Neis in Jerusalem: Tefillin, Rocks, and an Arab I was Really Happy to See

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    Y.W. Editor

    Dear Yeshiva World,

    Please publicise this amazing Neiss! I asked the writer (a good friend from RBS) and he encouraged to forward to you with intention of publicizing Hashem’s nissim.

    May we be zocheh to the final geula soon!

    We had a big day today. Y.D. is coming of age in a few months and his Bubie &Zaidee are generously getting him his pair of tefillin. We were invited to Tefillin Beit El, which is located in……Beit El (part of the West Bank of the Jordan River) to be present for the insertion of the parchments into the tefillin. I’d never been to Beit El before, but not to worry, my trusty GPS which runs through my phone has guided me on countless trips to unfamiliar places. It’s Very Dependable. Y.D. and I had an unscheduled half and hour of learning gemarra Rosh HaShana in shul during his school recess. Really nice learning. We went home, got ready, and left a few minutes later. As we were driving I mentioned to Y. that since neither of us have been to Beit El before, we’ll be doing the mitzvah of travelling a new 4 cubits in the Land of Israel. It was smooth sailing from Beit Shemesh to Jerusalem because I know the way. When we got to E. Jerusalem and parts I wasn’t familiar with I had to start concentrating more on where exactly the GPS was taking me. Right past the French hill bridge it indicated straight at a traffic circle. I obliged. That was followed by a command of “go 2.1km and make a legal u-turn.” When we returned to the traffic circle we were told to turn right, which we did, followed by another right. I saw a military road block, which i mistakenly assumed was the road block leading to the Ramalla bypass road. (Israel has many bypass roads around Arab cities, but strangely enough, none around Jewish cities. There are even bypass road bypasses!!!!

    We’ll it turned out that we were able to sneak by the army roadblock into the Shuafat Refugee camp un-noticed by the soldiers. A couple of Anglo religious Jews might have caught their eye on most occasions, but we were just plain (un)lucky. I couldn’t take the first turn suggested by the GPS since it was non existent due to either recent traffic changes or road work. “go straight 120m and turn left” (deeper into the lion’s den) said the GPS into my ear. I knew we weren’t in Kansas any more. We weren’t even in the South Bronx. The pressure was on to get out of there and not to become a news article in the local media. I saw that my dependable GPS was taking us in a circle back to the non existent turn via a really narrow street. All of this was at about 12:45 pm, when the whole town seemed to be releasing students from a day’s school. The streets were flooded with children from around 3 to 17. The little ones just walk at their own pace, nice and slowly. The older ones noticed some people that didn’t belong there. One 16 year old boy walked nice and slowly right in front of my van, apparently just to give the others time for the welcoming reception. When he moved to the side, I saw that my narrow street was dug up and not passable at the end. I’d have to back my van out and try not to run anyone over while people were asking me what I was doing there.

    The gemarra says that God prepares the cure before the sickness. Mine was walking down the street. About 20-21 years old. He wanted to know what I was doing there. Said I needed to get out right away. The locals were already gathering a rock reception for me. He walked behind my van clearing the way and telling people I was his boss at work. As I got out of that tight road, he got in next to Y. in the front seat. He said to drive fast and honk a lot. Not to make a left to go back where I came from because that’s where the locals were waiting to greet us, rather to go off in another direction so I’d circumvent them. Y. was saying tehillm. I was driving and honking but not driving fast enough for my driver who wanted to know who taught me to drive. The roads were still full of kids and I thought that if I ran over anybody, we’d for sure be dead meat, so I couldn’t race through the crowd. We made it to the checkpoint. My friend got out and yelled at the soldiers for letting me into that hell hole. I thanked him very much. I even prayed at mincha that Hashem should reward him for the way he helped us.

    The whole non-event probably lasted 5-6 minutes and tired me out for the day. I was thinking, while I was driving in the camp about this weeks Torah portion which I started reading this morning. Yaakov Avinu sent Yosef to find his brothers in Schem (a dangerous city.) When Yosef got there, he didn’t find them, and he was lost. The Maloch Gavriel came to his aid and sent him in the right direction. I’m certainly not Yosef HaTzadik, but I can tell you that Hashem sent me that Arab man to get me out of the Shuafat refugee camp, and we left unscratched.

    We never know causes and effects, but I’m glad I learned parsha this morning. I’m glad I learned gemarra with my son in shul. I’m glad we were going to travel to new places in Eretz Yisrael that we’d never been to before to be part of my son’s tefillin preparation. I’m glad God stepped in to guide us instead of the GPS, so I could be writing this e-mail to you instead of having you read about it on the news or worse, God forbid.

    This is the Jewish month of Kislev. The a time of Salvations like Chanukkah. I wish you all the salvations that happend to our people in this month, IN THOSE DAYS, IN THESE TIMES.

    Name removed by YWN Editor.

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