Despite the Sorrow: A Boy Becomes Bar-Mitzvah


August 24, 2004

When Guy Massad’s father was killed by a suicide bomber in 2002, the young boy and his dad were counting down to the adolescent’s Bar Mitzvah, less than two years away. Tamir Massad’s death spelled the end of what had been a source of much anticipation and excitement for Guy.

But yesterday, against the backdrop of Jerusalem’s Western Wall, surrounded by his mother, elder brother and family members, Guy wrapped tefillin and celebrated his Bar-Mitzvah. Conducting the celebration was a longtime friend of the Massad family, Rabbi Yakov Reinitz of the Chabad Terror Victim’s Project. Rabbi Reinitz had prepared Guy for his Bar-Mitzvah, and has been looking out for the Massad family since Tamir’s death.

With cheers of L’Chaim! and Mazel Tov! Rabbi Reinitz reflected on Tamir’s legacy of courage. When Tamir, a seargent with the Israeli Defense Forces, and a few others spied a suicide bomber trying to gain entrance into the Israeli town of Ariel, they fought to restrain him. But while wrestling with the bomber, his suicide belt went off, killing Tamir and two others. Police later credited Tamir’s courageous behavior with saving the lives of scores of Jews.

Rabbi Reinitz encouraged Guy and his brother to bear their father’s memory, his love of Jewish life and his personal self-sacrifice for others, with pride and honor.

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