Ramat Elchanan Resident Experienced ‘Clinical Death’ and Returned to His Body


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A resident of the Ramat Elchanan neighborhood of Bnei Brak experienced ‘clinical death’ and saw angels judging him and deciding to return him to life. HaGaon Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein ruled his words are “אמת ויציב” but instructed him not to publicize the events.

Many Jews who experienced clinical death have provided testimony about leaving their body and seeing a white light, and angels heading to a tunnel and meeting with persons related who were niftar, so one may ask if this is true.

The Ramat Elchanan resident was almost ‘a vegetable’ but awakened. When Rav Zilberstein heard the details of the event, he stated without hesitation that this is what occurred.

In the neighborhood Kol Berama bulletin, the story was quoted by Rabbi Baruch Zolberg, who testified that it was “a respectable and serious man who has for many years served in an important and responsible position and one can count on every word he utters and his imagination is very far from who he is, meaning that his words are to viewed as reliable.

The man in question suffered a stroke two years ago which made him totally paralyzed and unresponsive for a number of days, and when the diagnostic tests were completed, it was determined that he sustained serious brain damage from the stroke. Doctors decided that based on his condition and diagnostic testing, there is no chance of the man returning to a normal life and told persons close to him that he would remain “a vegetable” for the remainder of his life.

The man described to the rav that heard everything the doctors were saying as he described leaving his body. At a certain point he saw persons dressed in white without seeing faces. They were judging his actions and suddenly, he heard shouting that he has many merits, and he must be returned to life, to the “same life” and after some time, his body began warning until he awakened.

When Rav Zilberstein was asked if this sounds like something that really occurred, he stated ” ודאי שייך ואמת ויציב”.

The rav instructed him to make a Seudas Hodaya for members of his kollel and only to tell them and not the newspapers.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. the article is incorrectly worded. he was not declared to have experienced brain death from which NO ONE EVER RECOVERED; he was declared to be in a permanent vegetative state where a minuscule percentage of people have, like him, mysteriously and remarkably recovered.

  2. Assuming the story is true, would this be a proof that “brain death”, even though the other systems are working, is death according to halacha?
    (Did anyone ask the patient whether the people dressed in white had the words “Hadasah Hospital” embroidered on the right chest?)

  3. Whatever you choose to believe or not about this story, , B”h this fortunate individual is alive and well and hopefully will have many more years with his family.

  4. Every person’s neshama/soul is removed from him every night when he goes to sleep and is then returned to him when he wakes up in the morning.
    In midst of the night his neshama/soul goes through an accounting in the olam Haemes if he is worthy of being returned to this temporary physical world and live another day to serve Hashem.

  5. If I understand the story, as written here, there was no clinical indication that he had “died.” His heart was beating, etc. So, his belief that he had “died” and been brought back is just his own belief, with the facts showing otherwise, unless we are to say that one can “die” and still maintain a heart beat.

    WHen the doctors said he would be a “vegetable,” that’s a layman’s description of low-level brain function; it does not mean they declared him”dead.” ANd it doesn’t mean he would not be aware of his surroundings.

    So, as far as I can tell, all this is a matter of someone having imagined something, which is perfectly possible even among the most serious and responsible of people, especially at times of great anxiety.

  6. “The rav instructed him to make a Seudas Hodaya for members of his kollel and only to tell them and not the

    Ironic, im reading about this on a “news” site.

  7. This is practically a daily occurrence at every hospital. Many patients suffer Cardiac arrests and are resuscitated. This isnt news. I’m surprised they needed R’ Zilberstein to confirm the existence of “near death experiences” which are well documented

  8. Near-death experiences have been long debunked by the scientific community. It’s believed by gullible people who have a confirmation bias.