A true story of how studying two halochos a day saved an
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
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
"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
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
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...