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Why Israeli Tourists Vacation in Bulgaria: Chabad Rabbi Talks on Burgas Airport Terrorist Attack

2y ago
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In the wake of Wednesday's terrorist attack in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli's INTERPOL officers have arrived to the Burgas airport to assist local authorities in finding answers to unanswered questions, including the identity of the suicide bomber. While the Burgas airport has reopened and normal activities have slowly stated to resume, vacationing Israelis in Bulgaria say are moving on from their grief and that the terror attack will not deter them from returning to their favourite holiday spot. Israeli tourist Josef: "We were staying in the hotel all of the two days. Now it's time to go out. We have another two days. We want to go out and clear our heads. And believe me, it will be one week that Israeli tourists won't come here but after one week, they will come here, everything will be good. And we're having fun." Israeli tourist Audi: "After one week, we have to go to work, so we have to enjoy until the end. No matter what happens. I told them (friends) OK, so let's try to bring some new smile, so we go and have fun. But it's still here, we're sad." A local Chabad Lubavitcher rabbi believes the attack, which Israel has blamed on Iran's proxy Hezbollah, won't deter future Jewish holidaymakers. Rabbi Chaim Tvardovich: "Israelis are going to keep on coming here. The Bulgarians are very friendly, plus when I meet people, they say how sorry they are about the incident. And we also met with the Bulgarian president who also gave his condolences to the Israeli people, and we know that the Bulgarian people are with us in these hard times." Bulgaria has been popular with young Israelis for many years that want to enjoy a little freedom before they go through an Israeli rite of passage. Rabbi Chaim Tvardovich: "First of all, it's very cheap here for Israelis to come and the atmosphere is great. Most of the people who come here are youngsters before their military service. They want to come and have fun before they join the army. And also we have the restaurant and synagogue that helps the tourists. They know that they can come here, they can get Jewish treatment, they can put on Tefillin, go to prayers and still have a cheap and fun vacation." Immediately after the atrocity at the Burgas airport, the local Jewish community launched into action by praying with the injured and their families and delivering kosher meals. Rabbi Chaim Tvardovich: "We have to remember, although we had a very bad incident, there were a lot of stories of bravery. We heard in the hospital that people wanted to find the man who rescued them, who threw them out of the bus before it exploded and before the fire got to them. And we must remember that although it was a horrible incident, there were beautiful moments." Despite the tragedy and pain that has gone along with it, sentiments like these are at least giving survivors hope that they can put their lives back together and move on.