By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Avraham Lider, a longtime activist who dedicated his life to assisting others with medical emergencies, passed away on Friday night, the first night of Rosh Hashana, 5781.
He was 61 and passed away suddenly after a heart attack.
R’ Lider came to the US from Jerusalem as a young boy of 14, when he accompanied his father for urgent eye surgery.
While in the US and not knowing anyone, volunteers of the Rivkah Laufer Bikur Cholim of Flatbush reached out to help them, Rabbi Lider once related, and this influenced him to find his calling in life, a life of Chessed and caring for others as they dealt with medical emergencies themselves or of loved ones.
Rabbi Lider married Tema (nee Levitin), and the couple settled in Crown Heights.
While working as a Pre-1A Rebbi at Oholei Torah, Rabbi Lider was asked to assist an elderly and childless couple who was in a bind.
The husband was hospitalized, and his wife was bedridden at home. The Chaya Mushka Bikur Cholim of Crown Heights knew of Rabbi Lider’s fondness for helping those in need, and asked him to reach out to the couple. Rabbi Lider made a few phone calls and soon secured care for both the husband and wife.
“After that,” he once told COLlive in an interview, “the phone didn’t stop ringing.”
Shortly afterward, Rabbi Lider left his job as a Rebbi and began fulfilling his childhood dream of opening his own chesed organization.
In 1995, he founded the Ahavas Chesed organization as a medical assistance organization catering to the Crown Heights community and Shluchim worldwide.
The organization offers medical transportation, emergency medical assistance, medical supplies gemach, blood drives, medical advice and referrals, and kosher meals. Their emergency hotline is open 24/7 and their WhatsApp group connects medical patients and their families with desperately needed assistance.
In addition to finding the best care for patients, Rabbi Lider was known for having strong connections with a seemingly endless list of specialists, recruiting doctors and forming relationships with them so he could help anyone with a medical emergency or illness at a moment’s notice.
He attributed his success to the Rebbe. “When people would ask the Rebbe for help with medical issues, the Rebbe often advised them to consult with a ‘Rofeh Yedid’ – a doctor who is also a friend. I put a lot of effort into this area and with all the doctors I work with,” he once said.
He also helped many people obtain the best medical care, many of them free of charge if they could not afford it. Over the years, Rabbi Lider organized dozens of blood drives in Crown Heights, as well as a soup kitchen for those in need. He also purchased an ambulette for the community, in which volunteers drove patients to hospitals and clinics for medical treatment.
Over the years, Ahavas Chesed has helped thousands of Jews from various backgrounds, with Rabbi Lider doing volunteer work himself. During the recent pandemic, Rabbi Lider worked round the clock, assisting hundreds of patients at various hospitals, connecting families with doctors, and even delivering packages to patients from their worried families while hospitals were on lockdown and not allowing any visitors.
Rabbi Lider was also instrumental in organizing blood plasma drives in Crown Heights, where hundreds of coronavirus survivors donated blood to be shipped all over the US to help coronavirus patients.
He also arranged and paid for funerals for members of the community who had no family, and encouraged people to attend especially when it was a meis Mitzvah.
Rabbi Lider’s passing leaves a huge void in the Crown Heights community, devastating shocked family, friends, and countless people whom he has helped throughout the years.
He is survived by his wife, Tema and children Dovid Lider – Crown Heights, Naftoli Lider – Crown Heights, Shmuly Lider – Crown Heights, Malky Janowsky – Toronto, and Bassie Lider – Crown Heights.
He is also survived by his siblings, Shlomo Lider – Williamsburg, NY, Yaakov Lider – Melbourne, Nechama Brichter – Jerusalem, Malka Kaplan – Jerusalem, Israel, and Yehuda Lider – Jerusalem, Israel.
The Levaya will take place tomorrow, Monday, leaving Shomrei Hadas at 12:45 pm and passing by 770 at 2:00 pm.
Shiva will take place at 720 Lefferts Avenue.
Shacharis: 7:30 AM and 8:45 AM
Mincha: 4:15 PM
Break between 12 pm and 2 pm.
Last visit at 10 pm.
Baruch Dayan Ha’emes.