As the world stands in shock over the deadly attack on a Jewish school in France, 17-year-old Bryan Bijaoui, who was injured as he tried to shield shooting victim Miriam Monsonego, is still hospitalized in serious condition.
Bijaoui, a student from Nice who was living in the Ozar Hatorah dormitories, is being hailed as a hero by the French Jewish community, which has been holding prayer vigils for his recovery.
“Bryan’s condition is not good,” said Ephraim Teitelbaum, one of the leaders of the Toulouse Jewish community, to Yedioth Ahronoth. “Although his condition is being termed stable, he is not yet out of danger.”
Bijaoui, who has regained consciousness according to media reports, is still in the intensive care unit of Toulouse’s Hopital de Rangueil.
Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, and his two children, Arieh and Gavriel, 5 and 3, were killed in the Monday attack on the Jewish school in Toulouse, along with Miriam Monsenego, 8. The four were buried in Israel on Wednesday.
Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht, who was Bijaoui’s counselor at a Chabad-run camp in Nice a few years ago, told Chabad.org that the boy “always had a smile on his face.” Hecht added: “He’s a very sweet kid who’s always telling jokes.”
Bijaoui’s friends and family also created a Facebook group, Soutenez Bryan Bijaoui (17 ans) grièvement blessé à Toulouse, to provide updates on his condition and to create a forum for people to post notes of support for the teen.
Bijaoui’s mother also posted on Facebook that Bryan tried to rush Miriam into the school after the shooting started, but instead witnessed the young girl’s murder in front of his eyes. She also wrote that when Bijaoui regained consciousness, his first words were to ask about Miriam.