Photo Credit: Jewish Press

In retrospect, it seemed like a really bad idea from the get-go. But then again, we are all familiar with the well-known observation that hindsight is indeed 20/20. What we can likewise attest to, however, is that even when life takes an unexpected turn, or in this case crash, the yad Hashem is often still very much visible, mitigating the fallout (pun intended) and guiding ensuing events with love and compassion.

It was the first early Shabbos of the year, the type of Friday when many of us (especially those of the female variety) wake up with a virtual countdown clock already audibly ticking in our brain. The type of day that urges (make that begs), the typical frum homemaker to do only that which is absolutely necessary, and not even think of undertaking anything superfluous, time-consuming, and/or potentially dangerous. Which would certainly explain why my son and his close friend opted to embark on a treacherous mountain biking trek that definitely qualified as all three.


And, with perfect Murphy’s Law predictability, suffice it to say that their ride did not end well. Quite the contrary in fact; their ride ended very abruptly and painfully when my son’s good friend hit a proverbial bump in the (off-)road at high speed and was unceremoniously thrown off his bike and onto the rocky trail.

And it was almost immediately evident from the sudden and excruciating pain he felt that he had most likely dislocated his shoulder from the fall. My son had suffered that exact same injury a year earlier, and was understandably experiencing some major deja vu emotions himself.

And that is precisely when the ‘hikdim refuah lamakah’ began to kick in. The first indication was the bright orange rubber ‘bracelet’ that my son was wearing on his wrist. His oldest daughter, aka my granddaughter, had given it to him several days earlier, and not wishing to insult her, he was still wearing it. It had been distributed by Hatzalah and their number was printed prominently on it. Shaking his head in wonder, my son immediately dialed Hatzalah and waited for them to send help.

The next minor miracle followed shortly after. The Hatzalah ambulance could not traverse the mountain trails to reach their position, but in an apparent mirage, a four-wheel-drive jeep, almost unheard of in Israel, soon appeared in their line of vision. Incredibly, the driver was a friend and neighbor of my son’s who had decided to camp out on the mountain on Thursday night and was now heading back home.

The jeep driver and my son loaded the injured friend into the very roomy jeep, and were able to transport him to the waiting ambulance, which then drove him to the emergency room of a hospital that is ten-minutes away from his home in another neighborhood.

The injury was so painful that the young man needed anesthetics before having his shoulder reset. (It was later determined that he also suffered an actual fracture in his shoulder socket.) His wife was able to meet him at the hospital, but his doctor was called to an emergency, and with Shabbos beginning so early, she was unable to wait around indefinitely until he was discharged. To her disappointment and dismay, it seemed entirely possible that he would not make it home in time for Shabbos.

Long story short, his doctor returned from treating the other patient and signed the discharge papers just in the nick of time. Another friend drove the young husband/father home with just minutes to spare before the Shabbos queen’s arrival. So, although sporting a sling and somewhat worse for wear, the intrepid biker was, baruch Hashem, able to spend a beautiful Shabbos with his family.

And, much to his wife’s relief, erev Shabbos bike rides were officially off the agenda for the next month or more. Doctor’s orders.



Baruch Hashem the young man recovered remarkably well over the next several months; so much so that his doctors were amazed that the fracture clearly visible on his x-rays was not causing him considerable pain and severely hampering the range of motion in his arm.

In fact, much to his wife’s chagrin, he and his mountain biking buddy, aka my dear son, have both officially signed up to participate in a grueling two-day biking event to take place in a few months time. For now, the two incorrigible guys have commenced an intensive training regimen, in order to be in top form for that annual fundraiser. As for myself, I am just hoping and praying that HaKadosh Baruch Hu continues to ride alongside them and keep them, and all of us, safe and sound, no matter how bumpy and treacherous the journey proves to be.


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