One morning a few weeks back, a man suffered a stroke in his home in Petach Tikvah. His worried family members called emergency services for help.

Shimon Bach and his study partner 300x225 2
Shimon Bach (right) and his study partner

Shimon Bach, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT was at the synagogue for morning prayers when he received the alert regarding the emergency. “As I was putting on my tefillin (phylacteries), I received an alert on my emergency communication device notifying me about a man who was suffering a suspected stroke just a block away from my location. I ran outside, grabbed my medical kit, and rushed there, and within less than 2 minutes I arrived at the scene.”

Bach was shocked to find that the man in question was his own study partner, a person with whom Bach learns every day. “We study the Babylonian Talmud in a system known as Daf Yomi (daily page of Talmud study)” Bach explained.

Bach gave the man a quick and thorough check-up and found that he had all the signs of a stroke: his jaw was dropped, he couldn’t use his right hand, and was unable to talk. “He recognized me but he couldn’t communicate with me,” Bach recounted. “I took his vital signs and waited with him until the ambulance arrived. When it did, I briefed the ambulance crew about his condition and helped put my friend and study partner into the ambulance. I wished him a full recovery and he was whisked away to the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva.”

Just before Rosh Hashanah, the man was released from the hospital after fully recovering from the stroke. Bach made it a point to meet up with his friend, and the pair even continued their daily study. “When we met, he was very moved and thanked me for being there to help him,” Bach added. “He invited me to a special meal giving thanks for his recovery and hasn’t stopped thanking me since then. I am grateful to God that I was at the right place at the right time and that we have resumed our studying once more with a new sense of appreciation for each other and for the time we have together.”

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