Miracles - in those days, at this time

Every night during Hanukkah, we recite a blessing about how G-d did miracles for our ancestors 'during those days, at this time.'

It is also known that an aura of those miracles remain, shining down upon us at that same time, each year.

This year is no different.

Earlier today I participated in what could be defined as a surrealistic situation. I was speaking to a group downstairs here in Beit Hadassah in the small synagogue on the ground floor. People on the group were asking me about the situation here, terror attacks and the like.

As I was talking to them, I heard what sounded to be a gunshot, not too far away. I looked out the window facing the street and saw a couple of people, like in the movies, with their guns out, shooting.

The people in the group were looking at me with question marks in their eyes. Without missing a beat I told them, 'this is it, in real life. An Arab just tried stabbing someone and they shot at him.

I didn't see the Arab, but it was clear what had happened.

A few minutes later I went outside, and only then started to realize what had really happened. An Arab terrorist came down the stairs, opposite Beit Hadassah. Only about 2 weeks ago a terrorist, coming down these stairs, tried to stab a soldier and was shot and killed.

Today, one of the soldiers stationed there, asked the Arab for his ID papers. The Arab, instead of removing his ID card from his pocket, pulled out a big knife and started stabbing the soldier in his head.

Standing next to the soldiers was 20 year old Yitzhak Struk, son of Hebron's former MK, Orit Struk. Unarmed, Struk, seeing was happening, jumped on the knife-wielding terrorist and started struggling with him. The terrorist stabbed Yitzhak in the leg, causing him to fall and break his hand. But that also gave time to Hebron security officer Yoni Bleichbard, to shoot, together with others at the site, and kill the terrorist.

Both the wounded men were taken by ambulance to Shaari Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem, where they were treated for their injuries.

As one of the security people stated, the soldier owes his life to Yitzhak Struk and Yitzhak Struk owes his life to Yoni Bleichbard.

Miracle of miracles.

But, it didn't have to be. Two days ago, following a stabbing opposite Ma'arat  HaMachpela, when today's terrorists' cousin very critically wounded a 40 year old man from Kiryat Arba, stabbing him in the heart and both his lungs, a meeting was held between Hebron leaders with the General in charge of all Judea and Samaria. One of those present was former MK Orit Struk.

Speaking to the general, she insisted that the stairs opposite Beit Hadassah, be closed to Arabs. She told him that this site would likely be the place of the next stabbing attack in Hebron. The general told her that a soldier would be stationed by the stairs. To which she answered, the terrorist will stab the soldier and then civilians in the area.

Of course, the general refused to close the stairs, and Orit's words turned into something of a prophecy, with her own son involved.

The reason why the IDF isn't taking the necessary measures to prevent these attacks is what they call, 'the fabric of Arabs' lives.' In other words, they think that if they allow the Arabs to continue living normal lives, those Arabs will leave us alone.

How wrong they are! It's very difficult to comprehend how Israeli officers and politicians still believe that acquiescence to our Arab enemies can effectively help us. Haven't they learned that such concessions are viewed by Arabs as weakness, not stopping them, but rather egging them on, encouraging them to continue their murderous attacks? This because they realize that there is no price to pay for their terror.

Sure, they realize that they'll die, but as far as they're concerned, that's a big plus. They will be Shahidim, that is, Holy, their families will get a lot of money, and best of all, are those 72 virgins up in heaven. So, why not do it.

The IDF has the tools to perhaps not prevent 100% of the attacks, but many of them. Deterrence works, if you use it. But for whatever reason, they are putting the 'fabric of Arab lives' before the security of Israeli civilians and soldiers. They will tell you otherwise. But deeds speak much louder than words.

The man stabbed 2 days ago is still in very critical condition. But a hospital spokesperson announced that there's a slight improvement in his condition. That is a real miracle, considered the extent of his injuries. (His name, for prayers: Genadi Chaim Nota ben Ra'aya Rachel.)

Today, the results could have been much much worse. We are quite fortunate that the injuries weren't serious. And of course, Yitzhak Struk's genuine heroism cannot be overstressed. It takes real guts for an unarmed civilian to jump on an Arab armed with a long sharp knife, intending to kill as many people as possible.

His heroic act can be attributed to his years in Hebron, breathing the air of this holy city, walking in the footsteps of King David and other Jewish superpeople who were here in Hebron.

And that is the meaning of the miracles, 'in those days, at these times.' Still being actualized today.


This article is dedicated to Rebbetzin Gittel Rosenzweig, a long-time lover of Hebron and Eretz Yisrael, who passed away a few days ago.