Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

21 Shevat 5761 - Febuary 14, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Beis Yisroel Miracle
by Betzalel Kahn

A great miracle occurred on Tu BeShevat in Jerusalem's Beis Yisroel neighborhood, when a booby-trapped car exploded in the heart of the neighborhood, only a few meters away from the Mirrer yeshiva. Miraculously, only one person was slightly hurt -- a sixty year-old-woman who suffered slight injury to her forehead by glass fragments. Nine people suffered from shock.

The explosion occurred at 4:45 in the afternoon on Beis Yisroel Street at the corner of Rapoport Street, near Shimon Rokach Street (just past the Shilitz Bakery). The explosive- rigged car was parked on the street. A tremendous explosion jolted the entire neighborhood. The blast was so great that it was heard even in far away neighborhoods. The car was totally demolished and went up in flames, as did two cars near it. Parts of cars were hurled about, some as far as 150 meters.

Eyewitnesses report that just before the explosion, a truck with gas tanks for domestic use passed by the car. The explosion occurred only seconds after the car had passed, and by a great miracle heavy calamity was averted.

Large police forces arrived on the scene within moments. First to arrive were the Hatzoloh volunteers, who were notified of the explosion seconds after it occurred. A number of Hatzoloh volunteers studying in the area hurried to the site to see if there were victims in need of first aid.

The woman who suffered light cuts on her forehead was evacuated to Hadassah hospital. Although nine people were suffering from shock, they did not require hospitalization. Nonetheless, some of them were taken to various hospitals for observation.

The explosion took place only few a meters from the Mirrer yeshiva where thousands of bochurim and avreichim study. Every day at that hour, many avreichim make their way to the yeshiva, but miraculously there weren't many people on the site of the explosion at the time. "I saw great miracles," Reb Nochum, an avreich in the Mirrer yeshiva said. "It is obvious that a heavy calamity was averted in the merit of the Torah study of the Mirrer yeshiva students."

Another eyewitness relates, "I heard a tremendous explosion, and then a series of smaller ones. Thick smoke began to billow. It is difficult to ascertain whether the bomb was in the car or near it. The explosion occurred on a side street near the yeshiva. There wasn't much traffic at the time. Immediately after the explosion people streamed to the site. The area is very crowded during this time of day."

Another yeshiva student who was only a short distance from the explosion relates, "I heard an explosion, and then an even greater one. The interval between the two was only half a second."

Yosef, a Mirrer yeshiva student, related that he was in a nearby building a few meters away from the explosion. "I heard an explosion and rushed outside in the direction of the fire. Perhaps that was foolish of me, but I wanted to see if I could help the injured. I didn't see any injured people in the area, and began to run away. When I was at a reasonable distance away, I heard a second explosion. I saw a number of children running, but didn't see anyone who had been injured."

Another eyewitness relates, "I saw a truck with gas tanks that passed only a few meters away from the car that exploded. Seconds later there was a powerful explosion, and everyone ran."

A kollel is located near the site of the explosion, and its building absorbed the horrendous blast. One of the avreichim relates: "We were engrossed in our studies when suddenly we heard a tremendous explosion. After three seconds, an even stronger one was heard. From the door of the beis medrash we saw fire and thick, billowing smoke. Ten seconds beforehand, a truck with gas tanks passed by. We were saved by a miracle. Parts of the car flew towards us, and from the impact of the blast, the tiling of the beis medrash's walls was loosened. Boruch Hashem, no one was injured or killed."

Police combed the area for additional bombs for a long time, closing the area to traffic. Thousands of people crowded the area, making it difficult for the police sappers to do their work.

During the first moments after the explosion, police repeatedly asked people to leave the area so that the victims could be evacuated through the narrow alleys of the Beit Yisroel neighborhood and so that they could search for additional bombs. Police hounds also scrounged the area for suspicious objects, but no additional bombs were found.

Magen David Adom sent 25 ambulances to the site of the attack and four intensive care units. Most of them returned to the Magen David Adom station in Romema soon afterwards for lack of work, boruch Hashem.

An hour after the explosion, when residents began to grasp the immensity of the miracle, people broke out into dance at the site of the car bomb. Some took fragments of the mined car and sang: "Chasdei Hashem ki lo somnu, ki lo cholu rachamov," to illustrate the immensity of the miracle that had occurred in this crowded area containing many yeshivos, kollelim, and talmudei Torah as well as hundreds of homes.

On Thursday night, a truck with megaphones rode through the streets of Jerusalem, calling out, "Hakol yoducho, hakol yeshabechucho," arousing people to appreciate the extent of the miracle and to thank Hakodosh Boruch Hu for the overt miracle and urging everyone to strengthen himself in Torah study and good deeds.

A Rally to Thank Hashem for the Miracle in Beis Yisroel

A massive rally of gratitude to Hashem over the great miracle which occurred this past Thursday in the Beis Yisroel neighborhood of Jerusalem was held Sunday night, 19 Shevat. The rally took place on the site of the terrorist attack in which, through chasdei Hashem, only one passerby was injured lightly from of glass fragments and nine suffered from shock.

Masses of residents of Beis Yisroel, Meah Shearim and additional neighborhoods flocked to the rally, as did the students of the yeshivos and the avreichim of the kollelim who study near the site of the attack.

At the rally, rabbonim delivered words of chizuk, and those who were spared during the attack thanked and praised Hashem Yisborach for His kindness. At the end of the speeches, there was dancing accompanied by music.

On Shabbos Shirah, seudos and kiddushim were held in many synagogues and yeshivos throughout the neighborhood, in order to acknowledge the great miracle in which thousands of men women and children were spared, as well as for the two other miracles which occurred in the neighborhood this past month, in which bombs were dismantled before they exploded.


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