Former PA Arab Criminal, Future Ger Tzedek
Posted by Glezele Vayne on November 1, 2010
Arab Ex-Con Would-be Convert’s Miraculous Story
As more details on the story of an Palestinian Authority Arab ex-con on his way to converting to Judaism are revealed, the more astonishing it becomes.
Yaniv Ben-David, an Arab from the PA territories and Haifa whose official name until recently was Busmon Abu-Ras, found Judaism and G-d while serving a 12-year term in prison. The full miraculous story has come out in three interviews, including one with Arutz-7’s Hizky Ezra [which can be seen here, in Hebrew] and another on Radio Kol Chai with the head of the Civil Administration, Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, known as Poli.
Yaniv’s speech is liberally sprinkled with “May G-d’s Name be blessed” and the like, as if he had grown up all his life in a traditional Sephardic neighborhood. But in actuality, his story is very different. Without getting into details, he explains that he became involved in criminal activity of which today he is very ashamed, but that once in jail, no one in his family ever visited him. “My crime was not related to terrorism, Heaven forbid, chas veshalom,” he says, “but I don’t want to discuss it.”
“Some of the Jews in prison with me,” he relates, “began talking to me, and said things like, ‘There’s something special about you, something that doesn’t seem to belong to that world that you came from… You seem to have a spark of Jewishness… Specifically, one very special guy began teaching me about Judaism, and little by little, I began to enter the world of holiness and Torah and the Chosen Nation, etc., may G-d’s Name be blessed…”
At the same time, however, that he was undergoing changes in his religious outlook and identity, the prison authorities were preparing him for another change: Early release from jail, back into the areas of the Palestinian Authority – where he knew there were many who would seek to kill him for his connections with Jews and Israelis.
Here’s where Providence stepped in. Gen. Mordechai relates:
“I was driving shortly before midnight on Route 443 to Modiin where I live, when I saw a strange sight at the checkpoint, and I stopped; apparently, everything is truly from Heaven. I saw this young man, Yaniv, crying and sobbing at the checkpoint, and he told me an amazing story – of how he had come close to Judaism while in prison, and how all his requests and pleas to be recognized as a former prisoner whose life would be endangered in the PA were turned down, including from the Supreme Court. I had trouble believing this, but I saw him quoting Biblical verses and all… Meanwhile, he was stuck at the checkpoint; the soldiers wouldn’t let him cross, and he refused to enter the PA. I did some quick checking with the social worker in the prison and with the prison rabbi, and they said very complimentary things about him, such as that he had been released for good behavior, and how sincere he was… I had no immediate solution for him, but I was able to have him brought to a nearby IDF base for a couple of days, and then, after some not-simple struggles with the Shabak and other bodies, we were able to find a place for him…”
Yaniv is now studying and living at a yeshiva in Jerusalem, whose name and location he will not disclose.
Both Gen. Mordechai and Yaniv do not cease to express their amazement at the Divine providence of the story. Yaniv said, “Poli is truly an agent of G-d, blessed be His Name, sent specifically to save me. He is a true tzaddik [righteous person]…” Asked what he would have done had Poli not happened by at that time, he said, “I would have waited there all night, and put on my tefillin in the morning…”
From Glezele Vayne
>Photo: Chajm’s Photostream
This entry was posted on November 1, 2010 at 10:29 am and is filed under Israel. Tagged: Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Busmon Abu-Ras, Divine Providence, Ger Tzedek, Hasgacha Pratit, Palestinian Authority, PLO, Poli, Righteous Convert, Yaniv Ben-David. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.