Police officer Rami Ravid, while tending to a car accident last week, was approached from behind and stabbed by a Palestinian Arab with a 15-centimeter-long knife.
One of several recent incidents in a recent upsurge in terror, it occurred just outside the community of Adam, north of Jerusalem.
Ravid is well-known in Adam, where he serves the community in his line of duty. In the following commentary, Adam resident Rabbi Shalom Miller discusses his reaction on a personal level with United with Israel.
The horrific attempted murder shook our entire community.
The next day, after hearing that Rahamim ben Mazal (Ravid’s full Hebrew name), thank God, had survived the atrocity, I realized that something had to be done.
Too often, heroic Israelis risk their lives so that Jews can safely and peacefully live in their homeland. Often we hear names of victims on the news, but we have no way of identifying beyond sadness, concern or prayer.
But this time was different. This time it hit home because Rami is from ‘home’. He protects our families. This time, we could not simply hear the name and pray. We had to show that we cared.
My wife Batya had the idea to prepare a heartwarming care package for Rami and his family, and she received enthusiastic response from people wanting to contribute to this act of chesed (righteous kindness). She baked home-made cookies, and we added a box of chocolates, various teas, coffee, soups, hot chocolate, sucking candies, crackers and mugs. The florist at Ramat Beit HaKerem, the neighborhood adjacent to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, prepared a beautiful bouquet, highlighted by a decoration of “Birds of Paradise.”
Not quite sure what to expect, I set out to Shaare Zedek. Upon arrival, the lady at the information desk told me she thought that Rami was on the eighth floor in the Intensive Care Unit. When I exited the elevator, I noticed a group of people, including a police officer or two, crowded around. I said to myself, this must be it.
Noticing the two large packages, they directed me to the room where Rami’s family was camping out. Moshiach Ravid, his father, introduced himself.
I was speechless. What do you say in such a situation? The words that emerged from my mouth were, “We are with you.” Not just a simple We, the Millers, are with you, but We – so many families in the Land of Israel and in the Diaspora – are with you during your moments of pain and suffering.
Moshiach proceeded to tell me the story. He showed me graphic pictures (which I hope to forget) and described Rami’s heroism throughout the nightmarish incident. He played the audio recording of Rami calling his brother, while the dagger was still lodged in his back, saying in the most unimaginably calm way, “It’s nothing, but tell Mom and Dad that I am on the way to the hospital… it’s nothing.”
He went on to say that Rami was still in the ICU, in and out of surgeries and procedures; he lost a kidney and suffered wounds in other internal organs.
(Rami has since been released from hospital and is recuperating at home.)
I was as speechless when I left the room as when I had entered. All I could do was hug Rami’s father, turn to every single one of the 15 or so people there and repeat: “We are with you.”
Rami and his colleagues are not the first police officers in Jewish history. In fact, the ancient Egyptians established a Jewish police force to oversee the Hebrew slaves and to ensure that each group completed its daily quota of 600 bricks; otherwise, the Egyptians would whip the unproductive workers. The Jewish police, out of fear of God, were unwilling to increase the affliction upon their Jewish brethren. In the merit of their stand against the cruel Egyptian rulers, according to rabbinic legend, many of them became members of Israel’s Supreme Court in a later incarnation.
Our heroes on the front line might not make it to the Supreme Court in this world, but they surely have an honored place in the Supreme Court of the Upper World.
Rabbi Shalom Miller is founder and managing director of Oro Shel Adam, a Jerusalem program that “seeks to facilitate spiritual and personal growth.”
Date: Jan. 1, 2014