How a religious garment saved this IDF soldier’s life

After singlehandedly killing dozens of Hamas terrorists, wounded Lieut. Col. Guy Madad was almost mistakenly taken for a terrorist himself, if not for his tzitzit.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A hero soldier was saved due to his religious devotion from being mistakenly shot by fellow troops, in one of the miracle stories coming out of Operation Iron Swords and making the rounds on the internet.

Lieut. Col. Guy Madad, a battalion commander in the regular army, said that he was in the city of Kiryat Gat celebrating the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah on Saturday morning when he heard the roar of thousands of rocket launches begin from the Gaza Strip. Still in civilian clothes, he jumped into his car with only his handgun as a weapon.

He reached the area of Re’im, where Hamas infiltrators had murdered hundreds of young Israelis in cold blood who were attending a music festival. He saw there a Golani soldier who was badly wounded and started to rescue him when a terrorist shot at him.

He outflanked the man and shot him dead.

He then took a soldier’s rifle and, as he continued on his way, he killed five terrorists on motorcycles.

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Madad then jumped into a police car with a policeman to continue further south.

Terrorists fired whole cartridges of bullets at them and both were wounded in their legs.

Knowing the car was a death trap, they jumped out and rolled into a ditch on the side of the road. From that vantage point, while bleeding from his wounds, Madad continued to shoot the enemy, with the body count around him reaching some 20 terrorists.

Even with a tourniquet he had jerry-rigged, however, the bleeding continued and eventually sapped his strength. He lay in the ditch for about two-and-a-half hours before an IDF force arrived at the spot.

It was at this point, ironically, that he was perhaps in the most danger he had been in all day. Because he was dressed in civilian clothes and had a weapon, they thought he was another terrorist, and though he tried to call out that he was a Jew and a soldier, his voice was too weak for them to hear.

Just as they were about to kill him, one of the men suddenly called out, “Don’t shoot, he’s wearing tzitzit,” noticing the strings of the ritual fringed garment hanging out from under his shirt. The soldiers immediately evacuated him to hospital, where he was operated on and his life was saved.

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Thousands of tzitzit are being tied in religious communities to be sent to soldiers in a sign of solidarity and hope for Divine protection they could afford their wearers, even if not in such dramatic fashion as Madad experienced on the first day of the war.