I Almost Saw This Girl Get Killed
A few shabbosim ago while walking to our hosts on Friday night I almost saw this girl get killed. Yes, I’m trying to hook you in with the first sentence. Keep reading.
It was around a forty minute walk from yeshiva and led us through Geula and past the massive Brisker Shul, ‘The Castle’ as my friend called it. One thing that cracked me up during the walk was passing a different chassidisher shul just as they were leaving from davening. The shul was set up on a small hill, with stairs leading to it winding back and forth. With hundreds of identically dressed people going back and forth down shallow steps I had flashbacks to the classic game Lemmings. I’m not proud of it, but from my vantage point on the street it looked as though I should be able to click on them and start assigning them to start climbing or digging their way out of there.
As we neared our hosts we reached a roundabout with hundreds of young families and their twelve hundred children each milling about on the road. Suddenly we heard the wail of an ambulance get closer and closer. People started to move onto the sidewalk, but at a much slower rate than I would have expected. As the ambulance wailed into the roundabout, a young mother was pulling her double stroller onto the sidewalk when her little girl fell back onto the road, right in front of the ambulance.
One of my friends played hero and ran between the toddler and the ambulance with his hands outstretched like Moshe at a battle. The ambulance stopped short and in the midst of this surreal scene, I was most shocked by how the mother took her time picking her girl up and carrying her onto the sidewalk. I would have expected motherly instincts to provoke a rescue reminiscent of the Flash after going through a carton of Red Bull, but she seemed to lackadaisically pick the girl up, calmly walk back onto the sidewalk and only then let the ambulance back on it’s own lifesaving mission.
When we got to our hosts, I noticed it was a neighborhood with shabbos gates blocking cars. I asked what happens if someone needs an ambulance. Noone seemed to know.
On the way back we stopped off at the Brisker Castle so my friend could use the bathroom. While waiting for him, I counted how many people left without washing their hands. And we were offered bananas. I wondered if the Rebbe gets the bananas to ensure that his chassidim eat fruit at least once a week. And the rest is for another post.