The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 3 June 2006 / 7 Sivan 5766

Saved from Death

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The chances for survival for a victim of another one of those horrific traffic accidents which plague life in Israel appeared to be very slim. The fellow next to him in the vehicle involved in a frightful accident was dead, and he was pinned down up to his neck. It took rescue workers an hour and a half to pull him out of the wrecked vehicle, and when he arrived at the hospital the doctors were skeptical about his chances for survival.

But survive he did, and the secret of his miraculous survival was revealed by the paramedic who was the first to treat him. Only when his grease-covered body was extracted from the wreck did 32-year old Effie Stern, the head of Magen David Adom and Zaka organization in the Orthodox community of Elad, recognize the severely wounded man as a friend from his town.

“I have no doubt as to what saved him,” this extraordinary volunteer told Leah Kedem of “Hashavua in Jerusalem”. “It was certainly the mitzvah of chesed that he does with all his might. The night before the accident I ran into him at 2 am distributing chickens to needy families in his role as one of the Elad welfare committee. On the night of the accident he left Elad to bring a trailer for food distribution and took his little children with him in the back seat of his car. On the way he met another committee member who offered to take the children into his own car and return them later. It was thus that the children were saved from certain death and their father survived a deadly accident in the merit of his mitzvah.

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