6th Feb 1997 SHAAR YISHUV - A bag of fire fell from the sky with a deafening roar. Rushing to the scene, Dalia Golan heard faint cries. 'They must have been the last cries of the wounded' the nurse said yesterday still in shock after after witnessing the helicopter collision near the Lebanese border that killed 73 in Israel's worst military aviation disaster- REUTER.
JERUSALEM - A divine sign or just an eerie coincidence?
That's the question many Israelis were asking after discovering that the weekly biblical passage read in synagogues last Saturday contained the name of the village over which two Army helicopters collided three days later, killing 73 soldiers. Newspapers yesterday highlighted the reference to Shaar Yishuv - the name of the prophet Isaiah's son and the modern-day Northern Israel farming community.
The Yedioth Ahronoth daily said many people had telephoned the newspaper to point out the "clues to the tragedy" in Isaiah 7:3: "Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou and Shar Yishuv thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field." the passage says. It goes on to mention "two tails of these smoking firebrands" - a reference to the kings of Israel and Syria - but which Yedioth said some of the callers took to mean the two tails of the helicopters that crashed in flames REUTER.
Family Tears At the funeral of First Leutenant Tom Katain in Neve Shalom:
His mother comforts his sister and brother .
It is impossible to account for this event on a coincidental reading alone: The reading links two images both unique in the Bible - Shaar Yishuv, which in Isaiah's time was his son and not a place, and "two tails of these smoking firebrands". It is thus not just that the reading occurred three days before the accident but that in 800 BC Isaiah unwittingly chose a turn of phrase which, despite the echoing politics of Israel and Syria, would only gain full poetic meaning in 1997 AD.
This of course does not mean that Yahweh is warning the Jews, nor that Allah is exacting revenge. One could however pause to consider whether we might want to stop pushing genetic diversity to the brink before we further excite the Shekina in her own domain.
"I will use this occasion to express big happiness and ask our loved ones to pray to
God and thanks him" said Hizbollah deputy chief Shiekh
"It's a terrible tragedy. It's the worst tragedy the air force has known in its 50-year history," said Israeli President Ezer Weizman, a pilot himself since before the Jewish state's creation in 1948.
Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu cancelled a trip to Jordan yesterday and put off a meeting planned for today with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. Both Jordan's King Hussein and Mr Arafat conveyed condolences.
"An end must be put to the tragedy in Lebanon ... We cannot pull out unilaterally but we also cannot stay this way forever," said opposition Labour Party leader Shimon Peres. "In the end we will pay the same price but after so many victims, after so much sorrow," he told Israel's Channel One television from Geneva.