‘For Your Miracles Which Are With Us Daily’

By Yossi Golds

Two brothers, Elazar and Dovi, were wounded in the terror shooting in Yerushalayim on Motzoei Shabbos. Their father, Harav Yechezkel Prober, tells Hamodia about their courage and faith as well as their message to Am Yisrael.

Harav Yechezkel Prober of Telz Stone, who serves as a Mashgiach in several yeshivos, is very emotional when discussing the terror shooting in Yerushalayim on Motzoei Shabbos. He is endlessly thankful to Hashem for the many nissim that made it possible for his two sons Dovi and Elazar to emerge with only light wounds.

“V’al nissecha shebechol yom imanu, and for Your miracles which are with us daily!” he declares.
“As one of the doctors — not shomer Torah u’mitzvos — told me yesterday, ‘you received a smile from Heaven.’ He is right. The boys were that close to being in a totally different situation.”

When did you hear of the attack?

It was just before 1:30 a.m. on Motzoei Shabbos, when I received the call from my 16-year-old son Dovi. His full name is Baruch Dov, named for our illustrious ancestor Hagaon Harav Baruch Ber Leibowitz, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivah of Kamenitz. He told us, hysterically, that there had just been a terror attack on the bus that he and Elazar, 19, had been on, returning from the Kosel and Kever Dovid, after davening there ahead of the new Elul zman.

Every Motzoei Shabbos there is a melaveh malkah with singing and dancing at Kever Dovid and during bein hazmanim it goes until even later.

I asked him about Elazar — whose full name is Elazar Menachem Man, named for the Rosh Yeshivah Hagaon Harav Shach, zt”l. He said that Elazar had run to tend to the other wounded passengers. It’s unbelievable to comprehend. He had taken a first-aid course during one bein hazmanim, and now put it to use — even as he himself had been hit.

When we came to the hospital to see Elazar, I saw that his hands were bloodied, even though he was shot in the shoulder. He told me humbly that he had tended to another wounded man until the medics arrived. This man was involved in opening the ramp for an older woman to enter the bus, which had allowed the terrorist the extra time to shoot into the bus.

I understand that they had wanted to board an earlier bus.

Yes, a No. 3 bus had passed the bus stop minutes earlier, but it was full, so they waited for the next bus. One can only imagine what the damage would’ve been — chas v’shalom — had the terrorist attacked the earlier, fuller bus.

Both your sons were hit in the shoulder?

Both of them were shot during the attack. The bullets entered one side of the shoulder and exited the other, and nothing serious happened to them.
The orthopedists at the hospital said that Elazar was very lucky. Had the bullet hit a little deeper, he would not have been alive. It’s a miracle.
They’re naturally still shaken up after the events, but baruch Hashem we’re all here, together and back home.
Dovi was released from the hospital on Sunday, and Elazar was hospitalized overnight and released on Monday.

Were they taken to the same hospital?

They were taken to different hospitals, Elazar to Hadassah Mt. Scopus and Dovi to Shaare Zedek. I suppose it depends on the severity of the wound, but for us it was painful to spend the night driving back and forth between the two hospitals…

And once Dovi was released, he went to reunite with Elazar.

Yes, that was a very special moment. On Sunday afternoon Dovi, who had just been discharged from Shaare Zedek, asked to go visit Elazar. It was a memorable reunion.

How did your sons manage to be so strong, to come through this situation in such a manner?

It’s hard for them to talk about. To think that they were in such close proximity to a terrorist; there was the panic on the one hand, the adrenalin on the other, and the thought that the terrorist might be inching back and coming to shoot again. This really shook them up.

But ultimately they are both serious yeshivah bachurim, both learning in Yeshivas Rinah shel Torah in Carmiel, in northern Israel, and their chinuch in emunah and hashgachah pratis is sound. They are simply full of praise to Hashem, al kol neshimah u’neshimah tehalal Kah, for each and every breath praised is Hashem.

They tell us, the rest of the family, that we too need to thank Hashem for giving us, as a present, two sons and brothers anew.

My sons, the tzaddikim, tell me, “Abba, we need to increase our Torah and maasim tovim, after witnessing and being zocheh to such nissim.” They feel they must add zechuyos to their tally. That is the way a yeshivah bachur looks at things, looking for the real tachlis and the deeper meaning in each thing.
There were others on the bus who weren’t so fortunate.

I’d like to wish a refuah sheleimah to all those who were hurt, and hope these hard times will pass. We daven for all the other wounded, and we heard today [Monday] that there was an improvement in the situation of the other wounded, may they all have a full refuah speedily.

Any final message?

We have all heard of terror attacks, when from just one bullet much damage was caused and numerous lives were lost. Here, my two sons were both hit by bullets and minimal damage was caused, and they are baruch Hashem alive and well, and back home.

I had an operation on my leg three or four years ago and I couldn’t walk for several weeks. It is only after one goes through an operation that he can appreciate what we take for granted all our lives. The human body is a nes, the way it functions and how everything works so precisely. That itself is a lesson in hashgachah pratis.

My Mashgiach, Hagaon Harav Dov Yaffe, zt”l, would explain the Chazal that for each and every breath one must praise Hashem. It teaches us that we need to know how to act and react for everything that we receive. I saw this with my sons, who are both now all well, b’chessed Hashem, and perhaps we can take their message and expand on it.

I was interviewed over the past day by several mainstream Israeli media channels, and for them I tried to add the thanks that one must give to Hakadosh Baruch Hu for giving us our sons, but I think that talking to the readership of Hamodia we can strive for a little more, for chizuk in Torah and mitzvos, in bein adam lachaveiro, especially during bein hazmanim, a time when limud haTorah might be slightly lacking.
May Hashem help that we know no more sorrow and anguish, and that we are able to come to daven in Yerushalayim, in the mekomos hakedoshim, safely and securely.

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