rock Chaya.

“You can take for granted the way a grandfather feels for a granddaughter that has just been murdered,” he said. “You can see it.”

Chaya and her parents were returning from the baby’s first trip to the Western Wall when the car rammed into the crowd. Halperin said Chaya was flung in the air and landed on the pavement.

He thanked the soldiers, policemen and hospital employees who tried to save Chaya’s life.

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 meaning.

“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.”

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    NY-12 Candidate Forum

    THE TEMPLE EMANU-EL STREICKER CENTER and Virtual

    Aug 10, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    Will the last Jew left in New York’s congressional delegation be reelected? Will New York’s senior congresswoman receive another term? Or will one of the newcomers upend Manhattan politics?

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at editorial@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.