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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Israel, A Wonderful Country, Wonderful People, The Sabra

I admit that there are many times I complain about Israel and even about Israelis.  Doesn't everybody?  That doesn't mean that I don't think I live in the greatest place in the world.  I have the most wonderful neighbors.  Really!  When you add up the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, the help and the annoying things, it's clear that there is no place better to live than Israel.  And I must say that Shiloh, at least for us, is the best of the best.

Ruthie Blum's latest Israel Hayom article touches on some of these points.  She wrote about the terrible tragedy that recently happened to the Attias family:

Rafi and Yehudit Attias, a couple in their early forties, were driving home late at night from a Torah dedication ceremony in honor of Rafi’s father. With them in their minivan were their seven children: Avia, 17; Neria and Elyashiv, 16-year-old twins; Shira, 11; Ta'ir, 9; Rachel, 7; and Noa, 5. At some point, Rafi realized his brakes weren’t working, and he called the police, then handed his wife the telephone while he tried to maneuver the car. Yehudit gave the dispatcher their location. The next thing the dispatcher heard was screaming.
By the time the police arrived on the scene, it was too late. The minivan had gone over a highway divider, crossed over four lanes of oncoming traffic, crashed through an iron fence, flipped over, rolled down a hill, and burst into flames.
Miraculously, 7-year-old Rachel managed to crawl out of the car before it caught on fire. She was the only member of the entire family to survive the crash — and with minor physical injuries, to boot. Her emotional scarring is another story entirely.
The child was rushed to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, where she was attended to lovingly by the medical and social work staff, as well as surrounded by members of her extended family — themselves barely having had a chance to absorb what had befallen them.
I hadn't written about it, probably because it hit too close to home. Over twenty years ago, neighbors of ours were traveling home from shopping in Jerusalem. A family of eight, both parents and six children squeezed into a sedan, five-seater. In those days the law didn't require everyone to be belted into a seat. A bus hit the car and the father and three out of six children were killed. We came across them after the survivors had gotten first aid before the ambulances had arrived. We (and the other people in the car we were in) stayed with them until they were taken to the hospital. And over a decade before that in New York my father's cousin and his wife were taking their daughter to start university. The car flipped over, and the eighteen year old flew out and broke her arm. Her parents were killed on impact and left their two teenagers orphaned.

Car accidents are big dangers, more than terrorism and war and plane crashes etc.  You don't have to be in the car to be a victim.  One of my children was seriously injured when a car knocked him off of his bicycle.  The reason we have been  hosting a shiur Torah Class every Shavuot for over twenty years has been to thank G-d for his recovery.

During the weeks my son was in the hospital getting medical care, my neighbors were fantastic.  And during an earlier time when a different child was hospitalized for a number of weeks, we also got the most amazing help from neighbors.

Not long ago a young man in the community was diagnosed with cancer.  He is now, Baruch Hashem, in remission; G-d willing, he is cured.  He  got married a couple of months ago, post-treatment, and he thanked all the neighbors who visited and always asked how he was doing.  The hospital staff was amazed at his "large family" and couldn't believe that they were mostly neighbors.

Ruthie Blum usually writes just hard-hitting political op-eds, but this article she stressed how the Israeli public rallied around the young orphan, the sole survivor of that devastating accident.  It's the news the world likes to ignore.

Israels are called sabras, the fruit of the prickly cactus.  The sabra is a sweet fruit protected by sharp thorns.  Yes, that's your typical classic Israeli.


Rickismom said...

Last year when Ricki was in the hospital for an extended stay, it was amazing the number of offers of help I get from friends. Yes, we are a touch bunch, but what needs to be done... just DO it!

Batya said...

So true, and when I think of how I have to travel and all the חסד chessed...

Anonymous said...

what you say is true.
except that i never complain about israel. i wake up every day and am so thankful to be here. everything else is a mild annoyance.

Batya said...

a, so I guess you don't follow politics as much as I do. that's the source of my complaints