tel aviv | Riding together recently on a Jerusalem bus, Devora Goldberg, 19, asked her uncle whether or not being on buses in Israel frightened him.
Outside of his home, where relatives and friends now gather to sit shiva for the 42-year-old Yechezkel “Chezi” Goldberg, one of 11 people killed in Thursday, Jan. 29’s bus bombing, she repeats his answer: “Life must go on. We have to live and we have to give them the message that we will continue living here as proud Jews.”
About 10 years ago, the Canadian-born Goldberg and his wife immigrated to Israel with their children, determined to make their lives here.
“To him, moving to Israel was the be-all and the end-all, saying things like ‘God did not take us out of Egypt to live in Toronto,'” recalled Goldberg’s long-time friend Joe Halpert, who emigrated from Toronto around the same time.
Goldberg, a father of seven, was commuting by bus to his Jerusalem office, where he counseled at-risk teenagers and their families, when he was killed by the massive bomb set off by the suicide bomber, a Palestinian Authority policeman from Bethlehem.
The other dead were identified as Avraham (Albert) Balhasan, 28; Rose Bona, 39; Chana Anya Bunder, 38; Anat Darom, 23; Natalia Gamril, 50; Baruch Hondiashvilli, 38; Dana Itach, 24; Eli Tsfira, 48; Octovian Floresco Viorel, 42; and Mebebra Valadi Zadik, 35.
A frequent contributor to Jewish newspapers and Web sites, Goldberg had written repeatedly about terrorist attacks. In one column he discussed the proximity between bombers and their victims, noting that every morning he traveled by Palestinian cities such as Bethlehem to reach Jerusalem from the religious Jewish community in the West Bank where he lived, Beitar Illit.
Referring to a 2002 attack, “The bomber could very well be someone I have seen in a passing moment,” he wrote in an article originally printed on Israel National News.com’s Opinion page on Nov. 24, 2002.
“I think we are in this bloody mess because many of the politicos making life and death decisions for this country have forgotten that terror is just a five-minute ride from home, anywhere.”