This week I had dinner with Daniel Fish and his brother Tal. The Fish brothers are alumni of our annual Belev Echad program which brings severely wounded IDF soldiers to NY for ten days of excitement.
Daniel was severely wounded by Hamas terrorists in Operation Protective Edge last summer. He was in a UN clinic near Khan Younis when a huge explosion collapsed the building, killing 3 soldiers and wounding 26. Later, a tunnel filled with explosives was discovered directly under the building.
Shortly after Daniel was rescued from the rubble, he lost consciousness, and a respiratory path was opened in his throat to help him breathe. The rescue was incredibly quick but very complicated, because Hamas terrorists continued firing mortars at them, causing yet more injuries and putting the rescuers' lives in danger as well.
Daniel, and his brother Tal who has taken care of him since his injury, were back in New York, so we had dinner together. I very recently had albums of our trip printed, and after dinner I gave 15 copies to Daniel and Tal to bring back to Israel for the rest of the group.
We said our goodbyes, and they hopped in a taxi and headed to their hotel. Their driver's name was Mohammed Islam, a religious Muslim from Bangladesh. Seeing Daniel's wheel chair, the taxi driver asked him about his injury, and when Daniel explained that he was injured in the war, he was visibly shaken.
Back in their hotel room, Daniel and Tal suddenly realized they'd left the box of albums in the back of the taxi! Hands full with the wheelchair, they'd simply forgotten.
Daniel panicked. This wonderful gift—with which he and the rest of the soldiers could relive their trip over and over—was gone. He called me and apologized profusely.
Based on my own experience losing cell phones in taxis, and knowing that Daniel had paid cash and not taken a receipt, I knew the likelihood of tracking down the albums was close to zero.
But, by Divine providence, the albums were sponsored by a woman in Texas who had flown in to participate in the Belev Echad trip in May. Her phone number was on the back of each album, so that the soldiers could thank her.
I called her and explained the situation, in case by some miracle the taxi driver called her. And, indeed, that's exactly what happened. Mohammed Islam, the taxi driver, called the woman in Texas, who gave him my address. He made a special trip all the way from his home in Queens to deliver the albums personally. Thank you, Mohammed! We chatted for a few minutes, and he told me that he feels strongly that Jews and Muslims should not be at war with one another.
Israel and the West are currently fighting radical Islamic terrorism. We are used to seeing Jews and Muslims fighting against each other. Almost weekly there is another terror attack against us in Israel. What a breath of fresh air to meet this lovely gentleman, Mohammed Islam. May the world be blessed with many more righteous people, and may we all get along just fine!