The following event took place one Saturday, a week after Israel made its first ground incursion into Gaza. Ariel Tale, 20 years old from Kiryat Malachi, a sergeant in the Mechanical Engineering and Equipment Battalion, entered the area with his friends on the D9 bulldozer. “After we entered”, says Tale, “it became apparent that we had a technical problem with our bulldozer, and were forced to leave the territory and return to Israel. On the way back we noticed thick smoke that was coming out of the engine. We jumped out quickly, and within a few seconds the bulldozer caught fire before our eyes.”
Tale and his friend – the D9 operator, tried to put the fire out with fire extinguishers, but to no avail. Fire crews called to the scene, took over the fire and dragged the bulldozer into Israeli territory. When everything calmed down, Tale, who has been putting on tefillin daily for the past few years, suddenly remembered that his tefillin are in the bulldozer.
“Since I put on tefillin every day, I try to take them with me everywhere. Here too, I made sure to take them before heading into battle. When I stepped into the bulldozer I saw that everything was completely burned.”
“After a light search, I found my tefillin, and was amazed that they remained intact. They were a bit wet from the fire extinguishers, but otherwise – everything remained as is. It’s a real miracle, I can not explain it any other way.”