Asael Shabo with Maagalim participants
Asael Shabo with Maagalim participantsIsrael news photo: Yedidya Kellerman

Hundreds of eleventh-grade girls involved in the Maagalim movement gathered this week for a day in the Yarkon park in Tel Aviv. The girls took part in sports and leadership challenges, with an emphasis on overcoming difficulties.

Terror survivor Asael Shabo was there to give the group a first-hand account of overcoming disability. Shabo, who lost a leg in a terrorist attack over 10 years ago, has become a top athlete and is training for the 2016 Para-Olympics.

Asael’s mother and three of his siblings were murdered in the 2002 attack, in which a Palestinian Authority terrorist entered the family home and began shooting the children at close range.

He had a message of Purim hope for the young women from Maagalim. “Know that despair and difficulty are just a mask,” he told them. “If you believe, you can remove it and reveal your truth.”

Assaf Weiss of Maagalim said of the day’s events, “We wanted to demonstrate that people have various ‘costumes’ that hide their own self from them, and with the right effort they can be removed.”

“This day of challenges is the pinnacle of a process of internalization, and of the girls’ success in rising above day-to-day activity during the year,” he continued. “When they see Asael and what he did when faced with difficulty and suffering, they understand that there is nothing that can stop the human spirit.”