Baby Critically Injured During Terror Attack Celebrates Bar Mitzvah

Baby Critically Injured During Terror Attack Celebrates Bar Mitzvah

This post is based on an article that appeared in Maariv written by Yossi Eli

At the beginning of April 2001 an infant named Ariel Yarad was critically injured by a mortar that exploded in Gush Katif.

He was rushed to the hospital with no signs of life. But the medical staff managed to save his life, and he was in rehabilitation for no less than 12 years.

Last Monday Ariel celebrated his bar mitzvah at the Western Wall shortly after he finally reached full recovery.

“On that day, during the afternoon a mortar fell in our yard. Ariel and I were outside,” his mother Leah reenacted the event which left her toddler son severely injured in brain and spine. “Very quicky he stopped breathing, and when they got him breathing he had no pulse.”

When Ariel arrived at the hospital, his chances of survival seemed nearly non-existent. “He arrived with no signs of life,” recalls Dr. Nitsa Hyman Newman, Assistant Director of Soroka Hospital who treated Ariel. “Ariel was tranferred to surgery. And his condition improved dramatically. After 3 weeks he was transferred to the rehabilitation ward.”

“He was lying for 3 weeks in Soroka, but we didn’t know whether he would survive or not, and what would be the level of damage,” his mother recalls. “After he opened his eyes and his condition stabilized, Ariel moved to Jerusalem’s Alin Rehabilitation Hospital. His recovery was very slow. For example, a week or two passed until his first smile. And more time passed until he lifted up his head. It was like a baby who was born anew and developed slowly, slowly.”

Ariel at his bar mitzvah

This last Monday the family celebrated Ariel’s first aliya to the Torah in honor of his bar mitzvah, but not before they stopped by at the Alin Hospital to thank the staff who cared for him. “I am very excited,” Ariel told Maariv yesterday. “When we completed rehabilitation we went to thank all the staff that cared for us. The way we see it, this aliya to the Torah is the closing of a chapter,” his father, Yossi, shared with excitement. “When we arrived at the Western Wall…we felt that our Ariel had been reborn.”


  1. Thank you for some good, inspiring stories. We need to hear more good endings like this to give us chizuk!

  2. And this was just ONE of the injured… Very heavy when I think about how easily I discount “just” injured in a terrorist attack or rocket H”Y.

  3. Boruch Hashem he had the opportunity to recover and go on to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. Mazal tov and may you go from strength to strength.

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