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A Culture of Chessed and Pioneering

צילום: ברוך גרינברג

"Shalom Sivan, I'm Prof. Reuven Ohr, head of the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. I am the medical supervisor in charge of Zichron Menachem’s (charity) summer camp. 110 children and young people with cancer, left for London for 8 days of fun and relief for both the children and their families. I write to you after a long day, full of experiences, and after finishing a night shift at the clinic (I must treat people here as well...).
I recalled here two unusual words that appear in the Portion: "חלוצים" (pioneers) and "תרבות" (culture). Miri and Chaim Arental lost their son, Menachem, and after his passing decided to do a pioneering act of sorts; they established a charitable organization, which has become their life work, of helping sick people. This is an educational, ethical and pioneering kind of statement, to take a personal tragedy - and convert it into such a wonderful volunteering act.
The word "תרבות" (culture) appears in the entire Torah just once, and it happens in this week's Portion. Just before the entrance into the Land of Israel, Moshe Rabbenu warns us against "תרבות אנשים חטאים" (culture of sinning people), and calls upon us to create a different kind of culture. When I ook around here at the volunteers, the doctors, the donors, the counselors and the brave sick children who cope, I am filled with pride from the culture in Israel. We tend to forget it sometimes, but we have created a society in which there is a culture of Chessed (loving-kindness), of volunteering and of caring.”


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