A Conversation with Rabbi Nachman Seltzer – Author of 90 Seconds: The Epic Story of Eli Beer and United Hatzalah

AS: You wrote Incredible, Living Legend, The Rebbetzin, and now 90 Seconds — four  amazing books about four powerful, unique and incredibly successful personalities. What are some of the traits that Rabbi Wallis, Rabbi Grossman, Rebbetzin Jungreis, and Reb Eli Beer share, which allowed them to accomplish so much?

RNS: All of them were willing to jump into situations that other people would have stayed away from, and none of them would not take no for an answer. And, of course, they all  dreamed big and were not afraid to work hard to turn those dreams into reality

AS: Since he was 14 years old, Eli Beer has devoted himself to saving lives, and 90 Seconds is full of dramatic rescue stories. Can you briefly share the one that touched you most?

RNS: It’s not quite a rescue, but I was very touched by Eli’s account of identifying Dr. David Applebaum as one of the terror victims when Dr. Applebaum and his daughter Naava were killed in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem, on the night before Naava was to be married. Eli was very close with Dr. Applebaum and he literally couldn’t believe what he was seeing when he found him beyond help in the restaurant. Eli’s only son was born just a few days later, and he was named partially for David Applebaum.

AS:  What are some takeaways the average reader will get from reading about Eli’s life and accomplishments?

RNS: Don’t worry if you aren’t successful in school. You have your whole life ahead of you. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, so long as you learn from them. Think big.

AS: Intriguing title, 90 Seconds. Can you explain what it refers to and why you chose it for Eli Beer’s memoir?

RNS: Eli’s dream has always been to be able to reach any emergency in the entire country in under 90 seconds. That is his goal and his mission statement and in my opinion it sums up his life and accomplishments in a very clear and dramatic way.

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