unitedwithisrael.org: From Terror Victim to Warrior: Jacob Kimchy’s Story

unitedwithisrael.org: From Terror Victim to Warrior: Jacob Kimchy’s Story

An Israeli man stricken by terror has made it his life mission to help victims and their families. It is a story of triumph over the darkest forces of evil.

As the terrible attacks of 9/11 are remembered and mourned, we selected to focus on the story of one terror victim from Israel who, by continuing a legacy of mutual support and giving, chose not to succumb to terror.

Jacob remembers the fateful phone call vividly. “Where are you!” screamed a friend who worked for Israeli Intelligence.  “There’s been a terrorist attack!  Where are you?” I immediately called my father. But there was no answer. I went straight to the scene of the bombing.”In 2002, Rami Kimchy, 57, a taxi driver, entered a club in his hometown of Rishon Letzion, near Tel Aviv, to pick up a client.  Within minutes, an 18-year-old Hamas suicide bomber entered after him and blew himself up, killing Rami and 14 others instantly.  His son, Jacob, was one of the first to arrive at the scene, in hopes of helping survivors, only to recognize his father’s car parked in front and to quickly realize the dreadful fact that his father had been murdered.

Overcoming Loss and Tragedy

“For many months after the murder, I could find no way forward.  What was this life? What kind of a God would allow something like this to happen to a kind, sweet man who had never hurt anyone?  I was lost. I found myself driving at night as fast as I could, up to 100 miles per hour at times, music blaring, screaming and crying.”

Jacob was sure he would never be able to overcome the loss and tragedy. But he did.  After attending a support group for young people who had lost their parents, at the request of his mother, Jacob found his path.

Despite the psychological and emotional damage wrought by direct exposure to an act of terrorism, Jacob channeled his unimaginable sorrow into the cause of a lifetime. After many months of indescribable agony, he slowly came to the realization that one way to carry on living with such unimaginable pain is by reaching out to other victims of terror. In time, this coping mechanism would flower into a mission.

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