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Jewish Journal

L.A. Resident Loses Family in Bus Bombing

by Julie G Fax

September 9, 2004 | 8:00 pm

Aviel Atash was the entire world for his mother, Rachel. A developmentally delayed woman who married at the age of 39, Rachel never thought she would have children, and Aviel was like a dream, said her brother, Los Angeles resident Yoram Partush.

But that dream exploded last week when the 31' 2-year-old was killed by a suicide bomber on a Beersheba bus.

Rachel is expected to be in the hospital for several weeks recovering from serious burns and shrapnel wounds, said Partush, who has a son the same age as Aviel.

Rachel remembers everything about that day -- the bombers head that landed right next to her, the words "say goodbye for me" uttered by a dying woman, the people who rushed in to rescue her and her son, who was alive immediately after the blast.

The loss is especially difficult for Rachel's parents, who were responsible for Aviel's daily care. Moroccan Jews who raised 13 children in Beersheba, the couple lost a son three years ago in a work-related accident; 22 years ago, their daughter was murdered.

"When I heard the news of the bombing I didn't want to think about it; we've had too much tragedy to bring another one like this," said Partush, a member of Congregation B'nai David-Judea who has lived in Los Angeles for six years. "But it caught us. You never know when it's going to come."

A memorial fund for Aviel Atash has been set up to help cover the help Rachel will need when she gets out of the hospital. Donations can be made to Congregation B'nai David- Judea, 8906 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles CA, 90035, with "Atash Memorial Fund" in the memo line.

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