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Breakthrough: Chapter 59

Tovy Mann

In her terror, Yehudit pleaded with Hashem, “Please get us safely down! Please bring me home again! Please, please!”

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Z agreb struggled with the controls until the glider stopped flying in dizzy circles. As the craft began to climb, Yehudit heard him yelling something, but flapping noises from the nylon wings drowned out his words.

She bowed her chin to her chest, attempting to escape the stream of air constantly blowing into her face. Steep, rocky cliffs fell away on either side. Far, far below Yehudit could make out a meandering, dry riverbed Zagreb seemed to be following.

In her terror, Yehudit pleaded with Hashem, “Please get us safely down! Please bring me home again! Please, please!” The relentless wind ripped the tears from her eyes.

A new sound, even louder than the flapping nylon, reached them. “Oh, no! Hashem, hatzileinu! Save us!” Yehudit cried out as she recognized the noisy approach of a helicopter.

While Yehudit huddled helplessly behind him, Zagreb tried to take evasive action. The frail craft swooped from side to side, almost but not quite touching the sheer cliffs. Both Israeli agents realized that the slightest contact with the copter’s spinning blades would shred the fragile wing of their glider.

Zagreb was an amazing pilot. His maneuvers were graceful. The glider fluttered like a butterfly along the cliff wall while the clumsy military helicopter in pursuit was forced to pull back to avoid the overhanging rocks.

The huge helicopter sped so rapidly that it passed by the tiny glider and had to turn around. Now it was right in front of them, coming head on. Zagreb pushed the lever with all his strength and they dived under the copter. The glider somersaulted until Zagreb regained control just before the helicopter turned around.

From over her shoulder, Yehudit clearly saw the determined face of the helicopter’s pilot. She also saw the slow swivel of the helicopter’s rocket launcher lining up with their glider. “Shema Yisrael!”

Zagreb made the glider drop, just before shards of broken rock rained down on them from the explosion above. The chopper turned about for another try. Yehudit’s face was whiter than snow.

In the middle of this nightmare, she felt her father’s voice reminding her to trust Hashem. He is All Powerful. You are safe in His arms.

“Oh, Tatte,” she whispered, as she realized that escape from the military helicopter was impossible — but for Hashem nothing is impossible! Suddenly the glider was thrown sideways. She felt herself sliding.

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