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Terror Victim Shir Hajaj, Beloved Volunteer for Colel Chabad

Terror Victim Shir Hajaj, Beloved Volunteer for Colel Chabad

Soldier killed in terrorist attack tutored needy students in Ma’ale Adumim

Family and friends mourn at the funeral of 22-year-old Lt. Shir Hajaj, who was one of four young soldiers killed on Sunday afternoon in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. (Photo: Flash90/Miriam Alster)
Family and friends mourn at the funeral of 22-year-old Lt. Shir Hajaj, who was one of four young soldiers killed on Sunday afternoon in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. (Photo: Flash90/Miriam Alster)

To an outsider, the claims of Israeli society as a tight-knit family might sound like a cliché, but when it comes to times of tragedy, this reality takes on even greater truth.

For the Colel Chabad family, the terror attack in Jerusalem on Sunday directly struck its extended community. Among the four young victims—all of them soldiers in the early months of their training—was a dedicated Chesed Menachem Mendel tutor, Shir Hajaj, only 22 years old.

A resident of the Jerusalem suburb of Ma’ale Adumim, Lt. Hajaj was the eldest of four daughters in her family and was an honors student in school. Despite being an active service soldier, Hajaj also worked with the local branch of Colel Chabad and the Chesed Menachem Mendel program, and has been spending time tutoring a local teenager whose father passed away from an illness three years ago. Her last session was completed on Saturday night, just hours before she would leave her home and family for the very last time.

Hajaj, whose quiet smile is now sadly featured on newspaper covers and Israeli broadcasts, tutored in physics and math. Her student, a 16-year-old in high school, was preparing for her physics bagrut (matriculation exam) and getting ready to begin preparing for math exams as well. Returning home after what would sadly be the final lesson, the student told her mother how much she appreciated having Hajaj as a teacher.

Shir Hajaj
Shir Hajaj

Leah Babayof, who serves as the coordinator for Colel Chabad in Ma’ale Adumim, said she had spoken with Hajaj several times over the course of her volunteering. “This was a young woman who truly wanted to help her student. Upon meeting her, you were immediately impressed by her maturity and desire to help others.”

Hajaj’s funeral was held on Monday afternoon at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery.

“Perhaps were it not for this tragedy, the world would never have gotten to know about Shir’s dedication and remarkable caring for others,” said Rabbi Sholom Duchman, director of Colel Chabad. “But she is a true example of what it means to be humbly performing charity, and we can only hope that this remarkable lesson will offer some comfort to her family and friends during this tragic time.”

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Alexandru Calgary, CANADA January 20, 2017

May Hashem Bless Her Soul May Hashem Bless her soul with the best.
She is a martyr. Dying innocently. Reply

jim dallas January 18, 2017

unacceptable loss, mindless war a tragedy, condolences to the family and friends. Reply

Anonymous Portland January 13, 2017

May her memory be a blessing Thank you to the parents who raised this soul. May God Himself comfort you during this painful separation. Reply

sunil subba India January 12, 2017

Whenever death occurs its a sad event and condolences to Shirs family.Upon reading about her she indeed was a helpful person to assist those who were weak in their studies. Reply

Anonymous KL January 11, 2017

Broken heart for this beautiful soul. Baruch Dayan Emet. A world that has No mercy for beautiful youth as such. Reply

Anonymous January 11, 2017

As well as Yael YeKutiel, Erez Orbach, and Shira Tzur, were a blessing upon our wourld. I pray to god blessed be that they are in peace. Shalom! Reply

HS Cohen N.Y.C. January 10, 2017

Shir Hajaj Baruch Dyan Ha'Emet! Reply

Denise Toronto January 10, 2017

Baruch Dayan Ha'emet Such a tragedy, so many promising young lives cut short. Reply

Michael Linkenheil Australia January 10, 2017

God works in mysterious ways....... Death is always a tragedy, whether it's untimely or not.
However part of the gods' most undeniable and obvious lessons is that if one goes roller-skating on the Freeway one has no right to complain if one gets run over by a truck.
This girl chose her path in life. Palestinians have no such choices ~ because, some rationalise, that, too, is god's will.
Thank god I'm an atheist! Reply

Audelia January 10, 2017

What is her hebrew name ? To say when we do shiurim that it may also be leelouy nichmata

Min hachamayim tenahamou Reply

Tova Braunstein Tucson, AZ January 10, 2017

A Beautiful soul Today we read Tehilim 67- Aretz natna yevulah. Sometime the earth takes back its "produce" as it did on that fateful Sunday.
HaShem Yinkom Damah.
In tears,
Tova Reply

Kevin O'Neil UK January 10, 2017

Yitgadal v'yitkadash...

Known to Hashem. Reply

Jorge Qro. Mexico January 10, 2017

This news makes me sad. May her family know of no more sorrows. Reply

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