It was a few days after Succos last year, and beloved chasunah performer Michoel Schnitzler was tuning up for the spate of post-Yom Tov weddings. Except that he hadn’t been feeling well, and his usual energy and exuberance just wasn’t there. “I hadn’t been feeling good for the past few months, and then, over Yom Tov, things began deteriorating fast: I couldn’t walk properly, I couldn’t speak, and I couldn’t eat.
That day, I was rushed to the hospital, and the scans revealed that one artery had only 30 percent blood flow, while the rest were all blocked. According to the doctor, my chance of survival was just 30 percent — I was almost in the Olam HaEmes. I bentshed my children and then went into a quadruple bypass surgery. But I went into the OR with a smile. I said to the Ribbono shel Olam, ‘I have never in my life knowingly cheppeh’d another Yid. If You want me to continue to be mesamei’ach Klal Yisruel, please send me a full recovery.’
“Baruch Hashem, He granted it. So, I had to do my part. As soon as I was able, I went to visit and be mechazek and sing to other Yidden in the hospital — and I worked on another album, which is being released this week.”
The title song, “Mimini Michoel (The Angel Michoel Is at My Right),” was composed by Leiby Moskowitz and written by badchan and lyricist Motty Ilowitz, paraphrasing the doctor’s words to Schnitzler after his successful surgery: “I did the operation, but an angel helped me.”