April 30, 2015

How Israel loves mankind

Newspaper headline reads: "The honor of helping."
A natural disaster hit Nepal on Saturday. An earthquake that registered 7.8 crushed the country. The quake killed over 5,200 people, injured 10,000 and created a state of homelessness and hunger for tens of thousands of  survivors.

Countries around the world offered help and aid. The US, India and the UK pledged aid money. China sent a 62-member search and rescue team. Australia, Malaysia, Pakistan and the E.U. promised aid. These are all big countries with abundant resources and some of them are regional neighbors of Nepal. It makes logical sense that help comes from here.

Yet one teensy country that is the size of New Jersey was the first one in Kathmandu with an operational field hospital of 60 beds. 

Its 250 doctors, nurses, paramedics and rescue teams were already working saving lives and rescuing people by Wednesday morning.  A few hours later, they had operated on over 100 wounded and delivered a baby in their obstetrics unit.
Israeli doctor from Nepal: The honor and need of aid

This country is not a neighbor of Nepal and it is not a rich country. It is not exactly a stable place either, with enough domestic and international issues to fuel negative news stories around the world. Yet this particular story, about a country that has a large heart, loves mankind and whose essence is giving, may never appear in the headlines.

The country with a heart? Israel.  Where is Iran’s search and rescue team? And where is its millions of dollars worth of aid for Nepal? What about Saudi Arabia?  Bahrain?  Turkey? Yemen? These countries have far more money than Israel and are geographically as close or closer to Nepal. (Forgive me if they have contributed; I could not find this information.)

Setting up the Israeli field hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.

On a smaller scale, I recently read that two Israeli trekkers who were rescued in Nepal decided not to go home but to stay and help. Imagine being struck by a huge natural disaster, being stranded without food and water, then rescued and invited to board a helicopter to safety and security. Well Aviv Rosen and Yonatan Molcho said “No, thanks. We would rather stay here in Nepal and help rescue lives.”

When Aviv’s mother was interviewed about her son’s decision by The Times of Israel, she explained, “It is certainly not easy, but I understand he has values and thinks about others beside himself,” she said. “I am very proud of my son; I think the entire country should be proud of such a boy who doesn’t just up and leave but stays behind to help dozens of people. He stayed behind [and didn’t fly back home] because of his love for mankind, not in order receive anything.”

These two young men had just served in the army for three years. They were finally free to travel, explore, indulge, enjoy. Yet they decided to stay. Why? Possibly because these three army years showed them that life is not able serving oneself, it is about looking after others.

And this is teensy Israel. She is always on the lookout to lend a helping hand and to make the world a better place.  A new organization called The Hallelu Foundation has been set up to explain the light and the love that is the real Israel. They will not need to look far for positive stories to tell because Israel truly loves mankind. We just need mankind to listen.

Here is their promotional video:

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