These are difficult times for Jewry, for those living
in Eretz Yisroel and hearing the daily toll of lives,
snuffed out from this world forever, or those wounded -
and for those who feel along with us from afar. And
very often, it is the folks across the ocean who hear
the bad news even before we do.
On a very recent motzoei Shabbos, it hit very
close to home, in walking distance, but even closer to
our hearts, chareidi folk whom we call brothers, in the
Beis Yisroel section of town. We were helpless and
devastated. Then came the call for O type blood, which,
at least gave people something concrete to do.
I am O type, and rushed down to my nearby Magen Dovid
Adom depot. The call had just been announced on radio
and TV and already there were some fifty people waiting
for the doors to open in another 15 minutes. We were
rerouted to the second floor, a trauma unit better
equipped to handle mass blood donations. By ten, the
numbers had swelled to two hundred people of all
stripes, starting from the Meah Shearim gold-and-black
caftans to the bare-headed secularists, all brothers in
arms, arms outstretched to give of their blood.
A reporter appeared shortly to make some interviews and
I hope he captured the beautiful sense of unity of the
Jewish people in times of trouble. The air was
permeated with a strong feeling of brotherhood, all
250 blood donations were taken that night, with many
dozens of potential donors turned away and asked to
come during the week.
Tale of Four Children
The scene of the bomb is terrible to describe. A
congested, very poor neighborhood with children all
over the place and parents trying to locate them.
Wounded, dying, dead. One man taken to an ambulance and
left there to bleed to death in the confusion... Who
can be blamed?
Then there was the six year old girl. Hearing the
shattering blast, she knew something terrible had
happened, and very close by. What to do? To employ the
time-old weapon of Jewry: prayer.
She grabbed a Tehillim and ran as fast as she could to
a shul in nearby Meah Shearim where she crawled under a
table and began to recite Tehillim amidst tears.
Her parents were frantic and sent out search parties
but in the pandemonium, no trace could be found. When
the smoke had literally settled and it was ascertained
that she was not on the scene, people fanned out to
search further afield.
The little girl was located over two hours later, still
huddled under a table in the shul, still reciting
Tehillim through heartfelt tears...
Then there is the story of two brothers and one sister
who ride their bikes around the block on Motzoei
Shabbos. There are no parks in Beis Yisroel, and
anyway, these children are in cheider until about
six so that this is really the only time they have to
They live smack in the middle of Rechov Chaim Ozer, and
their route takes them to the corner of Rechov Beis
Yisroel... the very corner of the blast. They were
riding up the street, where car traffic generally does
not begin until later on, when a car turned into Chaim
Ozer, having been parked on Rechov Shimon Rokach for
the Shabbos. A neighbor had asked him to move since she
needed the space, herself. The children and their bikes
were blocking his way for the turn and he asked them to
cross over towards Shmuel Hanovi.
He drove past the corner of Chaim Ozer and Beis Yisroel
and a minute later the suicide bomber blew himself up.
If not for him, the children would have been on that
corner then and there.
The next day, the driver came back to knock on doors,
looking for the children. A resident of Efrat, he had
attended the fateful Shabbos bar mitzva and wanted to
know what had happened. He found them safe and sound
and made sure that their mother was apprised of the
great miracle that had taken place so that she could
duly give tzedoka for their rescue.
We little folk cannot make the reckonings of Heaven and
pronounce why's and wherefore's. But there is something
we can say about these particular children and their
extracurricular activities (aside from a weekly bike
ride). Their grandmother, a very creative and versatile
woman, is presently deeply involved in a worldwide
project to improve the Jewish world by enhancing its
speech. A tall order, but momentum is gaining for
MISHMERES HASHOLOM and there are branches in every
country throughout the world where there are
concentrations of Jews!
The present promotional project involves getting
families to study and practice Shemiras Haloshon daily.
Any family committing itself to a schedule of Two
Halochos per Day from a Hebrew or English text, and/or
a slot for a two hour vigil per day when they are on
guard to refrain from any hint of Loshon Hora etc. for
yeshuas Klall Yisroel receives a beautiful
laminated magnetic chart to post on the fridge and
enhance every kitchen. You can write on it and wipe off
as your list of `speech guardians' shifts.
10,000 of these were printed up, and Bubby Tabak had
purchased two laminating machines to cut down costs.
But who would do the actual tedious work? Kids, of
course, who love running machines. The three children
from this family had spent HOURS one recent evening
manning (`kidding'?) the machines and producing two
hundred perfect specimens.
Are they not deserving of a miracle?
For more information about joining this worldwide
project, call Sora Wurtzberger at 02-538-5589 or write
to Rechov Chofetz Chaim 21, Jerusalem or Tzivi Tabak at
Yona 27, tel. 02-538-8256, and get your own decorative,
Who knows? The next miracle may be your own!