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Teresa Gonzalez was recently attacked while backing out of a driveway in Hialeah, Florida. She was dragged from her vehicle, kicked and beaten with a gun. But the carjacker was to get the surprise of his life.

Gonzalez’s tiny 81-year-old mother leaped to the rescue. There was no time to call police. Her daughter was being savagely assaulted. She decided to take action.

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She jumped from the car. She grabbed the mugger by his shirt. She pounded him with her fists. There is much to say for the effect of a major adrenaline surge.

The man fired his gun. The bullet shattered a window. Apparently, he had had enough. He fled the scene in a getaway car.

Teresa Gonzalez wound up with bruises, scratches and a swollen eye. Who knows what would have happened if not for her mother’s intervention. After all, the thug was armed and had demonstrated he would use his gun.

The recent Chanukah holiday is the quintessential story of a brave senior citizen who stepped up to the plate. Matityahu was an elderly Jewish priest when he led the insurrection against Antiochus. His five sons along with the entire Jewish population were in grave spiritual danger. He decided to take action.

We all want someone else to champion the cause, to throw the punch, to be there to fight and defend us. Our tradition tells us that when we are in a place that there are no men (individuals who will stand up for what is right,) “be a man.”

Kol hakavod to the young and old, men and women, who are true heroes, and do not wait to be saved.

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