Daily Israel Report

'Even Those Who Do Not Believe Admit It's a Miracle'

For 40 years, prayers were held at an Ashdod synagogue every Sabbath. This week was the first exception – and the congregation was saved.
By Yoni Kempinski and Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/30/2011, 9:36 PM

A classroom in a special education school in Ashdod has served as a makeshift synagogue on Sabbaths for 40 years running. Throughout those years, not one Sabbath prayer was missed. Until this last Sabbath. And that was what saved the congregants from a Gaza missile that struck the synagogue's courtyard Saturday.

Netanel Mor Yosef, a member of the congregation, explained to Arutz Sheva:

"The synagogue is active, but only on the Sabbath, for the past 40 years. Not a single Sabbath prayer session was ever missed until this week. Then synagogue's gabbai (treasurer-manager) underwent an operation during the week and was unable to come to open the synagogue doors. So there was no service, of course. Then we saw that the missile had lodged a direct hit. Normally, the area surrounding the spot where the missile hit would be full of people during all of those hours on Shabbat. 

"Thank G-d this was a visible miracle, the synagogue was closed, the congregants and the residents acted in accordance with the Home Front's instructions and the great damage that should have happened was averted.

"No one thinks about the Kassam itself. All day long the talk is about the miracle, how it happened, and everyone – even those who are not believers – is unanimous in agreeing that what occured was a miracle. A great miracle - without doubt.

"From here we call on all the residents to become stronger [in their faith], and also to listen to the [Home Front Command's] instructions, we do not disparage that, but we saw a great miracle here and one cannot ignore this reality. I invite everyone to come and see, and the miracle will become more tangible to them."