May 19, 2017
He Raced To Help Another Jew

Miami Hatzalah member Zalman Cohen was horrified to see the posts on social media about a fellow volunteer who was killed while racing to help another Jew.

By Zalman Cohen - M11, Hatzalah of Miami-Dade, Florida

Last night, at 8:59 PM EST, while sitting at my dining-room table peeling potatoes for the Shabbos chulent, my phone started beeping incessantly.

I was horrified to see texts reporting about a member of the United Hatzoloh who was involved in a motor vehicle accident in the center of Jerusalem. This happened while he was responding on his 'ambucycle' on the way to a medical emergency.

My heart started to race as the follow-up messages indicated that the situation was not good. CPR was in progress and the outlook was bleak. Like many others, I stopped what I was doing and pulled out a Tehillim and started davening for one of my brothers, one whom I had never met, who was desperately in need of Rachmei Shamayim.

Unfortunately, Hashem had other plans and Effi Gadassi A”H was tragically taken from all of us.

Scanning through the hundreds of posts and message from various social media sources, both EMS related as well as local news sites, I was upset by the insensitivity of many of the posters.

Many were criticizing the use of motorcycles as a means of responding. Others were blaming the current model of Emergency Medical Services in Israel. While nothing can be further from the truth of what actually occurred, it really struck a raw nerve.

At the time of the accident, it was approximately 3:30 AM IST. Here was one of our brothers, who had gotten out of bed in the middle of the night, to help someone in need. This type of a response is performed on a daily basis throughout the world with absolutely no recognition or fanfare.

Tragically, for the sin of trying to save a life, there are now 3 orphans being raised by their widowed mother. Generally, we as responding members, go about doing our business, even in the middle of the night, without people being aware of it.

At that time of the day, the lights, sirens and pomp, (aka "the glory") are irrelevant. Trust me, the next morning when you wake up tired and sore, glory is the furthest thing from your mind. Remember, we are not paid crews. We are simply your brother, neighbor or friend who give our all to make sure you are in good hands.

Let this tragedy remind us all how fragile life is. Let it remind us who we all are. We have families, jobs, and commitments but let nothing stand in the way when you’re in pain. We are one. We can always Monday night quarterback and question the how or why something happened. We can come up with solutions to fix the perceived problems, try and save the world and make it a better place.

However, as someone who has responded to thousands of calls over the years, many in the middle of the night, I hope this tragic accident reminds you to be thankful.

Thankful that there are thousands of Hatzoloh responders all over the world, not just in the Metropolitan New York City area. From Mexico to Moscow, Johannesburg to Jerusalem, and even in the smaller communities in the U.S. such as Miami and Chicago. Think about the thousands and thousands of responses that occur yearly, many of them in the middle of the coldest nights of the year while others are sleeping comfortably, blissfully unaware.

I ask all of our fellow members to dedicate the next week of calls in memory of our fallen brother Efraim ben Moshe. We should know no more pain. Yehi Zichron Baruch.

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Opinions and Comments
This week is the Hatzalah Fundraiser!!
(5/19/2017 12:16:40 PM)
Oh my
This is totally heartbreading!!
So sorry for his wife and kids
(5/19/2017 12:19:10 PM)
oy oy
(5/19/2017 12:31:31 PM)
A mother of a Hatzala member
Well said Zalman.
While we cannot fathom the workings of Hakodosh Baruch Hu, we know that He is all good. May Moshiach come immediately to alleviate all the suffering of klal yisrael.
(5/19/2017 12:51:35 PM)
BS"D Thank you Hatzalah everywhere. May his
memory be a Blessing to protect all of you
(5/19/2017 1:32:23 PM)
i know
having 4 nephews who are Hatzolo members, i testify to the selfless mesiras nefesh they have for us every single day....leaving sdorim on Pesach...leaving family Purim seudas...and family Shabbos meals....and the caring that they show to the patient.....we dont realize to what extent we owe them.....and their wives as well... dont forget them... every penny you donate goes to help them help you better....they receive not a penny.....we appreciate you... we love you.... and we merit the ultimate revelation of Moshiach and may Hashem bless you with all His brochos in a good and revealed way
(5/19/2017 2:07:27 PM)
TY, TY Hatzolah!!
You saved the lives of my family members again and again and again. One of them had an incurable illness, and because of you, this person was able to live many more years because of all your great rescue work, most of it on Shabbos/Yom Tov or in the middle of the night. Wish I had a fortune to donate to Hatzolah but I don't. Hashem knows the preciousness of your work. I hope everyone who can donate will give generously this week!!! Let Moshiach come now and put you guys out of business.
(5/19/2017 2:26:51 PM)
Moshiach now Hashem will be with you I'm so sorry for your loss
(5/19/2017 2:30:50 PM)
Bh I've never needed your services. I have tremendous respect for everyone who volunteers for this amazing organization. I seriously get emotional every time I see an ambulance racing past on its way to help a fellow yid. Such a high level of kindness.
(5/19/2017 2:43:20 PM)
Galut galut...
Breaks my hearth
(5/19/2017 4:15:08 PM)
Thank you!!!!!!
As one having brothers and brother - in - laws and nephews in Hatzloah, I cant BEGIN to tell you the MESIRAS NEFESH of these unbelievable people. 24/7 LITERALLY in middle of the night - in middle of a Shabbos or Yom tov Seuda - in middle of shopping, in middle of a family get together and on and on and on.... they just drop EVERYTHING and run.

All without asking or expecting a thank you and without looking for recognition. is is Purely from the heart!!

the Joy the feel when they helped someone and R"l the anguish they feel when the oibershter had other plans R"l. it is personal to them regardless if they eve met this person before.

The oibershter should give all the Hatzoloh members the strength to continue this unbelievable CHESED and give them ALL they need Begashmiyos and Ruchniyos!!!

And the Oibershter shld bench Klal Yiroel to ONLY need the help of Hatzloah for GOOD things.

Thank you again and a GUT, and Freilichin Shabbos
(5/19/2017 5:27:17 PM)
(5/20/2017 6:39:36 PM)
appeal site
Can we have a link straight to Effi Gadassi's family as now's the best time to raise the money for his almonoh and yesomim
(5/21/2017 4:03:06 AM)
Thank you for posting this
A real wake-up call.

(5/21/2017 4:09:43 AM)
A himmel geshrei!!!
Ad mosai!!!! So tradgic!!! ;(

Hatzolah is an incredible organization and the people are special! May they all be healthy, well and safe!
(5/21/2017 9:09:30 AM)
Can give straight to the family here
(5/21/2017 10:54:30 AM)
May he have the biggest reward in Gan eden
Thank you all for the rush to save another Jew ! May his zchus protect you and all of Israel.
(5/21/2017 10:54:40 AM)
heart break !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hashem have mercy on his orphaned children and wife
(5/23/2017 3:59:36 PM)
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