On the first night of Chanukah, Yosef Asor and his wife Efrat joined their preschooler for a festive classroom celebration in their hometown of Dimona. In the middle of the Chanukah party, Yosef’s United Hatzalah radio suddenly crackled to life. A newborn baby was choking just a few blocks from the location of the party. Though it was difficult to leave his family and race out to another emergency call, the devoted volunteer didn’t hesitate; somebody needed saving. Yosef ran outside to his ambucycle and zoomed over to the nearby location, arriving in less than two minutes.

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Yosef Assor

Yosef found the worried parents were clutching their month-old baby in their arms, crying and shouting for help. The little boy’s complexion had by now turned bluish as he struggled to breathe. The experienced medic quickly took the baby, turned him face down, and administered measured back blows. Within seconds, Yosef had cleared the little boy’s airway! The baby slowly began “returning to himself,” thanks to Yosef’s life-saving intervention. In spite of Yosef’s suggestions, the parents decided to cancel the ambulance.


Yosef returned to his son’s Chanukah party, to rejoin the celebrations. However, 40 minutes later he was alerted to another medical emergency… at the same address! The baby had choked a second time, this time on his mother’s milk.


The United Hatzalah volunteer raced back to the scene and found that this time the baby had stopped breathing and was completely unresponsive.


Yosef performed CPR on the infant and saved the little boy’s life for the second time in the same evening. The ambulance crew arrived on location several minutes later and Yosef assisted in transferring the tiny patient, who was taken in stable condition with his mother to the nearest emergency room.

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Assor with his ambucycle together with other riders

“Traffic was horrendous that evening as families were traveling all over to celebrate the first night of Chanukah. Without my ambucycle, I would never have been able to make it to the scene as quickly as I did in order to save this little boy’s life, twice. It was truly a Chanukah miracle.”


Yosef Asor is one of 4,000 volunteer EMS personnel with United Hatzalah. He is a married father of two and a career air force officer who lives in Dimona. In addition to his busy workload and family life, Asor volunteers in various organizations that help sick children and visits the elderly in old-age homes.