Minutes before the 2001 Sbarro’s Bombing in Jerusalem

The following is a Facebook status posted by Naphi Miller, who is a friend of a friend who decided to leave Sbarro’s in Jerusalem minutes before it was blown up by a suicide bomber on August 9th, 2001.

Twelve years is a very long time. Much has happened since then.
Technology, medicine, celebrities – the world has changed. It seems every year we advanced a decade. Even when I finally decided to give in to the smartphone fad and part ways with my always reliable “regular old” phone (the one with the Snake game) and bought myself a brand new state-of-the-art smartphone two years ago, it is now obsolete.

Twelve years ago on August 9th, 2001, I went with a friend down to Yafo Street and into Sbarro’s Pizzeria. There was a long line, and after looking at the prices on the menu we decided that it’s too pricey and will take too long to get our pizza, so we headed out. A few minutes later a suicide bomber blew himself up in the pizzeria, taking the lives of 15 and injuring over 100 people.

I was young…only seventeen. The concept of what happened hadn’t really sunk in. When I saw all the ambulances and police cars rushing down the street to where I stood only a few moments beforehand, I never fully grasped what had happened at the time, and as a way of suppressing the thoughts, I simply moved on with life. I graduated HS, I did Mechina, served in the army, lived abroad, etc.


A lot has changed for me in twelve years. But for some, twelve years ago time began to stand still. Every day is a day of pain, physical and emotional. A question of “why?”.

Just as I’ve moved on from that pizzeria up the block, I’ve moved on with life. But for so many it simply halted, and sadly many more have joined the horrible club of “victims of terror”, where life stands still, and even as medicine, technology, celebrities and the world keeps changing, they’re still living in that moment, in that day. Some of them remain physically at the scene, while others remember getting the tragic news of a loved one while at home, work, on vacation or at school.

Twelve years later our elected government is continuing the policies of the previous administrations, when in contrast, the entire point of electing these new officials was to overturn the policies their predecessors made in the first place.

While the victims of terror and their families continue to live in a physical and emotional prison since that day, the State of Israel is about to release those directly and indirectly responsible for this heinous crime, in exchange for absolutely nothing.


After a dangerous and violent dog attacks innocent people, that dog is locked away or put to sleep. It’s not the dog’s fault, as he doesn’t know any better. He just behaves in a way his owner allowed him to, and since the owner encouraged the dogs aggressive behavior, therefore the owner should be punished according to the law. If that dog is released and goes back to attacking people, then the responsibility is now in the hands of the authorities who authorized his release.

The agony of the victims, their nightmares, their physical and emotional scars, and the bloodshed of future victims due to this prisoner release remains in the hands of our very own elected officials.

What does that say about us for electing them?

Peace you make with humans, not animals.

Just a thought.

Naphi Miller


About the Author
Greg Lauren was born in Ukraine and grew up in the NYC metro area. After working as a trader on Wall St. for 8 years, he made aliyah in 2010. After living in Jerusalem, he returned to NYC and runs the blog Israel Beyond, where he educates young Jews about Israel, the Middle East and Judaism. His ultimate goal is to return to Israel and inspire young Russian-Jews to make aliyah.
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