5/20/2010

TEREM

I spent a good couple of hours at the TEREM Emergency Medical Center last night with out oldest. She cut her chin at the park yesterday afternoon and we had to get it glued back together. No big deal; kid no. 2's done that at least 3 times already.

I know that it's hackneyed to talk about the humanity that one sees in hospitals, the fact that Jews and Arabs care for each other, and the like. Pesh wrote a real tear-jerker about it here. Then again, when you encounter it in real life, you tend to take a step back to appreciate it.

TEREM was founded by Rabbi Dr. David Applebaum, an ER physician and a musmach of R. Aharon Soloveichik, who embodied many of the highest ideals of Judaism and consequently Zionism. He and his daughter Nava were tragically killed by a suicide terrorist while sitting at a cafe on Emek Refa'im St.on the morning of Nava's wedding.

There is a portrait and brief biography of Rabbi Dr. Applebaum at every TEREM center (there are currently 6); in a sense, the TEREM centers are a living testament that the values of humanity and care can overcome the monstrous hatred that cut short the life of its founder.

On a different note, Pesh and I have found that our oldest has picked up some antipathy toward Arabs. She certainly did not pick it up from our home, but, let's face it, there are certainly friends she could have picked it up from. Not too long ago, we were driving in the car and she pointed to a community and asked who lives there. I told her that it is an Arab community, and she said, "I hate Arabs." I stopped the car and let her have it.

Last night at TEREM (which was plenty busy treating a real cross-section of Israel's population), I happened to notice that the doctor who treated her was Arab. He was not wearing his ID badge outwardly (and I can only speculate as to why), but I noticed based on his accent (and his inability to pronounce the 'p' sound - 'im zeh koreh ba'am acher'), and the discharge summary confirmed it. My daughter did not notice.

On the way back home, I asked my daughter if she liked her doctor. She said she did. "Was he a good doctor?" "Yes." "Was he nice?" "Yes." "Did he take good care of you?" "Yes." And then I let her in on it - "You know that your doctor was an Arab." She was shocked. It was one of those moments that every parent and teacher lives for where some connection is made in a profound way. In Hebrew we say "yarad ha-asimon." The token dropped (a metaphor based on what used to happen when you made a call from a coin-operated public phone - as soon as the connection was made, the token dropped). This morning, she was proudly telling her mother and siblings all about her Arab doctor.
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