Two boys, both Bar Mitzvah age. One has grown up in Zurich, Switzerland, the other in Israel. Their lives have taken very different paths but recently they shared a wonderful, memorable, exciting day as Bar Mitzvah “twins”.
Menachem Mendel Slutzkin of Zurich and his family had made the decision that they wanted to enhance his special coming of age by twinning with a boy in Israel whose family had been deeply impacted by terror. They consulted with Rabbi Menachem Kutner, Director of Chabad Terror Victims Project, and together they decided that Roy would be Menachem Mendel’s twin.
Roy’s father was very seriously wounded when he was a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces’ elite Golani Brigade. He was in the dangerous town of Nablus when a terrorist shot him in the head at very close range.
It has taken a long and painful rehabilitation but thankfully Roy’s father is doing well. His recovery has been called a medical miracle. He and his wife are raising a family together and have three wonderful children, Roy one of them.
Before the moving ceremony at the Western Wall, Menachem Mendel gave Roy a beautiful tallit and set of tefillin, both as a Bar Mitzvah gift and to recognize the great sacrifice Roy’s father has made for Israel and the Jewish people. Then together the two boys celebrated their Bar Mitzvah. They and their families danced and sang at the Western Wall with a joy and thankfulness that radiated from all of them.
With the guidance of Rabbi Kutner, CTVP’s director, both Bar Mitzvah boys rejoiced with the Torah. Then the families marched together in a joyous procession, accompanied by trumpets and drums, to the Tzemach Tzedek Synagogue in the Old City where there was a festive meal.
During the meal, Menachem Mendel’s father spoke, thanking CTVP for the wonderful opportunity for their family to participate in this meaningful joint Bar Mitzvah.
Then Roy’s father spoke about the circumstances of his injury at the hands of terrorists and the extraordinary rehabilitation process he has gone through. He thanked both Chabad Terror Victims Project and the Slutzkin family for this beautiful day, for their recognition of what his family has gone through, and for their wonderful solidarity with Roy, with him, and with his whole family. He thanked CTVP as well for all the help and support they have provided since he was wounded.