Israel, Spreading Blessing to the Rest of the World

In the Jewish tradition, the month of Elul is a time of repentance in preparation for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The word “Elul” is similar to the root of the verb “search” in Aramaic. The Talmud writes that the Hebrew word “Elul” can be understood to be an acronym for the phrase “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li”“I am for my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3). Elul is seen as a time to search one’s heart and soul and draw close to God in preparation for the coming Day of Judgement, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), and Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

What Does It Take To Be a Mensch?

Yossi Mentz-Director of Major Gifts AFMDA-blowing the Shofar-Photo Nurit Greenger
Yossi Mentz-Director of Major Gifts AFMDA-blowing the Shofar-Photo Nurit Greenger

A mensch, a Yiddish word, means, a person of kindness, integrity and honor. A mensch is someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. MDA is a mensch organization, the rescue system that saves life and the linkage to Israeli society’s survival.

From the rooftop of a Los Angeles high-rise building, in preparation for Rosh Hashanah, the upcoming Jewish New Year, a group of ladies, supporting members of American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA), the Israel organization comparable to the Red Cross, gathered under the mission banner to be the best they can be; for one purpose of goodness for one more year.

Dian Leeds, President, AFMDA-Photo credit Nurit Greenger
Dian Leeds, President, AFMDA-Photo credit Nurit Greenger

The group came to listen to Tal Rabin, 28-year-old, 2nd year medical school student, a former IDF (Israel Defense Forces) paramedic and medical instructor and currently MDA medic and instructor.

MDA Extends Its Hand Beyond Israel’s Borders

The writer with Tal Rabin-Photo credit Nurit Greenger
The writer with Tal Rabin-Photo credit Nurit Greenger

Tal teaches the next generation how to do good around the world.

With that, Tal was part of the Israeli mission to Nepal, the first medical team to arrive on the ground, in less than 24 hours from the time the earthquake took place. On April 25th, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, known as the Nepal or Gorkha earthquake, shattered the country, killing nearly 9,000 people and injured nearly 22,000. The earthquake epicenter was east of Gorkha District at Barpak, Gorkha, and its hypocenter was at a depth of approximately 8.2km (5.1 mi).

MDA in Nepal-Photo credit Tal Rabin
MDA in Nepal-Photo credit Tal Rabin

For five days the Israeli team of 8 members was busy helping the Nepali army and everyone who needed help, to include a group of the cutest surrogacy babies.

The latest, the Fuego, meaning fire, volcano Eruption in Guatemala

On Sunday, June 3rd, 2018, the Volcán de Fuego erupted ferociously; 1,713,617 people were affected by this natural disaster. Villages vanished under heavy lava flow, people were burned to death trough their shoes and clothes. The volcano spewed phosphate into the air and when it mixed with water from the rain that fell, heavy acid rain was pouring on everyone and everything below.

Fuego Mountain lava in Guatemala-covered entire town-Photo credit Tal Rabin
Fuego Mountain lava in Guatemala-covered entire town-Photo credit Tal Rabin

The Israeli team, headed by Professor Joseph Haik, Director of Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and the Burn Center at Sheba Medical Center, included two doctors and a nurse from the burn unit, anesthesiologist, pulmonologist, orthopedic, the head of Emergency preparedness system from the Health Ministry and Tal Rabin of MDA.

Israeli doctor in Guatemala-background volcano ash-Photo credit Tal Rabin
Israeli doctor in Guatemala-background volcano ash-Photo credit Tal Rabin

Medical Invention From Israel: Pineapple Enzyme Gel

The team’s expertise was to treat the burned patients with the Israeli invention Pineapple enzyme gel, the NexoBrid gel, from MediWound, that removes scab tissue and helps in preventing repetitious surgeries a burned patient requires. In fact, in some cases, it eliminates surgery all together and brings about fast healing.

The gel has already been approved for use by Israel and the European Union (EU) countries’ regulators and is in the final stage to be approved by the USA FDA (The Food and Drug Administration).

Israel, as it always does when disaster occurrs anywhere in the world, offered help.

The volcano erupted on June 3rd, and the Israeli team arrived on June 7th. Israel offered Guatemala help immediately but no Israel team goes where they are not welcome. And so, from the time Israel offered help and Prime Minister Netanyahu and Jimmy Morales, Guatemala’s president spoke, a few days went by. But the Israelis arrived to help and stayed in Guatemala for one week. They consulted with other doctors in hospitals; treated medium to lighter burn cases with the NexoBrid gel only because the severe cases died by the time they arrived in Guatemala.

Israeli team treats local town mayor with NexoBrid gel-Photo credit Tal Rabin
Israeli team treats local town mayor with NexoBrid gel-Photo credit Tal Rabin

Whether it is ladies or young professionals, FMDA’s mission is always the same: to network, to understand philanthropy and coordinated humanitarian efforts for the goodness of the world and to spread Israel’s blessing to the rest of the world.

Supporting MDA is a message to all the MDA teams on the ground in and out of Israel, that they can continue doing what they do so very well: save life and give Life and Hope to Israeli society.

Branding Israel a Humanitarian Nation

Branding Israel as a humanitarian aid nation should be an easy task, considering the humanitarian work Israelis like Tal do, year in and year out, around the world.

But, for some reason it is a conundrum that has no direct answer and is a grueling task. Ignoring the challenge, a group of volunteers are now working through the cobweb of Public Relations and Public Diplomacy, and are putting together a first time initiative to brand Israel the ‘Humanitarian Aid’ nation it is.

Israel, MDA Humanitarians-Photo credit Tal Rabin
Israel, MDA Humanitarians-Photo credit Tal Rabin

Participation in ‘Life & Hope‘ Gala will make the reader a supporter of this, way overdue cause, to acknowledge Israeli doctors’ remarkable work around the world as well as branding Israel a top ‘Humanitarian Aid’ nation.

During the 2006 second Lebanon War, Nurit Greenger, referenced then as the “Accidental Reporter” felt compelled to become an activist. Being an ‘out-of-the-box thinker, Nurit is a passionately committed advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States, and the Free World in general. From Southern California, Nurit serves as a “one-woman Hasbarah army” for Israel who believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
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