Late at night at the Poleg interchange in Netanya five Arabs angrily approach an Israeli soldier with outstretched knives. This soldier named Tzachi was one of the worst shooters possible. In target practice he would totally miss the shaded silhouette figures of the people on the target…but that night, miraculously he was a crack shot! He killed four of the terrorists that tried to kill him with clean direct shots. But he had a panic attack ran onto the highway and grabbed the first ride he could get away from there and didn’t stay around to report anything. The fifth Arab terrorist took all the knives back and disappeared back home.
The police detectives that came to the intersection were shocked at the carnage that seemed unprovoked. There were no knives around because the Fifth Arab took them away and there was no one around to report what transpired. It looked like shoot and run murder. The same night they were able to track down and catch Tzachi.
All his claims of getting attacked fell on deaf ears. “Where are the knives”, they asked. “How can someone being attacked successfully take down four attackers so effectively… you’re not the innocent guy you say you are, you really were the attacker.”
Tzachi was judged in military court and sentenced to four life sentences for murder!
In jail Tzachi tried improving his conditions but was repeatedly rebuffed. He was considered a dangerous murderer.
In the end Tzachi who wasn’t religious ended up speaking with the prison rabbi and pouring his heart out to him. He had questions of faith; “G-d saved me from certain death so why did he throw me here into jail for the rest of my life?”
The rabbi asked him, “How do you know G-d saved you? Tzachi answered, “at the moment those ruthless murderers approached me and I stood before death, I begged G-d to save me!”
The rabbi continued, “But from where did you know to cry out to G-d, you’re not religious?”
Tzachi answered: “At that moment I remembered my righteous grandfather of blessed memory that always used to tell me: “Tzachi, G-d even helps those who don’t know and recognize him if that person cries out in truth, for “G-d is close to ALL who call him…”
This was a surprising answer for the rabbi to hear. This rabbi told the story to Rabbi Shteinman in Bnei Brak and what the soldier said in complaint against G-d.
Rabbi Shteinman replied; “He already knows firsthand that G-d helps those who call out to him so why doesn’t he again ask G-d for help with this too? Let him pray more, why doesn’t he pray?”
The rabbi asked Rabbi Shteinman: “What can he pray for when he prayed to be save he had a gun in his hand but now is after the fact he has four life sentences…?”
Rabbi Shteinman began to laugh and exclaimed: “Did he know how to shoot at all? No! But he prayed with all his heart and succeeded in killing his attackers! Let him cry out and again ask G-d to save him!”
The rabbi retold that he went back to prison and told him what rabbi Shteinman said. I encouraged him and I told him; “Pray to G-d, pray with all your heart.”
“A few weeks later I was walking in the street’ said the Rabbi and I see Tzachi there free as a bird. I rubbed my eyes to make sure I was seeing straight and I asked him; “What are YOU doing here? You had four life sentences? Did you run away from prison?”
His answer surprised me: “G-d heard my prayers and I walked out free… the general security service caught the fifth Arab and after a long interrogation he told them what happened that night. He admitted they attempted to murder me and he admitted escaping death and taking the knives with him back to the village. The detectives found the knives and set me free…