Sixty-four-year-old Haifa resident Rafi Elazari had done nothing wrong, but he wanted to do penance – for the minority of Israelis who have been guilty of verbal and even physical violence in medical facilities.
He brought one cake for security guards at his city’s Rambam Medical Center and another for nurses, doctors and others working in the hospital’s emergency department.
The gesture, which surprised and moved many of the hospital staff who were present, caused great excitement and amazement.
Last year there was a notorious incident at a Holon clinic run by the Clalit Health Services community health fund clinic, in which a mentally unstable, 78-year-old man suddenly doused a devoted nurse named Tova Karero with gasoline and set her alight. By the time the suspect fled the scene and was apprehended by police, the victim had died.
The latest, well-publicized incident that took place at Wolfson Medical Center, also in the city of Holon south of Tel Aviv, involved an incident in which a woman and her husband allegedly attacked security guards. The woman arrived at the hospital and demanded to know when she would receive treatment.
The woman claimed that a security guard approached her, moved her from the counter, slammed her head against the wall and beat her. But the hospital insisted that it was the couple that attacked the medical staff and security guards and that they were forced to respond. “The husband and wife were asked to leave the emergency room because they acted with unreasonable and ongoing force against our security guards,” the hospital said in an official statement.
Videos that appeared on Facebook made it seem as if the hospital staff were guilty, but Wolfson declared that the information distributed on social networks was based on videos taken by people at the end and didn’t document the entire incident.” The matter is currently under police investigation.
The lack of enough doctors, especially at night and in emergency rooms in Israeli hospitals, can cause tension and impatience among the sick and their relatives.
“It’s not normal,” stated Elazari. “I am sensitive to such incidents, so I decided to take action during the Jewish month of Elul, in which forgiveness is sought and people repent for their sins during the year. I decided to ask for forgiveness in my name and in the name of the People of Israel and to thank the medical staff for their goodness and for saving lives round the clock and around the year.” Elazari bade them farewell by wishing all of Israel that the New Year of 5779 will be a time of much patients and good news.”
The good deed spread like wildfire throughout Haifa’s leading hospital and even the Health Ministry in Jerusalem, eliciting many smiles.