A terror attack in Jerusalem's Meah Shearim neighborhood was
thwarted last Thursday morning by a resident who
successfully defused a bomb attached to a cell phone
detonator just minutes before it was set to go off.
The place where the bomb was discovered is crowded at that
time of morning, as many Mirrer yeshiva and other
talmidim rush to their places of learning. There are
also many educational institutions in the area, and at the
time, scores of children were on the street.
That morning Rivka Bick noticed a suspiciously large bag
being thrown into a garbage dumpster by an Arab child on the
neighborhood's Rechov Shomrei Emunim. She alerted her son,
Moshe, who went over to the dumpster, opened the bag and
found a bag containing a bomb attached to a cell phone.
Bick, a 36-year-old father of five, safely disarmed the bomb
by pulling out the wires connecting the cell phone to the
bomb, which consisted of two mortar shells. The Bicks then
called the police, who raced to the scene.
As police sappers were disarming the bomb, the cell phone
started to ring -- but the dismantled device could not
explode. Police took the bomb away for further
It took police sappers two hours to dismantle the bomb. The
police also began a search for the perpetrators, and two
Palestinians found in the area were detained for
Bick said afterward that he was happy to have been
instrumental in saving children's lives. But the police, he
said, had mixed reactions to his action.
"Some told me I'm an idiot who endangered my own life and
that of others in the area, while some praised me for the
fact that in practice, I saved children's lives," he
"In any case, I don't recommend that anyone do what I did.
If I had known in advance that it was a bomb, I would never
have touched it. But because I had already opened the
knapsack, and I saw the cell phone connected to the bomb, I
understood that these were critical moments, in which I
could save lives."
Jerusalem police chief Cmdr. Mickey Levy called on the
public not to try to disarm bombs by themselves, and to let
the professionally trained police sappers do their job.
Levy said afterward that only police sappers are allowed to
touch a bomb, and anyone who sees a suspicious object should
immediately call the police. That the incident ended with no
loss of life, he said, was a "miracle."
Admitting that he had only enough knowledge of electricity
to do odd jobs around the house, Bick said that what he did
was really quite simple. "It was like unplugging a radio,"
Last month, a pipe bomb triggered by a cell phone exploded
on a Tel Aviv bus, wounding 14 Israelis.
The great miracle became the talk of the day. "We are
convinced that the merit of the Torah study of students of
the Mirrer yeshiva and the tinokos shel beis rabban
who study nearby is what saved so many from being injured in
the terrorist attack," one of the avreichim at the
A special tefilloh service was held in the central
shul in Zichron Moshe, attended by residents of Meah Shearim
and the surrounding neighborhoods to thank Hashem for the
In a separate incident last week, a bomb was discovered
before dawn near the Education Ministry building close to
Mea She'arim. The bomb, made of old IDF explosives, had no