Sunday, June 13, 2010

Steve Averbach

Steve Averbach died last week, the victim of a 2003 terror attack. I write about him because I know his parents, and because Steve didn't let his injuries stop him from living a productive life.

The attack in which Steve was injured happened on a public bus that he was riding to work on May 18, 2003. His training as a police officer led him to act quickly to stop a terrorist disguised as a Jew. When the terrorist saw Steve draw his pistol he detonated his bomb vest; his ultimate target, the central bus station was not reached but 8, now including Steve, died as a result of the blast.

Gil Troy wrote:

For 2574 days, Steve Averbach lived in hell. Each day was endless, filled with anguish and indignity. He suffered. His saintly wife Julie suffered. His family suffered. Strangely, such suffering - which in Israel is multiplied exponentially considering the thousands of casualties - is invisible, even to many American Jews, who label Israeli intransigence the only obstacle to peace.

Steve's suffering illustrated the risks of peace - and the need for peace. His heroism, carving out moments of beauty and pockets of meaning amid this nightmare, proved how deep our reserves as human beings are - and how one person can not only face tragedy but touch so many others with his strength, vision, idealism.
There are many more like Steve Averbach in Israel. They don't whine about their particular predicament. They work to return to full strength, they work to help others, and, by so doing, continue to build up the state of Israel. Like Steve, they are all heroes. May Steve Averbach's memory be for a blessing.

No comments: