A true story that starts in the emergency room in Virginia. My defibrillator went off in my chest and gave me a shock (“like being kicked in the chest by a horse”). It went off in a 24 hour period over 20 times. I spent approx. 24 hours in the ICU in an induced coma. One of the times that the nurse asked me where I was I answered, “Israel”. Previously, when asked where I was, I had answered “the hospital”. Although one time I asked the people around me where I was and they said “where do you think you are?” and I answered, “If I knew that, I wouldn’t be asking you?” Another time that I was asked where I was, I answered “falling off the bed”. At that time, the nurse was changing my sheets and had me rolled over to the edge of the bed. Frequently, people would ask me who I was. Several times I answered, “Jerry” but one time I answered with my Hebrew name, “Gediah Morca”. I said, ”tephillin, tephillin, tephillin” . My wife asked me if I wanted my tefillan which I used to use when I was a boy. I said, “no”. At this time when asked where I was, I answered “Israel”. When my wife explained to my nurse that this was also my name. She asked me who this lady was (my mother, usually called Mitzi). I said, “Mirrell”. (Brina Mirrell happens to be her Hebrew name.) It was fortunate that my wife, son and mother were there or the nurse would have thought I was very confused. Since I have forgotten most of what happened to me from the time I was in the ER until I went from the ICU to intermediate care, my wife told me this interesting response. I broke out in tears. Here I am a reform Jew that only goes to service 3 times a year. I don’t practice and my Hebrew is rusty. I come out saying these words when in the hospital, amazing! I was touched by God.
The next day a Pakistani man and his wife became my new neighbors. The man was there for his heart as well. That night he went to the bathroom and woke me up. He came back to his bed. The time was around 1:30 am. I introduced myself and he did the same. I asked him where he came from, he said his family is from Pakistan, but he’s been in this country for over 30 years. He said that this was an amazing country, freedom of religion, speech, education, and opportunity. Of course, I agreed with him. We talked about government, freedoms of other countries, and news. Then religion came up. I ask him if he was Hindi and he said that he was a Muslim. Of course, I replied that I was a Jew. We began talking about our beliefs and how much our beliefs were connected. I said we were close enough to be brothers of the same God and believe in most of the same prophets. To my surprise, out of my mouth came, “If only the Jews would recognized Mohammad as a prophet. Maybe it would end the conflict between the two religions.” I believed that I was given sign to speak about what happened to me and the vision of Mohammad. Since then my life has turned around. I’m not prejudiced like I was before. I’m going back to school to learn Hebrew again, do volunteer work, I pray 2-3 times a day, go to temple twice a month, and tell this story to anyone who will listen to me.
Jerry T.

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