A mystery regarding the Jerusalem bulldozer terror incident has been cleared up. The unusual gag order restricting publication of the name of the hero who foiled the attack was requested by ‘Mem’ himself. His reasons? The same yeshiva-inculcated religious values that caused him to spring into action unarmed and risk his life to confront a marauding terrorist:

One of the first phone calls made by the soldier in the Egoz unit who ultimately killed Duwiyat – after he was wounded by a policewoman – was to the soldier’s brother-in-law, David Shapira – the army officer that killed the terrorist who infiltrated Merkaz Harav. Shapira, now an officer in the Paratroops Brigade, was in the midst of an exercise in the Golan Heights this week. At the same time, an initial report about the attack in Jerusalem was passed along the chain of command, from Egoz to the Golani Brigade and onward. “That’s the Egoz mentality,” said one senior officer. “They’re taught to be that way from their first week of basic training.” And it was, in fact, such a soldier, who had just completed his basic training and was on his first regular furlough, who knew how to establish contact, storm the terrorist and finally end the rampage, although a large number of older police officers were also around.

Shapira had one piece of advice for his brother-in-law: “Stay away from reporters.” The Egoz soldier followed these orders. He wrote a brief description of the event, read it into the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson’s tape recorder, and avoided any further contact (which didn’t stop some media outlets from presenting his comments as if made in an interview). Later, just to be certain, the soldier requested a gag order be put on his name and his photo, although they had already appeared extensively in Israel and abroad following the attack.

Haaretz’s contention that a few months of IDF service were responsible for inculcating his life-risking values is silly. He spent many years in yeshivas, where he practice sacrificing the desires of the body for the dictates of the spirit.

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