Daily Israel Report

Chief Rabbi Visits Hospitalized Hero

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar arrived Wednesday at Herzog Hospital to visit the man who jumped into a manhole to save a little girl.
By Malkah Fleisher
First Publish: 1/6/2010, 10:26 PM / Last Update: 1/6/2010, 11:20 PM

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar arrived Wednesday at Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem to visit Menashe Khalifa, the man who jumped into a manhole in an attempt to save the life of a little girl.

In July, Rachel Sofer, 3, fell into an open manhole while playing in a park in Jerusalem's Ramat Eshkol neighborhood.  Khalifa, 40, saw the incident and dove into help her. However, noxious fumes had already taken the life of the girl, and subsequently overwhelmed Khalifa.

Khalifa was resuscitated and evacuated to Jerusalem's Hadassah-Ein Kerem hospital, where he spent a long time battling for his life in intensive care, anaesthetized and on a respirator.

Six months later, Khalifa is hospitalized in the respiratory care department of Sara Herzog hospital, a facility dedicated to geriatric and psychiatric health care.

Rabbi Amar spent time at Khalifa's bedside, and spoke with family members, as well as getting a report on his condition from the chief of the department.  The rabbi also spent time praying for improvements in Khalifa's condition..

Next week, Khalifa will be awarded the "The Minister of Health's Star for Outstanding Volunteerism" in a ceremony at the Knesset.