If you met me today you would see a normal-looking avreich, dedicated to learning Torah, happily married. You would never guess that just a few years ago I was at rock bottom. Big Mike saved my life.
When I first met big Mike, I was an off-the-derech kid floating around Jerusalem. I had already decided that I wanted to get back on track and into yeshiva life but it wasn’t easy for me. I had a history of bi-polar disorder and I was far from stable. In fact, not long after I met Big Mike, I went had a massive manic episode. No one in the yeshiva knew what to do with me and it seemed likely that they would just kick me out (which is exactly what had happened in my last yeshiva – before I went off the derech).
But this time Hashem sent me Big Mike, who played a huge role in helping me get through that crisis without my life being ruined once again. Big Mike is famous for his huge heart and warm, accepting way. Everyone who meets him senses it. That’s why troubled kids (like me) love him right away. But only someone who has been at rock bottom and had Big Mike there for them can know just how bottomless this man’s heart is. While other “normal people” wanted to give up on me and throw me back into the street, Big Mike believed in me and would stop at nothing to help me. He wouldn’t let me be alone for a minute. Even at 3am he was awake trying to talk me down with his soothing deep bass. When he couldn’t be there personally, he made sure that someone was there to watch me and make sure I didn’t get into trouble.
When we realized I had to be hospitalized, Big Mike rode with me in a cab to the hospital and he visited me regularly. But his deep concern for me didn’t stop there… He personally begged my Rosh Yeshivah not to kick me out, and convinced many of the other guys to do the same. I wasn’t even aware that this was going on. It was only years later that I found out how close I was to getting kicked out onto the street.
After I came out of the hospital, I began the long road back to stability. It wasn’t easy and I don’t know what I would have done without Big Mike’s constant support and his unwavering belief in me. He talked to me for countless hours. He was always there for me day and night.
Thanks to him, I got a new start in life – this time with the proper therapeutic attention I needed and, Thank God, I have made huge progress and have been very stable for a few years. That’s how I got to be the “normal-looking” avreich people see today. I will never forget how much I owe to Big Mike helping me when I needed it most, for believing in my potential as a Yid when everyone else had given up on me.
Anyone who helps Big Mike do the holy work he does should know that they are saving lives – if Big Mike did not reach out to the troubled youth in Jerusalem, no one would. It is painful to imagine what could have happened to me and dozens of other guys if he hadn’t been there.Please share this post!