Sergeant Rami Alwan, a Druze Israel Police officer who rescued Rav Avigdor Chiyut and his 10-year-old son Shmuel during the Meron disaster came to the Chiyut home in Bnei Brak on Monday to comfort the family on the loss of 13-year-old Yedidya, z’l, who didn’t survive the disaster.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when the moving encounter took place.
“I owe you my life, I have no words to thank you,” Rav Avigdor said.
Rav Avigdor, a Talmud Torah Rebbe, who not only lost his son that night but his talmid Moshe Levi, z’l, as well, said that he owes his life to Rami.
“I was on the floor with all the weight of the people on top of me. My [10-year-old] son Shmuel was to my right, my older son Yedidya, z’l, and my student Moishe, z’l, were about a meter away from us. I saw Rami and he screamed to me: ‘Give me your hand, I’ll pull you.’ I told him: ‘Forget about me. Save my son.”
“Rami tried but at first he wasn’t able to extricate my son. I saw him beginning to cry, but he remained there and tried to do what he could. If I and Shmuel would have remained there for another few seconds, we would have joined Yedidya and Moishe.”
“I was saved [when another policeman came to assist Rami], and evacuated in moderate condition to the hospital. If we would have remained there for longer, we may not have come out alive.”
“When Rami helped me, he didn’t ask me which party I belong to, what sector I belong to, whether I’m a Jew, Bedouin, or an Arab. He simply saved me. We can live together, it’s in our hands.”
“What happened happened. Hakadosh Baruch Hu knows what He’s doing. Anyone who saves one life in Yisrael, it’s as if he saved a whole world. Rami, you rescued my child – you rescued my whole world.”
“I’m moved to meet you,” Rami said. “It’s difficult to express in words what happened there. Amid the screaming, I approached Avigdor and he told me: ‘Save my son.’ I tried to pull out both of them together and then another officer came and helped me and we managed to save them. There was chaos and screaming. There’s no training that could have prepared us for what happened there.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)