Thousands pray for American teen

16-year-old Daniel Wultz was wounded in last week's TA suicide bombing.

Since he was critically wounded in last week's suicide bombing at Tel Aviv's old Central Bus Station, the 16-year-old patient hospitalized in intensive care at the city's Ichilov Hospital has been identified in Israel only as the "American" victim. Yet in the seven days that have passed since he was hurt when a bomb exploded at a shwarma eatery where he was seated, thousands of people around the world have reportedly been praying for Haim Meir Naftali, son of Sara and Yekutiel - the Hebrew name of Daniel Wultz. A resident of Weston, Florida, Wultz came to Israel with his parents, Tuly and Sheryl Wultz, to visit relatives during Pessah. According to reports in the American media, the Wultzes had come to spend the holiday with the family of Tuly, who is Israeli, and attend the bar mitzva of a family friend. Tuly and Daniel Wultz were reportedly seated at an outside table at the shwarma stand at the corner of Rehov Naveh Sha'anan, waiting for Sheryl Wultz, when the bomb exploded. Although news of the bombing made its way immediately to relatives abroad and to several US newspapers, the Wultz family has so far refrained from speaking to the Israeli press, and has requested Ichilov Hospital, as well as the American Embassy, not to release any information about their son. Back home in Florida, meanwhile, close friends of the Wultz family began circulating an e-mail telling of Daniel's injury, and asking those who believe in the power of prayer to pray for his recovery. "His only concern is his son's wellbeing," family friend Amy Ederi, of Miami, wrote last Wednesday in reference to Daniel's father. "As Daniel is also a spiritual and religiously observant teenager," Ederi wrote, "his family believes Daniel's wishes would also be that we pray for him in this critical time." For the past week, doctors at Ichilov have battled to save Daniel's life. On Sunday, his condition remained critical. According to information published in the US, Daniel's grandmother Margie Cantor, of North Miami Beach, flew to Israel following her grandson's injury together with Rabbi Yisroel Spalter, of Chabad Lubavitch in Weston. Daniel was reportedly on vacation from the David Posnack Hebrew Day School in Plantation, Florida. Officials at the school, which will reopen on Monday following the Pessah vacation, could not be reached on Sunday. Jerusalem-based writer Naomi Ragen, who received the e-mail requesting prayers for Daniel's recovery, sent out the information to numerous contacts on her mailing list. On Sunday, Ragen told The Jerusalem Post that she had received hundreds of e-mails from people asking for Daniel Wultz's Hebrew name to include in their prayers. The Wultz family was grateful for the many people praying for their son, Ederi wrote Ragen in response to her effort. "They have told me they feel the power of our prayers and to please continue to keep the prayers coming," Ederi said. "Apparently, thousands of people, both Jews and non-Jews, are praying for Daniel," Ragen told the Post. "I believe in prayer, and we will just continue to pray and hope it will help."