Thursday, June 15, 2006

A miracle

This afternoon a couple of young teenage girls were miraculously saved. They were waiting for a ride on the road near Rechallim, north of Jerusalem. A car stopped and two Arabs tried to force them in. One succeeded in escaping, but the other didn't. Baruch Hashem very soon after an army vehicle arrived and took chase. The girl was released.

One of the reasons we have to "tremp," hitchhike, is because the public transportation is insufficient. The public transportation is horrendous from some yishuvim. There is no public transportation at all between Beit El and north of the T-junction, meaning none to Ofra, Shiloh, Eli, Maale Levona etc. There are numerous educational institutions, especially large high schools in these communities, and the students and staff come from all over the area. Students, staff and ordinary people of all ages are forced to "tremp" and stand on roads.

Even the buses from Shiloh and Ofra going south which pass the T-Junction to Beit El won't let us off there. We have to rely on unpredictable rides. There's no way parents can enforce "only take a bus." I'm a teacher, and I have to "tremp."

In addition, the schools are getting much less government support, and the high schools have eliminated the free bus service which once existed for all students and staff. To make matters even worse, the local council has instructed its drivers not to pick up hitch hikers. So we have no choice other than "tremp."

Rechallim is the location of the murder of my friend Rachella Druk of Shiloh over 15 years ago, when we were all going to a demonstration to encourage Yitzchak Shamir, then Prime Minister, to be strong and defend us at the Madrid Conference. Three buses left Shiloh, and terrorists shot up the second one, murdering Rachella, Yitzchak Rofeh, the bus driver, and injuring others, including Harel Bin Nun, who was later murdered in Yitzhar.


Yoel.Ben-Avraham said...

We live where we live and no amount of well-wishing will change that. To stand on the road looking for rides is foolish and now proven dangerous.

Yes sending a bus for 5 people from Shilo/Eli/Maalei Levona is not cost effective but the bus is still sent! For instance the 9:00PM bus!

I'm thrilled the girls and their families were spared the agony of rape & death but if they were my daughters ... after mentioning to them EVERY time they leave the house "no hitch-hiking on the roads, only within the communities" ...

We who provide rides to kids standing on the road ENCOURAGE them in this very dangerous activity.

My two cents

Batya said...

I used to stay inside Ofra waiting for rides home, but I gave up after freezing in the cold night for over half an hour frequently, when I could see people stopping and picking up others, ignoring the signal light I kept having to run across the street every 7 minutes to turn on. That's not healthy either.

Anonymous said...

those who blame the victims, and complain about the youth who hitch hike are justifying the do nothing attitude of the army and the government. What an outrage. Before we start discussing whether parents ought to let their children hitchhike, we should insist that it be impossible for anyone to try to kidnap on a main highway in the light of day. The punishment should unquestionably be death. Those bastards should have been shot down instead of arrested! that way, others would get the message. By continuously exhibiting our weakness, we are encouraging these sons-of-amalek to pick on us.

Batya said...

Shimonz, you're right! The girls aren't at fault; there aren't transportation alternatives, and the terrorists should be stopped.

westbankmama said...

These girls did not get into a strange car - they would have only gone with people that they trusted. The terrorists took advantage of the fact that there were two teenage girls alone. This could have happened anywhere else that two Jews were standing alone in a sparsely populated place - like in the south, for example.

Batya said...