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Closing the Circle

Looking stealthily in all directions, she made her way towards the Shavei Chevron Yeshivah, located in the Beit Romano building in the center of Hebron. A female terrorist had chosen this location to perpetrate an attack on the 200 students learning within. Armed with a butcher knife, she managed to penetrate the yeshivah's courtyard. A young student was standing in the courtyard and she selected him as her first target. Stealing up quietly behind him, she stabbed him swiftly in his back.

Nearby, an Israeli soldier named Nissim Chayoun was stationed. He noticed what happened and immediately jumped out of his position, threw himself at the terrorist and disarmed her. However, the student, Chananel Gafry, was critically wounded. Blood oozed out of the wound in his back. The victim was rushed to Shaarei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem.

When he was brought into the operating room, it became clear that Chananel's life had been saved by a miracle. The knife entered his body but missed his vital organs by only a few millimeters.

His mother, Yehudis Gafry, heard of the accident and rushed to the hospital to be with her son. She was relieved and grateful to discover that her son's injuries were not considered life-threatening. She thought back to the miracle that surrounded the birth of her son...

Yehudis works as a pharmacist in Kiryat Malachi, Israel. However, she is more than just a pharmacist. She is well-known for her care and concern for others, and spares no effort to help her customers as well as anyone else in need. One special project of hers is to encourage Jewish women to enlarge their families, in keeping with the directives of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. She supports pregnant women, both spiritually and materially, and if there is a woman who is considering abortion, G-d forbid, Yehudis does what she can to assist her to complete the pregnancy.

Her son Chananel himself was born due to a blessing of the Rebbe. Yehudis and her husband had been blessed with two daughters, but very much wanted a son. Years passed but they had no more children. They visited doctors but were told that it was very unlikely that they'd bear any more children.

However, Yehudis did not lose hope. She wrote a letter to the Rebbe and received his blessing. Shortly afterwards, her son was born. She named him Chananel, which means “Gift of G-d.”

Chananel recuperated from his wounds and was soon released from the hospital. About two weeks after the incident, an old-time client and acquaintance, Mrs. Chayoun, entered the pharmacy where Yehudis works. With her face shining with pride, she told Yehudis and the other people present that her son had received a mark of honor from the Israeli Army for saving Jewish lives in Hebron.

Yehudis immediately realized to which incident her friend was referring. “Mrs. Chayoun,” she cried out with great emotion, “my Chananel is the boy who was wounded! Your son saved my son's life!” she added, running around the counter in order to embrace Nissim's mother, weeping in joy and gratitude.

They embraced for a few moments, when Mrs. Chayoun suddenly cried out, “What a wonderful coincidence! My son saved your son--but you saved my son's life, many years before!”

“Twenty years ago,” Mrs. Chayoun related, “we had three daughters and for various reasons, decided that we did not want any more children. It so happened that I mentioned this to you during a chat in your pharmacy. You did everything in your power to persuade me to enlarge my family, stressing how important it was for a Jewish home and how many additional blessings another Jewish child will bring.”

Yehudis recalled the incident. She had spoken to Mrs. Chayoun and was successful in persuading her to try for another child. Together, they had both written the Rebbe asking for his blessing, and a year later, Nissim was born.

“I am terrified even to imagine what further harm that terrorist could have done to my Chananel,” whispered Yehudis in a choked voice, “if not for your Nissim's swift reaction.” Yehudis wiped away a tear from the corner of her eye and added, “It was worth the trouble I took to convince you to have another child.”

 

 


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