Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

22 Teves 5761 - January 17, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Miracle in Meah Shearim: Bomb Disarmed By Resident
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

A terror attack in Jerusalem's Meah Shearim neighborhood was thwarted last Thursday morning by a resident who successfully defused a bomb attached to a cell phone detonator just minutes before it was set to go off.

The place where the bomb was discovered is crowded at that time of morning, as many Mirrer yeshiva and other talmidim rush to their places of learning. There are also many educational institutions in the area, and at the time, scores of children were on the street.

That morning Rivka Bick noticed a suspiciously large bag being thrown into a garbage dumpster by an Arab child on the neighborhood's Rechov Shomrei Emunim. She alerted her son, Moshe, who went over to the dumpster, opened the bag and found a bag containing a bomb attached to a cell phone.

Bick, a 36-year-old father of five, safely disarmed the bomb by pulling out the wires connecting the cell phone to the bomb, which consisted of two mortar shells. The Bicks then called the police, who raced to the scene.

As police sappers were disarming the bomb, the cell phone started to ring -- but the dismantled device could not explode. Police took the bomb away for further investigation.

It took police sappers two hours to dismantle the bomb. The police also began a search for the perpetrators, and two Palestinians found in the area were detained for questioning.

Bick said afterward that he was happy to have been instrumental in saving children's lives. But the police, he said, had mixed reactions to his action.

"Some told me I'm an idiot who endangered my own life and that of others in the area, while some praised me for the fact that in practice, I saved children's lives," he said.

"In any case, I don't recommend that anyone do what I did. If I had known in advance that it was a bomb, I would never have touched it. But because I had already opened the knapsack, and I saw the cell phone connected to the bomb, I understood that these were critical moments, in which I could save lives."

Jerusalem police chief Cmdr. Mickey Levy called on the public not to try to disarm bombs by themselves, and to let the professionally trained police sappers do their job.

Levy said afterward that only police sappers are allowed to touch a bomb, and anyone who sees a suspicious object should immediately call the police. That the incident ended with no loss of life, he said, was a "miracle."

Admitting that he had only enough knowledge of electricity to do odd jobs around the house, Bick said that what he did was really quite simple. "It was like unplugging a radio," he said.

Last month, a pipe bomb triggered by a cell phone exploded on a Tel Aviv bus, wounding 14 Israelis.

The great miracle became the talk of the day. "We are convinced that the merit of the Torah study of students of the Mirrer yeshiva and the tinokos shel beis rabban who study nearby is what saved so many from being injured in the terrorist attack," one of the avreichim at the site said.

A special tefilloh service was held in the central shul in Zichron Moshe, attended by residents of Meah Shearim and the surrounding neighborhoods to thank Hashem for the great miracle.

In a separate incident last week, a bomb was discovered before dawn near the Education Ministry building close to Mea She'arim. The bomb, made of old IDF explosives, had no detonator.


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