More than 6,500 miles away, prayers from home go out for Daniel Wultz
Local family, friends and members of the Jewish community have prayed for the recovery of the Weston 16-year-old, whose leg was amputated on Friday.
They prayed during Saturday Shabbat services. They prayed at home. They even told their family and friends -- out of the state and the country -- to pray.
''I just keep praying he'll be OK,'' said Wultz's friend, Alan Faidengold, 15, a student at Cypress Bay High School in Weston. ``Every moment, I'm just praying . . . ''
Daniel, a basketball player and sophomore at David Posnack Hebrew Day School in Plantation, was traveling with his family in Israel on Monday to celebrate Passover and visit relatives when a suicide bomber struck outside a crowded Tel Aviv restaurant. The teen was critically injured, losing his kidney and spleen.
His father, Yekutiel Wultz, 52, was injured in the leg.
The bombing was the deadliest attack in Israel in two years. Nine people were killed and at least 50 were injured.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said the bomber may have been a 16-year-old boy. The Islamic Jihad, which sent a bomber to the same restaurant in January, claimed responsibility for the blast.
On Saturday, Daniel remained at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, visited by dozens of friends and relatives. His grandmother, who lives in Miami-Dade County, and Rabbi Yisroel Spalter of Chabad Lubavitch of Weston, flew to Israel to visit him last week.
As many as 10 relatives at a time are clustered in the hospital waiting room during visiting hours. His father's family lives in Israel.
''It's been tough,'' said Amy Thorpe of Miami, Daniel's aunt. ``We just want everyone to pray for them so that we can see him as he was, shooting basketball hoops with a big smile on his face.''
Family members said doctors performed the amputation because blood was not flowing to the leg. They said doctors are working to save the other leg. The family hopes to have Daniel home in six months.
Alan said he would wear a blue-and-white bracelet he made as a symbol of support until Daniel returns. Other friends have made cards and bracelets.
Alan's mother, Mary Faidengold, said she and her son will visit Daniel in Israel when school is out.
''We are all friends,'' she said of the two families. Daniel ``is a very good-hearted boy, always trying to do the right thing.''
Parents of other Posnack students will meet today to discuss their field trip to Israel. A class of eighth-graders is scheduled to leave Wednesday.
Linda Maurice of Hollywood, whose 13-year-old daughter Meira attends Posnack, said she feels safe sending her daughter there.
Meira left last week to visit friends and family before meeting her classmates.
''Unfortunately, there is terrorism there, but there is also terrorism in America,'' said Maurice, who lived in Israel for 12 years.