When tragedy struck - support and embrace arrived

8 years ago, tragedy struck the Asulin family when a terrorist bombing injured their daughter who passed away 7 years later

OneFamily ,

Mindy Levinger (right) with Yiscah Asulin (left)
Mindy Levinger (right) with Yiscah Asulin (left)
Arutz Sheva

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Eight-and-a-half years ago to the day, on March 23, 2011, tragedy struck the Asulin family.

Terrorists planted a bomb next to a bus near a bus stop in front of the Jerusalem Convention Center, where the Asulins’ daughter, 14-year-old Hodaya, was waiting for a bus home to Mevo Horon.

The massive explosion killed a British student who had been studying at Hebrew University, and injured dozens more. Hodaya was critically injured and sustained serious damage to her brain stem, leaving her in a vegetative state.

Two years ago, Hodaya succumbed to the injuries she had sustained in the terror attack, passing away at the age of 21.

While the medical treatment for Hodaya ended with her death, the care and support for the Asulin family continues.

OneFamily, which provides support, treatment, and guidance to Israeli families victimized by terror, continues to work with the Asulin family to this day .

Mindy Levinger, the Jerusalem regional director of OneFamily, who herself is a bereaved sister who lost a brother to terrorism, was joined by Yiscah Asulin, Hodaya’s sister, to discuss the family’s struggle to overcome their tragic loss.

“Yiscah Asulin is a bereaved sister,” said Levinger. “She lost her sister a year and a half ago.”

Hodaya “was very, very badly wounded in the stem of her brain, for years she was in the hospital.”

“Then, the hospital told the family that she has to go home with them . The family turned their home into a hospital – special bed, a special lift.”

The younger children grew up with their home being like a hospital. Everything in the house revolved around Hodaya.

Levinger said that her own suffering as a bereaved sister had inspired her to work even more closely with the Asulins, and to embrace them as if they were her own family.

“I’m a bereaved sister also. I didn’t have anyone when my brother was killed when I was 18 . It is very comforting to know that you have people who understand what you’re going through.

“Hodaya Asulin’s family I’ve taken on myself. I said ‘I’m not going to let go of them while they need me .

“I walked into their house and saw what they needed… financial help bcs both parents weren’t working, they needed help with the children. I organized volunteers to come daily . They needed specialists for therapies; volunteers to look after the little children, we were there. We were there for all these years for every single thing this family needed. Just to comfort them, and so that they should feel safe that no one is leaving them, that we’re together in this struggle with them.

“I wanted to reassure the mother and the father that anything relating to the children, anything around the house, anything that needs to be taken care of outside of taking care of Hodaya, it will be taken care of; they don’t need to worry– whether it is financial, or for the other the children and the parents well-being as much as possible .

"When Hodaya closed her eyes, I made sure that they all come and say goodbye to their sister , and I made sure that they take all the memories that they had with their sister in a good place in their heart.”

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