Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday Update: Moshe Avitan (Moshe Rafael ben Aliza A'isha)

Here's the most recent letter from Moshe's mother-in-law:

Dear Relatives and Friends,

As expected, there is not a lot to report on Moshe's physical condition today. He continues to improve and has been up and about and is eating normally. His eyesight continues to be very blurred and we still have no prognosis on what will be with his sight. He is due to see the eye doctor tomorrow (i.e., Monday) and perhaps we will have more idea then, or perhaps not until after the operation which, so far, is scheduled for Wednesday.

Now that the initial period of worry about his life is, please G-d, over we begin to realise to what extent this attack has emotionally hit Moshe and all the family. They are all traumatized and it's going to take a lot of time for them to come out of it. Please have the whole family in mind when you pray for Moshe's health.

Thanks for all you are doing and keep it up!!

All the best,


I would like to add something about trauma, shock of bad news. One doesn't have to be at the "event," attack, accident to suffer, be affected. When my older son was nine, he was hit by a small truck while riding his bike in the neighborhood. The neighbor who took on the difficult task of knocking on my door and telling me and also had to get me to prepare for a ride in the hospital in the ambulance, was the school secretary. I was a teacher in the school, and for years later, every time she called me on the phone about the most mundane and benign things, I'd reply in the most terrified way:

"What happened?"

Strangely, I suffered less long-term hysteria-panic after I was run over in a terror attack. In that case the damage was more physical, and my making contact with the media, my interview with the Jerusalem Post and a Dutch newspaper and appearance on the English-language IBA News allowed me a certain release, control of the situation and confidence-building. I also found myself at the very same spot, very soon after, so I didn't have a chance to develop that "phobia" people sometimes get.

Back to my son's accident. Totally contrary to anything in my psyche, he enthusiastically looked forward to returning to bicycle riding. When, about three months after the accident, the orthopedist told him that he could walk on both legs and get rids of the crutches, the first thing he said was:

"May I ride my bike?"

The doctor almost needed to do first aid on me, and told him that it would be very good physical therapy. His most serious, and potentially crippling injury, was a dislocated pelvis. Baruch Hashem, thank G-d, my son recovered, and I learned to admire his emotional strength and healthy attitude.

As Ruth requested,
Refuah Shleimah
and lots of strength
to Moshe Rafael ben Aliza A'isha's entire family,
friends and neighbors.

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