Meet 11-Year-Old Hero, Ayala Shapira

Meet 11-Year-Old Hero, Ayala Shapira

This past December 25th, 11-year-old Ayala Shapira was driving home with her father when their car was hit by a Molotov cocktail thrown by an Arab terrorist.

Ayala was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, and doctors feared that her life was seriously in danger. People around Israel and the world began praying for Ayala bat Rut’s recovery and B”H, three weeks later her condition had improved so dramatically that she was moved from Tel HaShomer’s ICU to their regular Pediatric Ward.

The Shapira family's car

The Shapira family’s car

After she was transferred, Rut Shapira, Ayala’s mother, told Israel National News, “We have experienced a series of miracles, starting with the fact that before the attack, I also was hit by a Molotov cocktail, and I was saved, and the attack on me prepared my husband very well for what happened to him and Ayala, so that he understood exactly what was happening and didn’t lose any time.”

Today, in addition to her intense rehab program, Ayala has returned to 6th grade and looks forward to celebrating her bat mitzvah in 3 months.

In her first interview since the incident, Ayala recently recounted her memories of that terrible night to the children’s magazine “Otiot”:

Ayala told Otiot: “We didn’t see anything before it happened. It was dark. I just saw a burning object flying towards us, and suddenly everything exploded. At the moment that the fire broke out, I knew what I needed to do in order to stay alive. I put my right hand into the flames in order to open my seatbelt. I was on automatic pilot.”

In flames, Ayala managed to get out of the car, and rolled on the ground in order to extinguish the fire on her body. She then walked by foot several hundred meters with her father to their home.

After hearing the story of young Ayala’s acts of courage and resourcefulness, people praised her widely as a hero. Ayala finds this embarrassing, “It’s a bit funny, because in general I am not brave. Relatively, I’m even a coward!”

Ayala Shapira last week, in her Purim costume!

Ayala Shapira last week, in her Purim costume!

Ayala dreams of becoming a writer one day, and over the past few years she has filled several notebooks with her stories for children. One of her treasured notebooks went up in flames the night of the attack, but Ayala is looking towards the future, “I am planning to write a book for adults and youth about what happened to me.”

With blessings for much success and good news for Ayala Shapira and her family!

This post is based on the article that appeared in Ynet

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One comment

  1. The first thing that came to mind when I looked at Ayala’s before and after pictures, is that she is very beautiful. In both. And that I hope family and friends around her make sure to
    tell her that. Thanks Jenny!

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