Efrat Saved 1,658 Jewish Babies Last Year

The Efrat Organization, dedicated to fighting unnecessary abortions, tells the story of a soldier who was saved by his friend - who himself had been saved before birth, in "unique" circumstances.

, | updated: 16:21

The Efrat organization, dedicated to preventing the #1 cause of death in Israel - abortion - continues to register successes. In the year 2004, Efrat saved the lives of 1,658 Jewish children in Israel, by providing social and financial support to mothers who had planned to abort for socio-economic and related reasons. The number of successes in 2003 was 1,448.

Recently, a story was publicized in a work entitled Aleinu L'Shabe'ach (We Must Praise) by Rabbi Zilberstein of Bnei Brak, son-in-law of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and the rabbinic advisor to the Maayanei HaYeshuah Hospital in Bnei Brak. Though the names have been changed, the facts are accurate, as testified to by more than one person. The incident occurred as follows:

Yoav, a young IDF soldier, was manning an isolated guard post in Hevron in the middle of the night when he was shot by an Arab sniper. With no one to help him, and unable to radio for help, it appeared that he would bleed to death before he could be found. Another soldier, however, did hear something. Not sure, he went to investigate, and spotted Yoav lying on the ground, bleeding profusely.

The soldier immediately began to administer first aid, and arranged for Yoav to be transported to a medical facility - applying manual pressure until the ambulance could arrive. Eventually, Yoav arrived and was treated at a proper medical facility. The doctors told his parents that had it not been for the immediate and appropriate actions of the other soldier, their son Yoav would definitely not have survived. It was indeed a miracle that the other soldier heard what no one else heard, the parents felt, and looked for him to thank him. But he had already left the hospital.

During Yoav's recovery period, his family called the army to find out the name of the soldier who had saved Yoav's life. No one knew. Finally, Yoav's parents put up a sign in the grocery store they own in Kiryat Malachi. They described the miracle that had occurred, and asked for information on the identity of Yoav's savior. "Israel is a small country," they thought, "and someone might know someone who knows someone, etc."

It took a year. A woman entered the store one day and saw the sign. She was positive that her son Doron had mentioned such an account. She took out her cellphone and called Doron on the spot. Sure enough, he remembered the incident quite well, and it was he who had saved Yoav's life.

Soon all the families gathered together for a joyful, tearful celebration - but one of the mothers knew that there was an extra reason to celebrate. Doron's mother pulled Yoav's mother aside and told her,
"There is a specific reason why I came to your store today. You don't remember me, but twenty years ago, I was standing in your store feeling lost and forlorn. You and your wonderful husband noticed how sad I looked and asked me what was the matter. I explained that I was pregnant and was overwhelmed. There were so many unbearable difficulties, financially, socially and emotionally. I had decided that the only way out was to have an abortion.

"You both stopped everything, and calmly and lovingly sat with me. You listened to me. Then you offered so much encouragement and support. Because of you, everything began to look different and I chose to keep my baby. I no longer live around here, but I happened to be passing through and I figured it would be nice to visit your store again to thank you once again for all that you did for me. The name of that precious baby was Doron. My beloved Doron, who would not have been born were it not for you, grew up to save your son Yoav's life."

North Americans who want more information on how to help Efrat can call toll-free 1-800 273 4314.