Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

15 Sivan 5761 - June 6, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family
Guard Your Tongue - Guard Your Life

A true story of how studying two halochos a day saved an entire family

It was a cold winter night; the sky was overcast with thick clouds. Rain fell silently, refreshing Hashem's world. The clock read half past one a.m. We were sitting in a minibus, our family and few children from our mechutan's family, twenty people altogether.

We were traveling home from an uplifting Shabbos spent in Haifa, the city on scenic Mount Carmel where Eliyohu Hanovi had brought a multitude of people to exclaim, "Hashem is Elokim!" We had no words to express our gratitude and happiness to Him for the simcha that He had brought into our home. This had been Shabbos sheva brochos for our eldest son, and now, after the parting seudas Dovid Malka Meshicha, we were traveling to our home in Bnei Brak. Eyes were droopy as we all looked forward to arriving safely home and bed.

We were just leaving the outskirts of Haifa when, suddenly, a tire burst and the minibus rocketed into the safety barrier at the side of the road. There was a terrible wrench as the fence broke under the impact of the vehicle and its passengers. It rolled over and came to a standstill, upside down, in the dark night. A shiver ran through our hearts. We were lying on the ceiling in a helpless daze. Every second dragged on for an eternity.

We were trapped under the debris of ripped out seats, suitcases and hatboxes, clothing and random belongings strewn about in all directions. We waited impatiently for help to come from somewhere; we, inside, were completely helpless and didn't know who had been injured and to what extent. Eyes turned heavenward as we mouthed familiar words of Tehillim - - "Ya'ancho Hashem -- May Hashem answer you in the time of trouble..."

Suddenly we saw flames bursting above our heads. The engine had caught on fire. The fire grew, the heat intensified, fueling our frantic fear. Cries of "Shema Yisroel" rang through the smokey air. We were trapped! Everything around us was closed, barred. No access to doors or windows; no possibility of escape.

I suddenly burst out in a fervent prayer, "Hashem, have mercy! In the merit of the holy Chofetz Chaim, save us! He promised that he would be a gracious interceder for all those who guarded their tongues!"

And my young daughter echoed, "Tatte in Heaven! Remember my merit, too. I watch the small children while Mama gives her daily shiur on the two laws from Sefer Shemiras Haloshon!"


The children had not yet despaired. Staring at the flames, they pleaded with hope and trembling that the merit of the two laws the whole family learned daily, help would home. On the day of the wedding, the mother had faithfully taught that day's lesson, and even on the previous Friday, exhausted as she was from the wedding and preparing the family for the trip, she had taught the lesson for Friday and Shabbos.

"Save us! Save us from this fire, just as we flee from evil gossip as if it were fire!" someone cried out, and the plea was echoed by the others. The name of the Chofetz Chaim rang repeatedly through the air. Smoke filled our lungs, smoke filled our eyes, but the vision of the holy Chofetz Chaim seemed to loom before our very faces, his kind and reassuring features so clear, as if he were standing right before us.

Suddenly there was a sound from the direction of the deserted road where nothing had passed for many long moments. Divine Providence had directed a busful of soldiers at this unearthly hour. They were out, looking for some excitement, taking a post-midnight ride on a Saturday night out of boredom. At the sight of the flames, they leaped out and directed a strong stream of water from a water cannon they `happened' to have on board. Soon the fire was extinguished. They called ambulances and managed to get hold of a metal saw to carve out an opening on the side. They were finally able to remove the passengers one by one, afraid of what they would find...

"Who could possibly be still alive from the accident and its impact, the smoke and the flames?" they murmured anxiously. Each person was extricated with cries of happiness and relief and scored with, "Another one out alive!" And "Another one out alive!"

Only when the rescue work was finally over did they realize the extent of the amazing miracle. Every passenger was alive, unscathed, saved at midnight hour. We could not contain our joy and the menfolk joined hands with the soldiers and burst into a happy dance. "Chasdei Hashem..."

In the beam of the headlights, we were able to realize another miracle. The minibus had turned over and landed just half a meter in front of a deep ditch full of water. Had we landed there, we would have been either drowned or burned, G- d forbid, for the soldiers would not have seen us.

The passengers were divided into three groups and sent off to various hospitals. All of them were discharged with nothing more than a few minor scrapes, while many were not even harmed at all!

Only two halochos a day...


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