Memory Lane: How Chevra Hatzolah of Boro Park got a hand-Crafted Backboard

Memory Lane: How Chevra Hatzolah of Boro Park got a hand-Crafted Backboard

Last week, we told the story of how the plight of a neighbor who waited one hour for an ambulance moved Reb Moshe Perlman, z”l, to donate the first ambulance to Hatzolah, which was then in its infancy (and did not yet have the capability to use that ambulance at that time). 

Moments after that story came out, a loyal reader alerted us to another first; the time Reb Chaim Laufer, z”l, used his golden hands to create a backboard—used to lift patients off the ground in a safe manner, until they could be placed onto the stretcher. 

Reb Chaim hailed from Galician royalty—a prominent family of Bobover Chassidim who were descended from Reb Shloime Kshanover, zt”l, and other tzaddikim. His father, Reb Shloime Reuven, joined the Bobover Rebbe as soon as he transplanted the court to Boro Park, in the 1960’s. The family continued to be one of the most prominent families in Bobov. 

As a bachur, Reb Chaim was known never to waste a moment. He learned with great hasmodoh, and mastered many areas of Torah. He was also exceptionally talented; a trained lifeguard, he saved two people from drowning, even when things seemed extremely dire. And he was known to have ‘goldene hent,” and able to create artistic creations with his hands. When anything was needed, Chaim came running. 

He was also known for his exceptional eidelkeit and refinement. Everyone knew that they could count on his word. And he was a tremendous ba’al chessed. For years he dedicated himself to the needs of a childless man by the name of Reb Volf Lustig (he also attended to other elderly and needy people) a chashuve Galicianer Yid. Upon the passing of Reb Volf, he was placed in a prominent place in the Bobover cemetery. Reb Chaim always kept his yohrtzeit, and ensured that his children did so when he was unable to. Upon Reb Chaim’s passing one year ago (17 Iyar) he was placed in the one vacant plot in that entire area—right beside Reb Volf—to the great surprise of the Chevra Kaddisha, who could not believe that any space remained there. 

Given this confluence of golden heart and hands, it comes as no surprise that Reb Chaim gave of his time and effort to create this important piece of hand-crafted equipment for Hatzolah members—the heroes of our community—to use in saving lives. 

Editor's Note: Chevra Hatzolah is wrapping up their $1,000,000 campaign to expand their fleet of ambulances, so they can respond better and transport faster. Let us follow the example of Reb Chaim Laufer, Reb Moshe Perlman, and all those in our community who have already risen to the occasion.

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