Article / ss

​Jerry came to Israel on business

every few months. On that day in

August 2001 he had a busy day

planned ahead.

He was on Jaffa Street in

Jerusalem, in the center of town,

and was looking for somewhere

where he could buy a quick bite to

eat before his next appointment.

On the corner of King George

Street and Jaffa Street he saw a

restaurant called ‘Sbarro’ and

entered.

There was a long line and he

waited impatiently looking at his

watch. The man in front of him

sensed his impatience and asked

‘Are you in a hurry to get

somewhere ?’ Jerry answered

‘Yeah, I’ve got a meeting in

another few minutes’. ‘O.K.’ he

replied ‘you can go in front of

me’. Jerry thanked the man and

ordered his food. He sat down, ate

very quickly and went on his way

to his meeting.

Jerry had only managed to take a

few steps away from the

restaurant and he heard the most

powerful boom in his ears. He

turned around and saw complete

destruction – the restaurant had

been blown up by a terrorist.

There was a strong smell of

burning in the air, screams for

help, broken glass and mayhem

was all around. Within minutes

ambulances were on the scene.

15 innocent people had been

killed on that awful day, and many

more injured.

Jerry was in a daze and he

realized that only because he had

got out quickly had he been

saved. He also realized that the

man that had let him go in front of

him had still been inside.

Jerry ran into the confusion and

looked for the man, but wasn’t

able to find him. He didn’t want to

give up, maybe the man had been

amongst those killed ! The mans

kindness of letting him in front

had saved his life, he had to know

what had happened to him, and so

he went from hospital to hospital

looking for this man.

After a lot of effort Jerry found the

man in one of the hospitals. He

was in intensive care in serious

but not fatal condition. His body

was full of shrapnel and he was

hooked up to various machines.

The mans son was by his side.

Jerry told the son what had

happened and he added ‘His small

act of kindness of letting me go in

front not only saved my life, but

also his own life – I have no

doubt’.

The doctors notified the son that

his father would be OK, but there

would be a long process of

surgeries and rehab before he

would be 100%. Jerry told the son

‘I owe a lot to your father, and I

have no idea how I can thank him.

Soon I am flying back to New

York, here is my phone number, if

there is anything I can do for your

father please, please don’t hesitate

to call me’.

The next few weeks were very

difficult for the man. He had

surgery several times and the

doctors decided that for a specific

operation that needed to be done

he would need to fly to Boston. He

had no family in the U.S. , but the

son remembered Jerry and so he

gave him a call. Jerry told the son

– ‘Don’t you worry about a single

thing ! I am going to put my

business aside until everything is

taken care of so that your father

can come to Boston as soon as

possible’.

And so it was on 11th September

2001 at 8:30 in the morning the

plane landed in Boston. Jerry was

waiting for the man his wife and

his son in the airport and greeted

them warmly. The family started to

thank Jerry when suddenly there

was complete panic all around in

the airport. Security guards were

running in all directions, cell

phones were ringing and people

were in hysteria. Within a few

minutes the dreadful picture had

been clarified – terrorists had

taken over planes and flown them

into the twin towers in New York.

Jerry’s face went white, for a few

seconds he felt paralyzed from the

shock and wasn’t able to speak.

After he had digested the news he

turned to the man and said ‘this is

the second time that my life has

been saved because of you’.

Jerry’s office was on the 101st

floor of the twin towers.

The real reward for our efforts and

good deeds is in the world to

come, but sometimes when we do

a good deed G-d lets us know

that even in this world a good

deed is worth even more than life

itself.

Writer: yakvc Sandler

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