Rav Avigdor Chiyut, who was injured in the Meron disaster and lost his son and talmid on that terrible night, didn’t let his grief get in the way of comforting others, even during his own shiva.
Kobi, a 20-year-old yeshivah bochur from Beit Shemesh, was at Meron that night and tried to save Rav Avigdor’s son Yedidya, z’l, and his friend Moshe Levi, z’l. He cleared a path for them, sure he was helping them, but unwittingly he was moving them closer to the more crowded area, where people were dying.
Suffering from terrible pangs of guilt, he paid a shiva call to the Chiyut family on Monday and couldn’t stop crying as he met with Rav Avigdor.
In an incredible act of gevura, Rav Avigdor spent a half-hour reassuring Kobi, telling him that there’s no reason for feelings of guilt as he did his best to try to help them.
When Rav Avigdor’s son, 10-year-old Shmuel who was also injured that night, joined the meeting, Kobi broke down once again and Shmuel, like his father, reassured him. “This is what Hashem wanted. It wasn’t because of you. You saved me.”
Rav Avigdor confirmed his son’s words, saying: “A child doesn’t lie. Young children say the truth. You saved us. Moshe and Yedidya would have been killed in any event.”
Rav Avigdor truly comforted Kobi, and when Kan News interviewed him after the visit, he appeared like a different person, calm and happy. Rav Avigdor even made him promise that they’ll meet again at simchas and that he’ll invite him to his wedding.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)