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Kiddush Hashem! Frum Firefighters Save Non-Jew In Fire

ff1.jpgA true Kiddush Hashem! From today’s Journal News

Her father is alive, thanks, she said, to the fast work of Spring Valley rescue workers. “With their quick thinking, their quick action, their response – it’s the only reason why he’s alive,” Lee, 51, of Middletown, said yesterday. “It has to be. It’s amazing.”

Francis H. Lee, 80, was pulled early Tuesday from a fire in his ground-floor apartment at the four-story Harvest House complex on Union Road. Spring Valley Fire Chief Michael Johnson said firefighters Chaim Rosenberg and Abe Rabinowitz crawled through Lee’s smoke-filled apartment until they found the disabled man lying unconscious next to his bed. Investigators think Lee was smoking in bed, possibly causing the fire.

Rosenberg and Rabinowitz pulled Lee into a hallway, where firefighter Scott Maia and Spring Valley Police Officer Carl Johnson were waiting. Maia and Johnson performed CPR until Lee was put into the care of Spring Hill Ambulance Corps workers, who took him to Nyack Hospital.

Lee later was transferred to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla before being taken to the burn unit of Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.

41 Responses

  1. Now THIS is what I call a Kiddush Hashem.
    Thank you YW for posting this. I like these stories.
    And, thank YOU Chaim Rosenberg and Abe Rabinowitz … Job well done!

  2. I know that these kind of stories make everyones hart warm, however for your information the defenition of a true Kiddush Hashem is when one does something that brings kovod to hashem by a fellow jew. Actually acording to the most rishonim this would only be a Kidush Hashem d’rabanan.

  3. A GREAT news story! A kiddush Hashem! I hope the Times Herald makes a big story about this.
    ( BTW, On what Tuesday did this happen? Today,is Mon.,42 th of Dec 07.)

  4. I didn’t mean to take away from the nice thing these guys did. I just want to put things in prespective. Going to a shiur or doing a mitzva in front of other yidden is a bigger Kidush Hashem.

  5. #7, you are too nice. I think anon101 DID mean the things he said. It’s just another way of putting people down because of your own inadequacies. Truth is, it’s a BIG Kiddush Hashem. We all know that! Going to a shiur is very nice & extremely important, but a Kiddush Hashem…nope.

    These guys put THEIR lives at risk. What’s better than that? Kol Hakovod!

  6. whats the significance of stating a ‘kidush hashem derabonim’.
    yom tov sheini is derabonim
    purim is derabuonim
    chanuksh is derabonim

    much of our issurim is derabonim
    its a mute point that does not require to be brought up.

  7. 11, sure, but if one is in the marketplace and in his business has a chance to make a kiddush Hashsm, well, I’m not Hashem’s accountant, but good work, firemen.

  8. once again everyone wants to have a dumb argument over a simple heartwarming news story.
    halacha – the best or only kiddush hashem is for jews not goyim
    fact of life in 2007 america – this is a HUGE kiddush hashem and a great thing when living amongst goyim.

  9. #5 By adding your your arguments you are probably causing a Chillul Hashem since there are people from outside the The Yeshiva World that read your comments. As #7 said think before you click.

  10. Its pretty sad that anytime YW reports something there always has to be a few people that have to interpret things in a dumb way. Maybe they are doing it cause they think its funny but it isnt. If you are so intent on learning is the only way to make a kiddush hashem so why are you on the internet and not learning???

  11. While this may or may not affect whether or not this was a kiddush hashem, I am under the impression that once they are firefighters they cannot decide who they will or won’t save. Regardless, it is definitely good PR. Regarding Joseph’s comment, you are on the money as a response to hml and that does not mean that this case is or isn’t a kiddush hashem. I once heard a story that when R’ Wolbe (I think) was learning in Mir he once was late to seder because he passed by someone in danger and saved the person’s life. When he arrived R’ Yerucham asked why he was late. He told him what happened and showed how his clothes were dirty from it. The Mashgiach replied that he obviously was right for stopping for this and then pointed to the Bais Medrash and said but what they are doing is an even higher level and they will get more reward. For all those who feel that whenever someone writes how important Torah is they must write the same stupid comment “so what are you doing online” see Tiferes Yisroel Avos 6:85. Just because someone is allowed or obligated to work to support their family doesn’t mean that they can just waste time either.

  12. I think its very parochial, immature and narrow minded when people do the right thing and it needs to be viewed in terms of kiddush hashem. These guys were brave, contributing memebers of the community and should be commended for that. But guys stop looking over your shoulder and thinking about whose watching and whether its a kiddush hasem. For HEAVEN’S SAKE, do the right thing for … Heaven’s Sake (i.e., vahalchta bidrachav).
    I just was in an apartment building in Boro Poark and the note on the door to the trash closet said to make sure everything goes down the chute, etc. and then ended by saying “don’t make a Chilul Hashem.” Why is that the only message that resonates. How about common decency, V’ahavta Lereicha, Vahalachta Bidrachav? # 3 is correct, a Kiddush Hashem is when other Yideen see others performing mitvos befarhesia.

    My kids came home from school with a midos sheet, and one of the stories was how it was a kiddush hashem that some kid something nice to someone. I got really annoyed, becuase the middos program should be teaching middos, do nice thinkgs for the right reason, like I said aboe, v’ahavta lereiach, v’halachta bidrachav, etc. Otherwise you’re sying if no one is looking or if no one knows your a yid, then you don’t have to hold the door open, let another into your lane, return a lost object, etc.

    Again, these firefighters are real doers and I envy their zechusim, but Rosenberg or Quinn — who cares.

  13. Anon101 and UJM – I’m just a simple am haaretz so would you mind explaining to me what Reb Moshe says about Kiddush Shaim Shmayim and Aku”m in Igros Moshe, Yorah Day’a, cheleck aleph, siman kof gimmel (103), anaf aleph. I’m being serious here. What does this mean? “umekol makom, hu meshubach kayvan sh’kavanaso l’kadesh shaim shmayim v’lo l’tovas ha’aku”m.” Thanks

  14. dovidl,

    I think the issue here is one of madreiga. And as far as that goes, Limud Torah is on a much higher madreiga than almost anything else, including this.

    As far as the Igros Moshe you quoted, Reb Moshe is saying that its a Kiddush Hashem in order to avoid a chillul hashem by causing the akum to question ones lack of action. Ikur halacha does not require one to go and do this (in fact if there will be no eidim or knowledge regarding it, it may be assur as he will never be able to repay the person for the chesed and will thus hate the rescuer. See the mforshim.)

    And those questioning the utility of Kiddush Hashem, that is what a Yid strives for. To live his whole life lshem shmayim and al kiddush hashem. NOT (necessarily) to be ‘decent’ for its own sake (although USUALLY decency and kidush hashem go hand-in-hand.)

  15. dovidl,

    The question was one of madreiga. And Limud Torah is on a much higher madreiga.

    Kidush Hashem is what a Yid strives for in all aspects of his life, not contemporary ideas of what is currently fashionable as being ‘decent’ (which under normal circumstances IS a kidush hashem.)

  16. #20, Jersey Yid, You have just totally blown me away. I hope that I am just misunderstanding you. As Jews, we don’t do things because its just a nice thing; Your right that we should do things for “Heavens Sake” but I don’t think you realize that doing good deeds Leshaim Shamayim, and purely Leshaim Shamayim is no simple matter. I mean that we do it either Leshaim Shamayim or to make a Kiddish Hashem. If the person is not doing it Leshaim Shamayem and they are doing their kind deed solely because it is a Kiddish Hashem, Kol Hachavod to them!

  17. Doc, #24 Thanks for saying what I just wrote, in two lines so perfectly. What you wrote above is exactly what I was trying to say but couldn’t get it to sound right. Thanks!

    “Kidush Hashem is what a Yid strives for in all aspects of his life, not contemporary ideas of what is currently fashionable as being ‘decent’ (which under normal circumstances IS a kidush hashem.)”(Doc)

  18. Doc and BY Girl, many people are not able to analyze every one of your acts and decide whether it is leshim shamayim or not. Instead we try to develop middos that will become a part of our personality so we will always be able to act leshaym shamayim instinctively. This is what some refer to as the “fifth chelek” of shulchan aruch. Its actually one of the 613 mitsvos of vehalachta birachav (ma hu rachum af ata rachum) This not a foot note to a Beer Halacha (too bad- more people would know about it otherwise). If you only think in terms of “is this a kiddush hashem otherwise I don’t need to do it” you are heading down the road of chilul hashem. We need to ingrain into ourselves to act appropriately under all circumstances period. A great kiddush hashem will come out of that by itself. Just read the YW newsbag about letters about how people behave in our most ostensibly religious neighborhods. The letters and comments are proof of the great chillul hashem it actually is.

    The point is not that we should not strive to make a kidush hashem, but stop anaylyzing every act with that lens. Lets learn to how be a digified mensch and it will show in all aspects of life.

    If you are only a mensch when you think it will make a Kiddush Hashem, you will be so used to being a non-mentch that you will forget yourself.

    Doc, no where did I mention anything about contemporary fashionableness about what is decent. There are many universal, timeless acts of respect for the tzelm elokim in other people that date back to the time of the Talmud that we can work still work on before we need to debate new-fangled social decencies.

  19. Jersey,

    No one needs to analyze anyone else if their activities are lshem shmayim. That person knows himself whether he acted lsheim shmayim, and it isn’t the ‘next guys’ business to judge his fellow Jew. Leave that up to Hashem.

    Secondly, a Yid SHOULD always ask himself before he ever acts ”will this action be a Kiddush Hashem”? If it is a Kiddush Hashem, it is by definition mentchlich and dignified.

  20. Jersey,

    Another point is that you seem to be confused as to the definition of what Kiddush Hashem is. Learning Torah, for examle, is just about as big a Kiddush Hashem a Yid can make. Kiddush Hashem is NOT defined by whether the gentiles will look at your action favorably.

  21. #30, Jersey Yid, I beg to differ. As Jews it WRONG to do mere acts of kindness, simply to act like a Mensch. We have a higher goal, a more supreme purpose. I have come to the conclusion that you do not realize the value and Kedusha, if I may say, that a kiddush Hashem creates. You are making a Holy Mitzva into something of little (or C”V no value). I am not sure if you mean it but that is definitely what your insinuating, and by the way,
    Doc summed up exactly what you meant perfectly.
    If I may quote you, “where did I mention anything about contemporary fashionableness about what is decent”. Sorry to tell you but thats exactly what you said just in different words. A Kiddish Hashem is not something that should me taken lightly, and seriously, give it some thought.

  22. While you are arguing about kiddush hashem, how about foccusing on the chillulai hashem in the NY Times just this week, the attacks in Kityat Yoel and the arrests in LA and Brooklyn. I do not think you need to debate the chesed of lifesaving hero yidddin. If only there were more of them. Kayn yirbu

  23. charvona,

    Don’t believe what you read in the NYTimes. They look to make chillul hashem with complete falsehoods. If it said something in the Times, it is likely the truth is the complete opposite of what the wrote.

    Yidden have been falsely arrested ever since we have been in golus. Including in the goldene medina.

  24. wow! bygirl! i couldnt have said it better myself! anyway just wanted to say hello! my cover is blown but i dont care i have a few other names! lol! send regards!

  25. BYgirl, oy vey. Did you really say ” As Jews it WRONG to do mere acts of kindness, simply to act like a Mensch. We have a higher goal, a more supreme purpose.”

    My heart is crying.

    Look at the posuk I quoted, please. Its also mitzvah #8 in the Rambam’s account of the 613. “ma hu chasid af ata chasid” Middos tovos is a mitzvah onto itself. Period.

    What is your source?

    By the way, you have enlightened me to understand how so many people behave the way they do. I do hank you for that. Just the other day I was in an apartment building and I unlocked the door for the guy who was waiting there. The guy goes in and lets the door close on me, my wife and my baby carriage that was 2 inches into the doorway. I was flabbergasted beyond belief. Kach hi darco shel tora? But now I understand, as you learned in BY ” As Jews it WRONG to do mere acts of kindness, simply to act like a Mensch.”

  26. Jersey,

    What that gentleman did to you in the apartment building was a chillul hashem. If he thanked you and held the door for you, that would have been a kiddush hashem.

    And thats why he should have held the door for you. It would have made a kiddush hashem. (Even if you were the only one there to witness it.)

  27. Going back to the original story…Chaim and Abe are indeed to be commended for the teriffic rescue. All who read this need to be appreciative of the fine work ALL firemen do 24 hours a day 365 days a year…remember they never ask the race, religion etc of who they come to help…but just do it!! Volunteer firemen in particular need to be recognized for their superb efforts in their communities…remember many are also fellow Jews.
    Also we all need to remember the names David Weiss, Steve Belson, and Alan Feinberg these three men are Jewish fireman who with the other 340 other firemen and 1 fire patrolman bravely gave their lives on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center disaster. Pray for their them all!! Thank you for reading this. (I am a lifelong firebuff and just needed to say this)

  28. so we all know that torah is the biggest kidush hashem …so we should stop hatzoolah… and chevra kadisha and misaskim …chaveirim ? i understand that in your opinion its not a kidush hashem …so what do u call this days a kidush hashem … being online?

  29. yiddeshemaidel, #36, what do you mean? Are you who I think you are? Does your name begin with an S and end with a Y? If it’s you, your really crazy! You wrote “my cover is blown but i dont care i have a few other names!…send regards.” Huh? What in the world are you talking about? Whatever-BYgirl.

  30. Okay Mr. Jersey Yid, Number 37 Please don’t cry for me. I don’t need your tears. Save them for the sick and needy: If I may, here I go. I am sorry if I am not making myself clear, or if your misunderstanding me- maybe we just totally disagree but if at first you don’t succeed try, try again, so here I go. Yes, you read right. You ask for a source, my sources are my Hashkafos so carefully engraned into me. They were formed from my home, my holy parents, my teachers and principals. I am not making little of Midos Tovos, but as I said “As Jews it WRONG to do mere acts of kindness, simply to act like a Mensch. We have a higher goal, a more supreme purpose.” Yes, thats what I said and thats exactly what I meant. Please take that quote of mine and ask you rebbi, forget about a rebbi, ask a friend, someone that you admire, someone you look up to and let me know. K? P.S. Your apartment/door example was irrelevant. I happen to be a very kind and curtious person and what I wrote does not contradict in any way, shape, or form having good midos.

  31. I commend these men for their heroic actions, although as a relative of a frum firefighter it physically pains me that two frum men had their lives in danger to save a guy who was being negligent with his own life!

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