Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

28 Shevat 5761 - Febuary 21, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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More Stories About the Beis Yisroel Miracle
by M. Halevi

Amazing stories of Jews miraculously saved by what was supposed to be a murderous attack are being circulated in Jerusalem's Beis Yisroel neighborhood. A few minutes after the tremendous blast from the booby-trapped car, security forces received reports of "an attack with many victims." Anyone hearing the explosion, feeling the jolt and seeing the explosion was certain that scores of people had been killed or injured as a result. The car was parked in a place generally teeming with people at that time. But amazingly, no one was badly hurt.

When the extent of the miracle became known a short while after the explosion, area residents broke out in spontaneous dance, some brandishing pieces from the demolished car. One person even danced with a piece of gnarled metal between his teeth, like a badchan at a wedding. Everyone acknowledged that without a doubt, the merit of the thousands of Mirrer Yeshiva students, along with the merits of other Torah and chesed institutions in the area had protected the residents and the many passersby.

The car was parked near a vegetable store that is generally packed with customers on Thursday afternoons when people make their Shabbos purchases. Miraculously, the store was closed during the moment in which the explosion took place. The owner of the store had gone to daven mincha. His wife, who had come replace him, suddenly remembered that she had left a pot on the stove at home, and closed the store to run home to turn off the gas. As she stepped out of her house to return to the store, an explosion was heard and the street was closed. The blast completely demolished the contents of the store, which was void of customers.

A nearby building houses the well-known Lurie family chesed organization that distributes food to needy families. Every Thursday, a woman arrives to take food baskets which she distributes to the poor. Her husband always waits for her outside in his truck. That day, for some reason, she asked her husband to accompany her inside. He got out of the car and entered the building. Two minutes later, the explosion was heard. From the window, the husband saw his truck -- which he had parked right near the booby- trapped car -- going up in flames.

Many others have similar tales to tell, such as the man who works in a nearby business who was late to work that day because someone who had borrowed his car hadn't returned it on time.

The nearby ba'al teshuva yeshiva, Machane Yisroel, held a special his'orerushodo'oh rally after experiencing the miracle firsthand. The car was parked just below the yeshiva's Shabbos Seminar building. At the time of the explosion, students were busy preparing rooms for the scores of guests who attend the seminar every Shabbos. None were hurt by the tremendous blast.

Every year, approximately 6000 people visit the Shabbos Seminar and are drawn closer to Yiddishkeit. "60,000 Jews have visited the seminar over the past decade, and our purpose is to show them the glory of Shabbos; to enable them to experience at least one Shabbos in kedushoh without Shabbos desecration. Many have drawn closer in one way or another to a true Jewish way of life," says the rosh yeshiva, HaRav Aharon Feinhandler.

After the extent of the miracle became known, HaRav Mordechai Kagan, one of the yeshiva's rabbonim, suggested that a large sign be hung on the building, saying, "Nes Gadol Hoyo Poh, Bizchus HaShabbos Hakedoshoh."

Above the site of the explosion lives a ba'alas chesed known as "Miriam the seamstress," who sews clothes for ba'alos teshuva who have become kallos as well as for secular women visiting chareidi homes and requiring modest clothing during their stay. "By chance," Miriam also had also gone out for a few minutes to buy sewing materials. When she returned, she saw that her workroom was a shambles, and realized that if she had been there, she would have been severely injured, chas vesholom.


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