The Pain of a Child’s Murder

Stand for Israel  |  August 9, 2019

Malki Roth
Malki Roth

Eighteen years ago, a Palestinian suicide bomber entered a busy Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem and killed 15 innocent civilians, while wounding 130 more. One of those who lost her life was 15-year-old Malki Roth. Writing at Arutz Sheva, Malki’s mother Frimet Roth discusses the grief and sense of injustice that has never gone away:

I don’t mention my murdered child, Malki, often.

Over the eighteen years since the terror bombing at Jerusalem’s Sbarro pizzeria, I have learned that most people are bored, disconcerted or annoyed by my dredging up that “ancient incident”.

Closure, moving on, forgiving are the trendiest notions circulating in the world of grief.

A few years back, my husband, who had just delivered a talk about terrorism in his hometown, Melbourne, overheard an old acquaintance gripe about him. “Hasn’t gotten over that yet?”

I recall a CNN journalist reporting about a tragic mass shooting in the US involving children, commenting “The families of the victims certainly have several tough weeks ahead of them.”

Weeks? Make that lives.

It appears that the pain of a child’s murder is so inconceivable in our society that it is down-played. Swept under the carpet.

I vividly recall the silky feel of my Malki’s hair, the way we swam the crawl together holding hands, the way we always walked up the ramp to our car arm in arm, the tears of pride I would shed whenever I heard her play the flute in a concert.

Her smile as she walked through our front door was infectious.

Her concern for anyone with disabilities was incomparable and unique for a teen. It was expressed not by vacuous words of compassion but rather active involvement with them.

Malki sought out places to volunteer as a caregiver even to the most profoundly affected children.

That included her youngest sibling Chaya who suffers from a rare genetic illness that includes severe epilepsy and blindness. Malki’s tenderness and devotion to her were incomparable.

And I remember the last time I heard her voice; she phoned me an hour before her life ended and we closed always, with the words “I love you…”

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