JERUSALEM – On the eve of his daughter's wedding, Dr. David Applebaum sat with the young woman late into the evening at a coffee house, offering fatherly advice on marriage before her big day.
Father and daughter were killed late Tuesday when a suicide bomber struck the cafe — one of two attacks that left 15 people dead.
The 51-year-old Applebaum, who moved to Israel from Cleveland two decades ago, was head of a Jerusalem hospital emergency room had directed treatment for numerous bombing victims. The U.S. consulate said both were American citizens.
David Applebaum and his 20-year-old daughter, Nava, were among seven people killed at the Cafe Hillel. The attack in the city's upscale German Colony (search) neighborhood occurred barely five hours after another suicide bomber killed eight people in central Israel.
Applebaum had just flown back to Israel after giving a talk at a New York University (search) terrorism symposium marking the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Hours after landing in Israel, the father of six met Nava to impart some last-minute advice before her wedding, which was to have taken place Wednesday evening. Instead, mourners prepared for her funeral.
As ambulances began delivering the wounded, the director of Jerusalem's Shaarei Tzedek Hospital (search), Yonatan Halevy, was wary because there was no sign of Applebaum — usually the first to report to the hospital after a bombing.
"It was clear to me from very early on that David Applebaum — when he didn't show up and I knew he was in Jerusalem and he hadn't called — that a terrible tragedy had occurred," Halevy said. "Confirmation of my suspicions came shortly."
Word that he was one of the victims came from a rescue worker who recognized him at the scene. The hospital staff had to cope with their own grief as they treated the wounded.
To understand their anguish, "it was enough yesterday to look at the sorrowful faces of the emergency room workers while they were treating the wounded streaming into the hospital from the attack," Halevy said.
For Nava's wedding, Applebaum had prepared a book with sayings from family members and himself, biblical passages and marital advice. Visiting the family before dawn Wednesday, Halevy leafed through the book Applebaum would never give his daughter.
"The fact that a man flies, three days before his daughter's wedding, to share this doctrine about preparing for a mass terror attack, which Jerusalem hospitals have unprecedented knowledge of, is an example of his combined outlook — complete dedication, to both work and the family," Halevy said.