Mordechai works as a manager of a meat store as well as a Kashrut supervisor. He lives in Ma’alot Tarshiha and has been volunteering for United Hatzalah the past two years. His desire to enter the arena of lifesaving stems from a terrible car accident many years ago. His sister Tehila, whom was just 5 and a half years old, was hit by a speeding car as she crossed the street. She was seriously injured and there was no one in the area who knew first aid. These were the days before United Hatzalah was established and his sister had to wait for treatment until the ambulance arrived. Unfortunately, that was too late, and Tehila died of her injuries. The family, including young Mordechai, took the loss very hard. Although many years have passed since then, the pain has not disappeared. He still misses her tremendously. There had been no one to save his sister, but he could save other people’s sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers. As soon as he was old enough, he signed up for a United Hatzalah EMT course and immediately afterwards began volunteering.
Mordechai finds lifesaving extremely rewarding but quite challenging. When he responds to traffic accidents, he must shut out his personal feelings and memories. On scene, he does this with cool and detached efficiency. However afterwards, he must deal with the pain and the memories that come flooding back. People ask him why he willing submits himself to such heartache. He doesn’t always respond to them, but he knows the answer all too well. “What wasn’t done for Tehila, at least I can do for others, by striving to save lives and keep families whole. This is my nechama (consolation).”
One such example was when Mordechai was alerted to a man who had suffered a complete cardiac arrest. He raced to the scene, arriving just as another medic had begun CPR. Mordechai joined in, and the duo fought relentlessly for the man’s life. One shock was given from the defibrillator and the man’s heart began to beat! A week later, Mordechai visited him in the hospital and found the gentleman fully awake, alert and healthy, having suffered no permanent damage whatsoever. Mordechai was overjoyed. And that is the joy that triumphs over the pain. This is what keeps this devoted volunteer going, day in and day out.