“Dovid, shut the door,” said Pnina as she heard the shots ring out.
Pnina and Dovid were serving customers in their little haberdashery near the corner of Jaffa Road in the center of Jerusalem.
Dovid, an agile man for his age, moved quickly across the short distance and locked the store.
“Pnina, take these ladies into the storeroom and please get my gun from the safe. I’m putting on my police uniform so that I won’t get hit by friendly fire.”
Dovid kept his uniform in the shop. He would go directly on reserve duty two or three times a week after work.
“Dovid, be careful. You don’t know what’s going on outside.”
“Pnina, God saved us both from the Shoah. He will protect me.” Dovid was not religious, but his belief in God was unshakeable.
“Be careful, anyway,” Pnina knew better than to question her husband’s trust in God.
“Lock the door behind me, and stay in the storeroom.”
He knew his instructions were in vain. His wife would stay by the door and keep an eye on him.
Pnina locked the door as Dovid eased his way outside and knelt down behind the metal cabinet holding the telephone circuitry.
Dovid looked around. A woman and a small boy were lying flat on the ground nearby.
“Quick, run to my shop, my wife will let you in.”
Fear kept the mother and son glued to the pavement. Crouching low, Dovid ran over.
“Hold my hand, let’s go together.”
He picked up the little boy, holding him in one arm, grabbed the woman’s hand and helped her towards the door.
Pnina opened the door and pulled the pair inside.
Dovid turned back and crawled along the curb. He stood up carefully behind a lamppost.
A paratrooper, wearing a kippa, brown boots with a red beret pinned to his shoulder was across the road. They looked at each other. The younger man pointed towards the corner. One of the terrorists was hiding behind a wall; they could see the barrel of his gun.
The Arab ran towards Dovid, not caring whether he lived or died, firing rapidly. Dovid’s return fire did not stop the wild charge. Suddenly, he fell to the ground his face and chest covered in blood. The young soldier has saved Dovid from harm.
Dovid and the soldier looked around and seeing the supine body not moving and no other danger ran towards the fallen enemy. The soldier having checked that neither the body nor the dead mans weapon were not booby trapped, rolled him over with his foot, and picked up the discarded weapon.
Dovid and Yoram shook hands in a necessarily brief introduction.
Before they could talk, a hail of bullets forced the new acquaintances to hug the pavement.
“What do we do now?” asked Dovid, deferring to the younger man’s current military status.
“I suggest you wait here, let the anti-terror force do their job, they’ll be here any moment. I’ll take cover across the road behind that pillar.”
“Be careful, son. Don’t take risks.”
“I’ve been in the army for four years, God hasn’t let me down yet.”
Yoram raised himself up slowly, looked around and ran across the road.
Shots rang out, Yoram went down just as he reached the pillar. Dovid thought the young man may have been hit, but was not sure. In the confusion he could not make out the source of the shots.
Soon the area was teeming with police, one of whom came up to Dovid. “Let us take care of things now, Uncle,” he said politely but firmly.
Dovid stayed on the groung out of danger.
About an hour later all seemed quiet. Police and army personnel directed ambulances and security vehicles. People left their places of temporary refuge.
Dovid, ventured out into the open, he wanted to find Yoram.
He approached a paramedic. “The paratrooper behind that pillar, was he badly hurt?” asked Dovid.
“I don’t really know, but they’ve taken him off to hospital already.”
Dovid’s heart skipped a few beats. Brave young man, I hope he’s OK.
“Yoram, praise the Lord, you’re OK.” Dovid smiled as he approached the bed with Pnina and their granddaughter Elie.
“Pnina, Elie, this is the young man who saved my life this morning. Yoram this is my wife, Pnina and youngest granddaughter, Elie. She’s the only one who isn’t married yet.”
Elie blushed. “Grandpa, you talk too much.”
“I’ll be out of here in a few days. I got hit in the leg. The doctors say there’ll be no lasting damage. My parents are coming from Eilat, but won’t be here ‘til tomorrow. Stay a while and keep me company.”
Soon the youngsters were in conversation, joking and laughing easily.
Dovid and Pnina slowly receded into the background.
Pnina looked at Dovid, and said with a smile. “From evil comes good. God always seems to have a plan, even if we don’t understand.”