“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you…” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Sarah Avraham (20), of Kiryat Arba in Judea, won the Woman’s World Thai-Boxing Championship in Thailand last Thursday (Mar. 20). Officially named Muay Thai, the combat sport is dubbed “the art of eight weapons” because of the use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet. Sarah has previously won the Israeli championship, and now, after overcoming her Brazilin opponent, has become the world champion.
Sarah has an outstanding life story. Born in Mumbai, she converted to Judaism in 2008 at the age of 14 together with her family and immigrated to Israel following the terror attack on the Chabad House in November of that year. Avraham’s father, Dr. Aaron Avraham, was the friend and family physician of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, who were murdered when terrorists attacked the Chabad House where they served as emissaries. Sarah and her family felt drawn to the Jewish People, and thus converted and immigrated to Israel.
Sarah learned at the Ulpana, girl’s high school, in Kiryat Arba, and although she was challenged with the learning of a new religion, culture and land she decided become deeply involved in sports. She was sent to train with Fitness trainer Michael Pollack, from the Jewish neighborhood in neighboring Hebron. In 2012, barely a year after she began training professionally, Sarah won the national women’s Thai boxing championship in Israel.
Over the past year Sarah has taken up another challenging ‘hobby’ – she volunteers with the local fire department. She is highly praised by her superiors at the fire house, as they point out that she has participated in tens of firefighting operations and is always present when required, even though she bears a grueling training regime of five days of training weekly.
Sarah’s father currently works at the Bnei Brak Hospital and serves as a physician at the Kiryat Arba medical center. Sarah doesn’t see herself giving up boxing, but that doesn’t preclude other plans for her future. “When I grow up,” she was quoted in Maariv as saying, “I might want to be a doctor, like my father.” More recently she has expressed her desire to become professional with her hobby, officially joining the fire brigade.