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.
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."