Muslim Lady Called For the Rabbi
In his work with sick patients over the past 30 years, Rabbi Avraham Lider has witnessed some extraordinary moments and literal miracles in his position as Director of the Ahavas Chesed organization based in Crown Heights.
10 days ago, a social worker from a New York hospital urgently called Rabbi Lider at home.
“There is a lady here who needs to speak to you right away,” the person said. “Her husband is in the ICU, she is sitting by his bedside. His condition is extremely critical, and he is not expected to make it. Can you come to speak with her?”
Rabbi Lider dropped what he was doing, and immediately came to the intensive care unit where he found the patient attached to life support machines. The anguished wife was waiting to speak to the rabbi.
“Rabbi,” began to tell him a startling story.
“I’m a Muslim,” she said. “My husband, however, is Jewish and he is dying. We have been married for 27 years, but it is his wish that even though he didn’t live like a Jew, he wants to be buried as a Jew.”
Rabbi Lider nodded in understanding. Before he was able to respond, the woman continued.
“Rabbi, listen to me,” she said. “I have pressing family matters to take care of, and I need to travel back to Turkey tomorrow. When my husband dies, please make sure to bury him as a Jew. I think he will want to have a Jewish burial. Can you help, please?”
Rabbi Lider was astounded and managed to tell her that we Jews plan Bris Milah ceremonies, Bar-Mitzvahs and weddings. “We don’t really pre-plan funerals!” she noted.
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