Yesterday could have been my last day on earth. I am still processing an event that, although it was not carried out to its intended conclusion, may nevertheless have had a significant impact on how I look at the reality I live in.
It had to happen eventually. I had to be a near-witness to a near-terrorist act that turned out well only due to a miracle: HaShem brought the Palestinian would-be murderer to the attention of a light rail security guard, who brought the police and other security forces together to quash his plans.
Yesterday morning started like most in Jerusalem: bustling, cheery, lots of car horns beeping, people going about their business. My husband and I were headed downtown on the light rail to perform an important errand earlier than usual.
After the errand, we went to get some breakfast. Hubby pointed out that there were police cars blocking car traffic at the intersections from Yaffa Street to Hillel Street along King George Street. We did not stop to stare and wonder what was happening.
Mind you, we did not see any real action; in fact, no one was even injured, thank G-d, except maybe the terrorist as he was being apprehended. In fact, I am reminded of our ancestors, the ancient Israelites, going through the desert, arriving at Arnon, at the border between Moav and the Amorim and seeing blood seeping from the mountain, wondering what that was about. Hearing the news later was like the body parts rising up out of the well (which we would not know about, but for Rashi's commentary. After all, HaShem just put in the words "...it is told about in the account of the Wars of the Lord, 'What He gave at the [Sea of] Reeds and the streams of Arnon.'" and left it to man to figure it out; Rashi could have had access to a scroll. Here is some commentary on it; but I cannot find a readable copy of the work itself. A lot of talk exists about a book no one can find, apparently.). Thankfully we will not be seeing body parts from this episode.
Later on, when we arrived at the OU Center for our Sunday afternoon class with Rabbi Sprecher, he, along with several friends, told us what had happened; and that some of them had been downtown at that time, unbeknownst to us.
My husband, not one to believe word of mouth alone, found an article on the Israel Broadcasting Authority site titled "Palestinian with homemade bombs arrested on Jlem light rail." I don't know how long you will be able to see it at http://www.iba.org.il/world/.
Later on, we talked about how fortunate and thankful we felt to have lived to make it home, back to our comfort zone, to talk about it. As for me, I might not have made it to my first anniversary blogging - the Common Era date passed eleven days ago, but the Hebrew date is coming up, on the 20th of Tammuz. Thank G-d.
Many thanks to my blogging colleagues who also informed us of what had happened through links to articles, videos and pictures. Especially this article.
More Reading: In My Little Country ... the story isn't over yet.
UPDATE: The spot where the terrorist was captured is the very same corner where the Sbarro restaurant was blown up in August 2001, where many Israeli civilians were murdered, including Malki Roth. I had no idea until I read this article on This Ongoing War. This makes the miracle all the more palpable.