A Strange Twist of Fate

What I am about to relate to you is a true story. It was related to me several months ago.

Yoav, a young IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldier was stationed in the city of Hebron during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. He was shot by an Arab sniper and left for dead. As it was four o’clock in the morning, and no imminent attack was expected; no one was awake to hear the shot and rush to his aid. It appeared as though Yoav was doomed to bleed to death before anybody would ever find him. His short life was about to come to a tragic silent end.


Another soldier, some distance away, heard something. Though not totally certain, he suspected it might have been a rifle shot so he went to investigate. He spotted Yoav lying on the ground, bleeding profusely. He immediately stabilized the wound and called for emergency backup. As he waited for aid to arrive, he applied manual pressure to stop the wound – literally holding Yoav’s life in his hands.

Eventually, Yoav arrived at a proper medical facility where he was treated by surgeons. Yoav’s parents were notified and rushed to the hospital. The doctors told them that had it not been for the immediate and appropriate actions of that unknown soldier, their son Yoav would not have survived. It was a miracle that the other soldier had heard what no one else apparently had heard, and that was the reason he managed to locate Yoav as quickly as he did. The family wanted to thank this silent savior, but he had already left the hospital and returned to service.

After Yoav recuperated, and everyone was settled, they called the army to find out the name of this other soldier so they could thank him personally. Unfortunately, the soldier’s name had not been recorded in the incident report, so they now had absolutely no way of contacting him.

Yoav’s parents owned a small makolet (grocery store) in Kiryat Malachi, so they put up a poster in their store, describing the miracle that had saved the life of their son, asking if anyone knew the identity of this unknown soldier to whom they owed so much. Being a small country, the family assumed that somehow, someday, someone might know someone else who possibly could locate this soldier.

Months passed with no response. Finally, a year later, a woman entered the store and noticed the sign. She was positive that her son Doron had mentioned such an account to her family months before. She took out her cellphone and called him. Sure enough, he remembered the incident in great detail. It was he who had saved Yoav’s life.

That night, the two families gathered for a tearful meeting. Doron’s mother pulled Yoav’s mother aside and whispered to her, “There is a specific reason that I came to your store today. You don’t remember me, but twenty years ago, I was standing in your makolet feeling lost and forlorn. You and your wonderful husband noticed how sad I looked and you asked me what was the matter. I explained that I was pregnant and that I was overwhelmed and confused. There were so many unbearable difficulties; financially, socially and emotionally. I decided that the only way out was to have an abortion.” Yoav’s mother listened attentively not quite understanding where this was leading.

“You both stopped everything, and calmly and lovingly sat with me. You listened to me. You offered me encouragement and support, and I never forgot that. Because of you, everything began to look different and I decided to keep my baby after all.”

“I don’t live around here any more”, she said, “but I happened to be passing through the town and I thought it would be nice to visit you again and to thank you for what you did. I also wanted to tell you something you couldn’t possibly know. I named my baby Doron. It was he who saved your son’s life that night.”

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