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Testimony: “The Vehicle Was Totally Smashed, but the Family Emerged Unharmed”

Published on Tuesday January 8th, 2019

Nearly two months ago, Avishag R. (22 years old), living in the centre of Israel, travelled north to celebrate a joyful event with her family. She was accompanied by her husband and children.

"My husband drove us and the trip was calm and cheerful. The children fell asleep and I was able to chat quietly with my husband ... Suddenly, in a fraction of a second, and without prior warning, a car speeding in the opposite direction crashed head-on into our car. It was an Arab driver who apparently had done so deliberately ... I saw life spinning between my fingers. "

Avishag reconstructs these fearful moments and recounts how she was miraculously saved.

"The children woke up in a panic, and I was sure they had broken a limb or had been seriously injured, God forbid. I was afraid to glance at the back seat. Who can describe a mother's worst fears under such circumstances? The front part of the vehicle had penetrated my body and the pain was excruciating but my own pain did not matter to me. When I discovered that my six-month-old baby had been ejected from his car seat and landed on the ground, I immediately pulled him up with a strength unknown to me. With great difficulty, I managed to extricate myself from the car, open the door and get my children out,  hugging them tightly.

Meanwhile, a crowd of people had gathered at the scene of the accident. All of them, without exception, seemed to be Arabs.  I was shaking out of control. I was afraid they would attack us. But fortunately, my husband remained calm and serene and assured me that we were safe.  Then, at the end of my rope, I collapsed on the sidewalk waiting for the ambulance to arrive. My whole body expressed only one sensation: pain! And I preferred to avoid thinking about my injuries."

Let's replay chronologically what happened on the day before the accident.  Avishag had just celebrated her son’s first haircut in Meron.

"I organized a big Seudah to mark the occasion and joy was at its height. I sincerely prayed at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and asked him to protect us. I took my son with me and encouraged him to pray too. I even coached him on the wording. Today, after this unfortunate incident, I understand how these prayers elicited Hashem’s goodness. In fact, Hashem opened my lips to say the exact words at the tomb of the Tzaddik."

Indeed, Hashem answered the prayers of a mother and her young child. But perhaps prayer by itself did not suffice to merit Hashem’s mercy. This couple had also performed the Mitzvah of Tzedakah.  

"My father, who merited a long life, taught us to always give Tzedakah before embarking on a journey and request that our act of charity elevates the soul of Rabbi Akiva of Amsterdam.  And that's what we did: we gave Tzedakah and we recited Tefilat Haderech - something which we, unfortunately, don’t do systematically. "

Let's go back to the scene of the accident. After a few minutes, the ambulance arrived and all family members were rushed to the hospital. "We were panicking over the potential consequences of this accident.  We hadn’t a clue what to expect, we had nobody to call at such a late hour to share our shock.” Says Avishag.

"After a series of extensive medical examinations, the doctors informed us that they found no fracture and that the blows we had suffered were external, for which we owed gratitude to Hashem. We had experienced a miracle. So we went home, and the next day we met a car accident expert to assess the car’s condition. The expert also confirmed that coming out in one piece had been a miracle as the front of the car was totally destroyed.

In response to the question of why we emerged unscathed, I have no doubt that it is thanks to the merit of prayer and Tzedakah at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

As a result of the miracle I experienced, my faith in Hashem was greatly strengthened. I understood that man can make careful and well thought-out plans which are worthless vis-a-vis Hashem's plans. Nobody knows what’s in store for him/her tomorrow. So it is best to avoid planning!"

How to Overcome the Trauma?

"Only through Emuna! I try to think about this ordeal in gratitude to the Almighty for saving us. I thoroughly accept the way Hashem chose to wake us up. This is what Hashem chose. So it was probably what suited us best.  Before the accident, I was not careful to pray regularly. I now believe it's regretful that we needed this shock to awaken and realize that everything comes from Hashem and that we ought to address all our requests and prayers to Him exclusively”.

The Torah-Box Team - © Torah-Box

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