Bar Mitzvah Boy Requests Dad’s Tefillin After Family Killed
Stand for Israel | November 1, 2023
Almost 13, this boy is the only survivor after Hamas terrorists killed his entire family and destroyed his home. Israel21c shares a powerful story of how an IDF reserve commander, Otmazgin, was able to retrieve his father’s tefillin from the wreckage, so the boy could have them for his bar mitzvah:
“I was moved that this child, whose parents and sisters had been massacred a few days ago, spoke of his father’s tefillin that represents for him the continuity and tradition of this family who suffered so much.”
Otmazgin got permission from the army to enter what was left of the Zohars’ house on Kibbutz Nahal Oz. He and accompanying soldiers were given just six minutes, due to ongoing mortal danger from nearby Gaza.
They quickly located the dark blue velvet bag containing the tefillin and prayer shawl, and also grabbed a few other personal effects on their way out.
“When I handed the tefillin to young Ariel that evening, he burst into tears of emotion that they had been found so that he could wear them for his bar mitzvah,” said Otmazgin.