The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 30 May 2009 / 6 Sivan 5769

The Saving Siren

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Participation in a Daf Yomi shiur in Talmud was an indispensable part of the daily schedule of a respected London philanthropist. When extraordinary circumstances compelled him one day to miss this beloved session, he decided to take along with him in his auto a recording of the page of Talmud learned that day so that he could listen to it while driving.

On the highway outside of London he found himself behind a huge truck moving at a very slow pace. As he began to make a move to bypass the truck he heard a police siren. Assuming that a police car was interested in passing the slow truck before him he quickly returned to his lane and waited to see the police car pass by. But no police car appeared nor did he see in his side mirror any of the blinking lights of a police vehicle. Seconds later he saw a big semi-trailer coming from the other direction and realized that it was the siren that had saved his life.

Failing to sight any police car he realized that his near-death experience had some mystical element. But since the momentary lapse in listening to the tape caused him to lose track of the subject studied, he decided to rewind the tape a few minutes back. Then he heard the siren again. This time, however, he realized that the siren was part of the tape and that when the recording was made 25 years earlier in a small Beit Midrash in Jerusalem, a police siren could be heard outside.

Thus was a siren orchestrated by Heaven to save the life of a Jew devoted to Torah study.

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