All barriers fall to the wayside when the human heart encounters respect. Secular , Chareidi, Druze…it makes no difference. When the Israeli policeman watches an Ezer Mizion counselor, tzitzis flying in the air, gently placing a disabled child into a wheelchair with an encouraging pat on the cheek… When he sees the pride in the set of the shoulders as the counselor wheels his young charge down the plaza towards the kosel, the one place on this earth where all IQ’s are equal…When he recalls that these very special children are being cared for 24/7 by these very special counselors who are spending their vacation at Ezer Mizion’s camp and receiving no pay…respect wells up in his heart and he desperately wants to be part of this event. And so he, too, grabs hold of the handles of a wheelchair, and, for several minutes, he, too, proudly joins the parade of chessed.
To quote one policeman at the scene: “They are true angels, warming our hearts every time anew. Amidst our gamut of assignments, ongoing security activity, and involvement with traffic accidents in the capital, we always make a special effort to be available to respond to Ezer Mizion’s request, and consider it our greatest privilege. We will do whatever we can to help them out on their special children’s visit to Jerusalem and to the Kotel.”
Due to the participants’ disabilities, the police force accompanies them throughout their stay in the city, assisting them with all the means at their disposal. Children and youth from the Ezer Mizion retreat came on their traditional trip to Yerushalayim. The transport vans, buses, and ambulances were escorted by a Traffic Division motorcycle unit from the time they entered the city limits, for the length of their travel route, until their arrival at the Kotel plaza. There, they were met by police from the Kotel unit, who guided the buses to parking spots alongside the plaza, helped the staff and volunteers take the children and youths off the buses and ambulances, and remained with them for the duration of their visit. At the end, the Traffic Division motorcycle unit police escorted the buses on their way back amid a shower of thanks from both staff and children alike.
The respect of the policemen would increase a thousand-fold if they were to follow the counselors back to the camp. Each counselor is assigned his own ‘child’ with whom he spends a complete twenty—four hours each day of the camp. Some children need bathroom assistance, others need to be painstakingly fed and still others need to be watched every moment lest they disappear in the woods. Nocturnal visits to the bathroom, handling a tantruming twelve-year-old are just part of the package that these counselors have fought for the privilege of taking on. Together with the Israeli police, we salute the young men who have discovered the joys of giving before they even officially enter adulthood.