On my way home into a very barren Old City last night (save for the dozens of border policemen), I ran into a neighbor and friend. He told me a very disturbing story. 2 weeks ago as he was walking from the Kotel into the Muslim quarter with his friend, the friend suddenly fell to the ground before him unconscious. Looking down, he saw a knife in his friend’s back and an 18 year old Arab girl – who looked more like 15 – full of rage trying to continue to stab him and grab his gun on the side of his body. 

My neighbor started fighting her off and shouted for help, but to no avail. The struggle continued. She fell to the ground for a second in front of the man she had just stabbed. The neighbor screamed at his friend to take his gun and shoot her. Just then he regained consciousness, grabbed the gun, and shot her twice in the neck and chest. The fight was over. The police and ambulances came. Everyone went to the hospital including the terrorist teen (who was dressed in what they described as a formal white dress and pretty lipstick, fit for a ceremonial occasion).

When she got to the hospital, she refused a blood transfusion because she didn’t want Jewish blood inside of her – she even signed a waiver to that effect. The neighbor decided to pay her a visit – a bikur cholim of sorts. He asked the guard outside her door if she was talking. “Talking?!” he said. “She can’t stop shouting: Why didn’t they kill me!!”. Apparently, her plan to enter the beautiful kingdom of martyrdom had been thwarted by her youthful, healthy body.

As sad as this story is, and as traumatic as it was for everyone involved, we continue to receive the same message of defense – prayer, teshuva, achdut, emunah, chesed. This is our spiritual Mace. This is our spiritual army.

This Arab teen and those like her are just the stick. G-d is the one who carries it – to inspire us to reflect on who we are and become better people. The stick is painful, but the goal of being close to G-d is so important that it has to come – either the easy way, or the hard way. Let’s choose the easy and happy way – one by one until we influence each other and the world around us.

If you haven’t already done so, we wanted to let you know that this is your last chance to get your prayers in to the Kotel for the 40 days leading up to Zos Chanukah! While it might not feel like it now, this is the time that builds up to the greatest potential spiritual light of the year. The sources say that on Zos Chanukah, a simple Jew can accomplish what only a tzaddik can on Yom Kippur. As we grow in our understanding of Hashem, correct our ways, and increase our mitzvot, our souls grow and have the capacity to hold more of the Divine light. This way we can parallel the time period and the light that Chanukah brings down, and merit Divine protection and blessings in more abundance – individually and as a nation.

Our prayer agents at the Kotel are here to help the process.

This is the time of Miracles. We are here to help you access yours.

Pray for me from Nov 5 through Zos Chanukah!


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