Shifri Shapira claims that she was blinded for life after being injured in a suspected Palestinian terrorist attack. When she appeared as the first blind contestant ever on the Israeli version of “Master Chef” some audience members phoned the production team. What they found is completely shocking and almost too crazy to be real life:
First Blind Contestant Ever On Israeli Master Chef
Shifri Shapira is undoubtedly the most talked about woman in Israel right now. She was the first blind contender ever for the Israeli version of “Master Chef.” She said her life was forever changed and her vision was lost after a Palestinian suicide bomber committed an act of terror. Her story brought everyone to tears, but now her reputation is being questioned.
She Said She Was A Victim Of A Terror Attack
During her “Master Chef” audition, she brought the entire country and the show’s judges to tears. She said she would never forget March 5, 2003, when a moment changed her life forever. Shifri Shapira said she was blinded by a suicide bombing on that date. She said she was riding in a car with her husband alongside bus line 37 in the northern Israeli city of Haifa when a Palestinian suicide bomber committed an act of terror. She said, “I lost consciousness immediately, everything happened in seconds, my memories from there are in bits, pictures and flash from the past.”
Lucky To Be Alive
She said she was lucky to survive and was seriously injured by the attack along with many others. Her story moved everyone to tears as she described the fear, pain, and how the attack negatively impacted her life for years. “Before the attack, I was very busy, I didn’t have a single free moment. I have a Ph.D. in Political Science and Criminology,” said Shifri. She continued, “and suddenly you have nothing. I didn’t want to carry on living when they told me I had been blinded.”
She Recovered Through Cooking
She stated she was in rehabilitation for 2 years before she was able to get back on her feet. “I was in respiratory rehabilitation, neurological rehabilitation and orthopedic rehabilitation, I am a bionic woman – I have new knees and lots of palettes.” She also said she struggled getting used to the physical changes that happened to her body, and it took time for her to understand reality again. She said it was the absolute hardest thing she has ever experienced in her life. She continued to describe how her life fell apart as a result of her blindness from the terror attack. She couldn’t see, work, have the same relationships, and she gave up her true passion: cooking. She explained to the judges of Israeli Master Chef, “Five years ago I woke up and said, ‘I have children, I have a wonderful husband (44 years now) and I want to live’.” She said, “I returned to my love, to cooking….You use all the other senses.”
Cooking Was Her Escape
Shifiri Shapira stated for her, “Cooking is better than any psychological treatment.” It was only through cooking she was able to escape the terrible depression she was in. In her audition tape for Master Chef she said, “I love to cook, I am in the kitchen all day, and that is what will hold me.” She continued, “Cooking is my therapy. If I had the sense, I should have come back to it immediately.”
But How Can You Cook While Blind?
A judge from the show, Haim Cohen, asked: “So from a practical perspective, how does someone who’s blind cook?” She replied, “I have a certain order that I put things on the table, one thing after another. I smell everything,” Shifri explained. “I do everything, I’m not afraid. Now I’m not willing to give up the things I want to do. I want to cook, I’m not a poor unfortunate, I don’t want to be thought of like that, I want to do what everyone else does, and quickly.”
Fan Favorite On Israeli Master Chef
Shifri Shapira was a favorite to win Master Chef Israel especially after the country heard her sad story. She seemed so sincere and honest in her audition tape and when she was on the show. She very clearly articulated how the event changed her perspective on life and how meaningful her recovery through cooking was. It was all going great for her until information was revealed that caused show producers to immediately investigate the details of her story.
An Investigation Begins
Audience members began to call the show stating they knew her in other circumstances and her story was fake. The show’s production team announced they would immediately investigate the contestant and wanted to be as transparent with viewers as possible. Everyone was shocked. The show issued the following statement: “For the production of the program, information was reached that raises doubts about the circumstances of the contestant Shapira Shapira and about the details of her life, as the contestant told the production people in the preliminary selection stages. Aroused question marks, and the production decided to immediately examine the particulars provided by the contestant.” They continued, “The investigation is underway and has not yet ended, and in the course of which the contestant, Shapira Shapira, was invited to the production offices to inquire about the matter, where she was given the information that was examined and she was asked to relate to it.”
Goodbye, Master Chef
The production of Israeli “Master Chef” invited Shirfri to be present during the investigation as she firmly denied any wrongdoing. When she arrived at the filming studio she presented a blind certificate to the production team. As the investigation continued more and more alarming information was revealed about the real life of Shifiri Shapira. She was asked to leave the show, and she did quietly. Most people forgot about her and this occurrence until just last week.
An Israeli show called “The Pretenders” recently decided to investigate the elderly Israeli woman. She was becoming known around Israel for having many “elaborate” stories and maintaining the fact she was blinded by the terror attack. She was allegedly repeatedly lying about her life and work history. For example, said she was married to a pilot, had a high rank in the army, was a member of the Likud political party, and had absolutely fantastic work experience. She was actually CEO of a very prestigious non-profit organization when the show began to investigate her. She was found to be guilty of embezzling money from the company and was fired from her position around this time.
The television series “The Pretenders” with Chaim Etgar investigates the legitimacy of accused “imposters” and attempts to provide an accurate biography of the person in question. They go all out with their research to achieve this, and that is exactly what they did with Shapira.
Caught Red Handed
To start, the investigation revealed she was not blinded by the alleged terror attack in Israel in the most embarrassing way possible. The show planted a film crew and $200 Shekel on the street and filmed Shifri Shapira seeing it, and picking it up. During the live show where Shifri was present, they played the video in front of her and a live studio audience. How embarrassing for her!
She Is A Total Fraud!
After the video was shown, she continued to maintain all parts of her story. When the host asked her what she was picking up in the video and how she knew to pick something up, she responding by explaining she believed it was dog poop. Either way, it shows she wasn’t blind! Not her smartest move…
She Maintains She Is Really Blind
As the questioning continued especially after the video footage was revealed, Shifri Shapira mostly continued to lie. She maintained elements of her story including that she was truly blind. She eventually admitted she wasn’t blind from a terror attack but was very much blind. She also admitted her husband wasn’t a pilot. The show also included evidence from an investigation done by an Israeli court from around the time she appeared on Master Chef. The investigation from court case concluded, “there is no truth to the plaintiff’s claim that she was hospitalized at Sheba Hospital for 17 months because of an attack.” The hospital records reveal she was only briefly hospitalized for an injured ankle, there was no damage to her eyesight or vision.
Her Reputation Is Damaged 4 Life
So, Shifri Shapira might have won Israel’s hearts at first, but now most of the country can’t believe what she has done. It is unclear if she is working, but one thing is definite: her reputation will never be the same again.