April 19, 2007

In the Line of Fire

The heroism of Israeli Professor Liviu Libresco in placing himself in the line of fire to protect his students at Virginia Tech reminded me of another younger hero in similar circumstances.

On Friday night, December 27, 2002 over a hundred Israeli teenagers and young adults sat down for the Sabbath meal at the yeshiva of Otniel in Judea. Four of the students whose turn it was to be the evening's "waiters" went to serve the main course in the kitchen adjoining the dining room. 23 year old Noam Apter was among them.

Suddenly two terrorists dressed in Israeli army uniforms burst into the kitchen and sprayed the four waiters with fire from their M16's. Hit by the bullets and mortally wounded, Noam used his last strength to run to the door connecting the kitchen and the dining room. He closed it, locked it, and threw the key into a corner. He then collapsed and died, lying against the door.

The terrorists tried to open the door. Seeing it locked, they sprayed gunfire through a small glass window into the dining room. After realizing that this fire was inaccurate and wild (it wounded six more students) and having already killed the four student waiters, the terrorists fled the kitchen, later to be hunted down and killed by the Israeli army.

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