Avi was busy writing tickets. There was never a shortage of drivers who had left their vehicles as easy targets. On the sidewalk, off the sidewalk. This was Israel. The job of a traffic policeman is never easy. At least his beard had him fit in with the religious neighborhood of Geula which was densely populated by scurrying men in black hats and coats and women in headscarves and long dresses pushing strollers and holding hands with their children. Jovial and heavyset he made the best of his days.
Looking up he noticed a large truck parked at an angle against the curb. This should not have been enough to cause alarm but his heart told him otherwise. The sense of danger concerning this vehicle made him spring into action. Shouting and waving he cleared the pedestrians out of the way. A scan of the truck’s registration from his police vehicles onboard computer proved suspicious.
He began to panic. Urgently he called for the bomb squad. Within a few minutes several men loaded with protective gear set up for the complex and difficult task of disarming with the efficiency only found in ex-military. They all knew what they were in for. If they got it in time, they would all go home to their families tonight. If not… it was laden with enough deadly explosives to blow up the whole neighborhood. The job would take hours. Concentrated mental effort required pushing aside all thoughts of their loved ones. All thoughts of “what if”
When it was finally done, they all breathed a sigh of relief. All in a days work.
Together they recalled the miracles they had just lived through. First, Avi really had nothing to go on other than his intuition. But he was just the right person to be able to act and that people would listen to. Secondly, those explosives really should have blown. It had taken them several hours. The terrorists had gotten away. Why wasn’t their remote activation device working?
Most people who live in Geula have been praying daily. It is a way of life, from childhood. As soon as the word got out that there was immediate danger in the neighborhood, hundreds of fervent prayers from the heart went up to God for protection and assistance for everyone.
That night, after the truck had been safely taken away, the grateful people of the neighborhood erected a podium at the very spot where the truck had stood. They brought a band of musicians and danced in the street all night, rejoicing in God’s mercy and vigilant protection, in spite of all our mistakes.
The policeman in this story is an acquaintance of my daughter in law. He was embarrassed to be mentioned as a hero in the newspapers.