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Memories of a Daughter

Alisa Flatow (Photo:

Twenty-one years ago, a Jewish-American girl named Alisa Flatow was killed in a suicide bombing in Israel. Since this beautiful young woman's life was taken, her family has honored her memory, while also pursuing justice against the Iranian regime that funded the terrorists who murdered her. In a moving piece at JNS, her father Stephen M. Flatow writes about wondering what his daughter would have been doing today, as well as his frustrations at the world's continued refusal to fight terror:

While walking through my Jerusalem hotel dining room thinking about the news from the states that a U.S. court has tossed out a $655 million terrorism judgment, a young woman came up and gave me a big “Hi!”

Seeing that I was not connecting her face and name, she spared me that now all too frequent embarrassment and quickly said, “Sarah.” She was one of the first girls that my late daughter Alisa met when we moved to West Orange, New Jersey in 1978.  She and Alisa attended nursery school and then started yeshiva together, and it was this now 41-year-old woman who - as a 5-year-old - became our first Shabbat afternoon guest.

She was in Jerusalem with her family attending several family celebrations. And there she sat with two of her own daughters. We caught up on things in a couple of minutes and then she had to run as she needed to get the day started.

Finishing breakfast, I picked up my iPhone and started to type. Always saying I pay more attention to this mini-computer than her, my wife, Rosalyn, turned to me with more than her normal annoyance and said, “Who are you texting now?”

I had a hard time getting the words out. The thought that crossed my mind a minute earlier that caused me to pick up the phone and write was, “that could have been Alisa sitting there, 41-years-old, attending family celebrations in Jerusalem..."

Tags: Terrorism

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