photo: Cecile Lemoine
There is care and kindness in every place of medical treatment, but in the absence of funding - kindness by itself does not heal the sick. So life invites opportunities...
For example, this story is about the donation of NIS 80,000, which was delivered this morning (17-11-22) to a place of kindness and care. An act of chivalry.
1. Saint-Louis Hospital
The Saint-Louis Hospital is located in Jerusalem between the municipality and the Notre-Dame building, opposite the Old City Wall and the New Gate. The Saint-Louis Hospital was built in the 19th century, and today it mainly treats terminally ill patients. 60% of the patients are Jews and the rest are Christians and Muslims. The medical staff, from director level to the volunteer's level - is also made up of the of the three religions.
A Jewish visitor, a Muslim physiotherapist, a Christian volunteer - a daily photo at Saint Louis Hospital. (Photograph from Adam Winograd's documentary - "THE ISLAND")
2. A monastery with a kosher certificate
One detail makes Saint-Louis Hospital an exception: it belongs to an order of nuns (Sisters of Saint Joseph) and is actually part of a monastery. On the top floor are the sister's rooms, and on the lower floors are the patient's rooms. To serve the Jewish patients, the monastery hospital has a Rabbi and also a Kashrut (kosher food and installation) supervisor. Really, It's the truth: it is the only Kosher monastery that I know of… In winter there is a Christmas tree on one side and on the other side there are Hanukah menorahs and donuts.
Sister Monica . in the past She used to meet with the rabbi of Sha'are Zedek Hospital to learn the Jewish laws of treating the dead, and he studied the laws of treating the dead in Christianity. That is the reality, Christians die in Shaare Zedek and Jews die in Saint Louis. All need to know how to respect the living and the dead.
3. Location of real estate or location of charity
For years entrepreneurs have been eyeing the hospital, dreaming of turning it into a profitable place (as Notre Dame hotel and restaurant).
From the roof of the hospital: Eti Halutz and Dalia Levi, the donor and the Tax advisor. In the background the Golden Dome and the Mount of Olives. on another roof overlooking Notre Dame - the president of the hospital - Sister Lydia and myself . Prime location!
But the sister's position is entirely different: Jerusalem is not just real estate. Compassionate care is an opportunity, and in Jerusalem we were given the opportunity to extend compassion and care to the people of the three Abrahamic religions.
A monk who had a calling to serve the dyeing. (From Adam Winograd's wonderful documentary - THE ISLAND)
4. The problem of the Ministry of Health (more precisely: the problem of a hospital that is not up to standard)
The Ministry of Health is quite satisfied: here is a place that takes the burden and treats the dying, thus freeing up beds for general patients in the other hospitals in Jerusalem. That’s a relief! But with this there are also quite a few requirements made by the ministry: upgrading the building from the 19th century to modern standards. otherwise, the money paid by the ministry will not be transferred.
Upgrading an old building is expensive, so how to do it?? - friends association and fundraisers. To this end, the nuns are traveling around the world, persuading and speaking to the hearts of donors (e.g., the "Knights of the Church of the Sepulcher" and "Knights of Malta" associations).
5. God, how can I help?
About two years ago I was invited to be on the board of trustees of the hospital. I wondered: How could I contribute to the place??
I recruited a Jew who would read on Purim Megilla (Scroll of Esther) to the Jewish patients. I told to as many people as I could about the wonders of grace that my eyes saw in this place: A place where members of the three religions give help and are treated, live and die, without distinction and without favoring one over another.
But kindness without money is not enough.
I remembered the Order of the Knights of Malta (previously called 'Hospitalers'/ 'Lazarists'/ 'The Order of the Hospital of St. John') which is now an association of charitable donors.
6. The knights (more precisely: the female- knights) from Ra'anana.
About a year ago I held a seminar at the Notre-Dame Hotel, the profits of which went to the hospital. The lecture about the hospital and the tour did their part: the participants added and donated through the hospital's donation account. Then came the climax at the end of the seminar:
A woman approached me and said: "After 30 years of volunteering, my friends and I are closing an association we founded for the elderly in a nursing home in Ra'anana. Whatever is left in the account - we will donate to this hospital. Compassion and kindness were the values of our association, and they will continue to exist through the money that we will give".
Chills came down my back...
The association founded by Mrs. Eti Halutz and her friends (Ra'anana Volunteer Association) was established in a nursing home. Dozens of volunteers have given precious hours to hundreds of elderly people for over 30 years. (They established a cafeteria in the old people's home that was actually a place of recreation, pampering, attention and activities for the elderly, some of whom were nursing and elderly). Over the years the volunteers themselves got old and the cafeteria was transferred to private hands. The association had to close but there was money left in the account. Money that was waiting for a good cause to be donated....
The Ra'anana Volunteers Association was honored in the Ra'anana municipality's Facebook page. Today those volunteers receive the honors in Jerusalem of both earth and heaven.