Michal Froman, a pregnant Israeli woman stabbed by a 16-year-old Palestinian terrorist five months ago, gave birth to a girl on Saturday in the Jerusalem hospital of Hadassah Ein Karem.
Froman, 32 and a mother of five, is the daughter-in-law of the late Rabbi Menachem Froman, who was rabbi of Tekoa for many years and became famous for his engagement in friendly relations with Palestinians and promoting interfaith dialogue between Jews and Muslims. Although the whole Froman family – Menachem’s wife, Hadassah, and sons – are involved in interfaith activities, Michal was not really part of it before the terror attack. But now, she tells Tazpit Press Service (TPS), things have changed for her.
“The terrorist who attacked me did not look like some frightening Nazi,” she recalls. “He looked like a normal human being, even like a Jew. It took me several seconds to figure out he was an Arab, and several more seconds to realize that he was a terrorist.”
“I grew up in the settlement of Shilo, in Samaria, and was pretty much taught to hate Arabs,” Froman says. “But I did not feel hatred toward this 16-year-old Arab boy who attacked me. I saw he was miserable. And so I think that maybe we Jews, as the stronger and better-off nation, should invest more in making the lives of the Palestinians better. Not even because it’s ethical, but simply because it can help stop the terror attacks.”
Aside from prompting Froman to deepen her engagement with Palestinians, the attack also caused her to reflect on the value of life.
“In situations like the one I found myself in after the attack I always try to understand what God is trying to tell me. I think the message was to appreciate and to cherish life – more than I did before,” she told TPS. “When someone tries to take something from you, you begin to cherish it more, and that’s what happened to me, to my attitude towards life – mine and of my kids.”
Froman’s newest daughter is a relatively big baby, larger than her four other kids were at their births. “I think it’s because I grew during this pregnancy,” Michal said with a smile. “Not just in my body, but also in my mind and soul.”