This is a true story – but you probably won’t believe it !
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.
The following story was posted on Facebook by Ya’akov Sandler .
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