Second Jerusalem Bombing Victim, a Father of Six, Laid to Rest
The second person killed in a pair of bombing attacks in Jerusalem last week was laid to rest in the Israeli capital among hundreds of mourners on Sunday, after dying of his injuries on Saturday.
Tadasa Tashume Ben Ma’ada, 50, left behind a wife and six children. He was critically injured during an explosion at a bus stop by the entrance to Jerusalem while on his way to work on Wednesday.
Two bombs — both embedded with nails and marbles to maximize damage — were detonated in the city that morning, also killing Canadian-Israeli yeshiva student Aryeh Shechopek, 16, and injuring multiple others.
Israeli security forces are still seeking the perpetrators of the bombings, assumed to be a cell of Palestinians from eastern Jerusalem that leveraged blue Israeli identity cards to gain access to western Jerusalem, Channel 13 reported.
Ben Ma’ada made aliyah from Ethiopia 21 years ago and worked as a jeweler in Jerusalem. Daniel Sahlo told Israeli media that his friend “was simply an amazing person,” recalling Ben Ma’ada’s smile and humor.
“He welcomed everyone with love and warmth … He always volunteered to help, to give a hand,” Sahlo said. “It’s just amazing that a person who strengthened everyone and supported everyone is no longer here.”
The youngest of Ben Ma’ada’s children is a daughter who is not yet two years old, while the oldest is a son of 26, Sahlo said. He was the primary breadwinner for his family.
The bombings coincided with the Ethiopian Jewish holiday of Sigd. “That makes this day even harder in the coming years,” Sahlo lamented.
Ben Ma’ada’s cousin, Haile Mara, described him as “a golden person.”
“It was his dream to make aliyah, and to bring his family that was left behind, his brothers and sisters, cousins, uncles and aunts,” Mara said in an emotional interview with Israeli media.
In the days before the attack, Ben Ma’ada was still working to bring his siblings to Israel, sending an email to the Interior Ministry on Tuesday. He updated Mara on his efforts on Wednesday morning, shortly before the bombing.
“They took from us. They took him,” a sobbing Mara said. “The whole nation of Israel is here, everyone is calling, everyone is here, no matter their ethnicity. … may we be together like this in the future, may we succeed together.”
At Ben Ma’ada’s funeral, the mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion, eulogized him as “a symbol for aliyah, a symbol for courage, a symbol for the love of the land.”
Pnina Tamano-Shata, Israel’s minister of immigration and absorption, also spoke, pledging, “Our enemies will not defeat us.”
Shechopek, the first fatality in the bombings, was laid to rest on Wednesday.
According to the Shin Bet internal security service, 24 Israelis have been killed and 101 injured in terrorist attacks between January and October, excluding the most recent violence.
The agency recorded 2,181 terrorist incidents during the first 10 months of the year, including fire and pipe bombings, arson, assault, shootings, vehicular attacks, and more severe stone throwing attacks. The figure does not include the more than 1,200 rockets launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip in August.
The complete yearly casualty tally will be higher still, due to the deadly violence that rocked Israel and the West Bank in November, most notably the twin Jerusalem bombings, a Palestinian stabbing and car ramming attack in Ariel that left three Israelis dead and several others injured, and attacks near the central Israeli city of Modi’in and Jerusalem in which four officers were wounded.