If you live in Israel, like I have for the last three decades, miracles are part of everyday occurrence. The trick is of course to recognize them. During the last (and may it be the last) intifada, we all became aware again how our lives are protected miraculously.
Daniel Cohen, a father of five, was in the middle of his work day waiting for a bus to get to the next part of his job. It was November 2015 terrorist stabbings had become a daily event for Israelis. That same day two other people (including an eighty-year-old woman) were stabbed (and none were killed) in different cities. Israelis citizens were under personal attack in their very own streets. Everyone walked with an extra alertness, but really no one knew how to prepare for the worst. Do you stand for a bus in the bus shelter so your back is protected? But then you can’t move out of it quickly if someone attacks in it. Do you walk fast so it is harder to catch you? Yet, maybe you will then just run into an attacker faster. Do you stare at every person who is walking with their hands in their pockets? Maybe people are going to think you are the terrorist. Terrorism is just that – it create terror; an anxiety filled atmosphere even when nothing is going on. Daniel was alert and try to be careful but wasn’t suspicious of anyone. He didn’t see it coming.
Suddenly a terrorist lunged at him and tried strangling him.
“I felt like my neck was going to snap. He took out a knife and tried to behead me. I tried to move him with my hand and then he tried to stab me in the neck. I moved my head so he hit my jaw, near the ear. He pushed me to the floor and stabbed along my left side, in my chest, in my stomach, and in my shoulder,” he recounted.
When Magen David Adom paramedics arrived he was still conscious. They rushed him into a four-hour surgery. It went well. His spleen liver and intestines had been seriously damaged. They needed to take out his spleen and a bit of his liver. As they were treating his organs, they found a growth in his intestine which proved to be malignant. The doctors cut it out immediately and sewed him up.
“Thank God, I am now in good condition a week later, actually in a better situation than I knew before,” he said. The doctors told him his life was saved having the tumor removed when it was; it hadn’t done damage or spread elsewhere yet. The terrorist had wanted to kill him and the irony is he saved him miraculously, instead.
By Tziyona Kantor