That time we went to Israel and almost died.

I was recently in Israel for a family occasion and we all almost died. A missile launched from Syria landed a few football fields away from where we were playing in the water. Although there were several booms heard in the distance and just yesterday a Syrian jet was shot down and our family could hear…actually feel the explosion due to our proximity to the Syrian border in the Golan Heights, we never imagined in a million years that such a close call could happen to us. I guess no one does.

The actual explosion was quick and unexpected. The only warning that we heard was the last 2 seconds of a loud whistle before it entered the water. It was incredible to see the water get blown out of the water, literally. It appeared to be about two stories high. I spoke with a tank specialist afterwards and he explained to me that the when such projectiles impact in the water, they don’t have the normally devastating affect they are intended for. The water very effectively slows the shrapnel. It is tough to imagine that had a little gust of wind not blown it out a bit during its short journey or had a different gust of wind slowed it down by even a little bit, I might not be writing this today.

Usually, in a life threatening situation we make a blessing, “Blessed are you HaShem….Who bestows good things upon the guilty, Who has bestowed every goodness upon me.” This is usually referred to as benching gomail. However, in such a case we do not make such a blessing. It wasn’t life threatening enough. The Brisker Rav was said to have told his students, “Every bullet has an address.” If the person next to a soldier is shot and survives, then he recites this beautiful blessing but those who were not shot do not. Since this rocket did not hurt anyone, we don’t recite the blessing referred to above. However, we can always take on to perform acts of loving kindness, give tzeddaka (charity), and other ways we show appreciation to the Almighty.

May the world see peace in our days. May HaShem always protect us from our enemies and may our enemies truly be decimated. (Amen).