AI ninety year old woman sits in her wheelchair in an Ezer Mizion ambulance together with her husband. Again and again she cries, ‘Thank you!’ interspersed with every imaginable blessing for Ezer Mizion and its staff. The couple’s relief is tangible and fills the ambulance, fueling the driver as he makes his way to a safe harbor for this frail, helpless pair. They are just one of so many elderly, mobility impaired holocaust survivors who found themselves in a nightmare of horror and no way to escape. The fleet of twenty ambulances is in constant use bringing people to safety, transporting wounded soldiers for treatment, carrying the ill for therapy and, sadly, the deceased for identification.
The hotlines do not stop ringing. One needs medication that had been left at home during the emergency evacuation. Another is traumatized, in desperate need of professional care to avoid complete failure to function due to PTSD. Meals for the displaced. Wheelchairs for wounded soldiers. Hi-tech communicative devices for soldiers whose condition does not allow them to speak. Each request is different. Behind each is a cry of vulnerability, of helplessness in a world gone insane.
Moshe, an oncology patient, has been treated in Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva. He was ready to be released. Normally, a joyous time. But not now. He lives (lived?) in Sderot. Go home? Out of the question. But where can he go? A sheltered living facility in Tel Aviv offered him a place to stay. Problem solved. Almost. How is he to get from Beer Sheva to Tel Aviv? And so he called the number. The number that all of the Israel population knows by heart. The voice on the other end, although harried, was as friendly and caring as usual. “It’s your job to get well. We’ll do the rest. If packing is too difficult for you, the driver will help you with that when he arrives. A speedy recovery to you!”
War in Israel; transportation for the elderly, ill and disabled
Sergeant Yediyda Lev had recently donated stem cells to save the life of a woman he had never met. The woman and her family will be eternally grateful to him. It is his blood that will be flowing in her veins giving her life forever. His blood will be keeping her alive although he is no longer among the living. This week, Yedidya Lev was killed protecting his people in a ground offense in Gaza. His life will continue with every good deed performed by the woman he saved. May his family take comfort in the knowledge that Yedidya lives on.