Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bentching gomel

There is a Jewish tradition to publicly acknowledge when you've survived a dangerous situation (eg serious illness, long travel, childbirth, etc).  It is traditionally done at one's first opportunity in front of a minyan and often done with a Torah present.

Last Friday night I was driving home around 8pm when I heard a loud bang and my car rattled.  [Aside: Yes, I know it was already shabbos, but after working a long week and having to work through the weekend it was the only time I had to run the errands that desperately needed to happen. Story of my life as a med student.]  I was on a pretty well traveled 4 lane road in a safe area, though there weren't really any other cars directly around me.  It took me 2 or so blocks to realize that my entire back windshield had shattered and another two or so blocks to realize that I probably should pull over.  I was in complete shock and baffled as to what had happened.  I then pulled into the first driveway I saw which happened to be a well lit grocery store & restaurant with people around.  Thank G!d!!!

Though I'm in my late 20s, and nearly a doctor, the first thing I did was to call my mom in tears.  While on the phone with her, still sitting in my car in shock, a sketchy silver car pulled into the lot, quickly turned around, and speed back out onto the street.  I thought it was strange but didn't make anything of it.  I called the police who came out to write an incident report.  The best idea we all could come up with was that maybe some kids were messing around with a BB gun or that a car in the opposite direction kicked up a big rock.

I have subsequently learned that an hour or two later that evening, on the same road, a friend of a friend's tire blew out while he was driving.  He pulled over immediately to see what happened. When he got out of his car he was jumped by 4 men.  They had thrown a brick at his tire.  He was badly beat up, robbed, and car jacked.  The police later told him that it was a gang initiation.  Thank G!d he's still alive. 

While it is possible that these two events are unrelated, it is pretty likely that they are directly linked.  I have no idea how many other people, if any, were injured or had property vandalized that night.  However, I'm pretty sure that had I gotten out of the car, as a single female in the dark, I would have fared a lot worse than the $250 it cost to replace the glass.



Birkhat Ha‑Gomeyl

 
hebrew from http://www.berachot.org/hebrew/hagomel.htm

"Blessing: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the Universe, Who bestows good things on the unworthy, and has bestowed on me every goodness."
Congregational Response: "Amen. He Who has bestowed on you every goodness, may He continue to bestow on you every goodness. Selah."

1 comment:

Solitary Diner said...

So sorry that this happened to you, but glad that you're otherwise okay. So sad that such things happen in this world.