“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” — Genesis 1:27
What does it mean to be treated as a person who is created in the image of God? At a Fellowship-funded hospital in the heart of Jerusalem, I found out.
I recently went to that hospital – Shaare Zedek Medical Center – for the dedication ceremony of a Fellowship-equipped Neurosurgery Operating Room. Our support has positioned Shaare Zedek as one of the world’s leading hospitals in the field of brain surgery and treatment of brain trauma. This is especially important in this time of rising tensions in the Holy Land – Shaare Zedek handles more terror-related trauma cases than any other Jerusalem hospital.
Some years prior to my recent visit, I stayed at Shaare Zedek due to a medical issue. During that stay, I not only received top-of-the-line medical care – I was treated with kindness, empathy, and respect. My wonderful nurses represented a true cross section of the diverse society that is Israel: an ultra-Orthodox Jew, a Muslim, an Ethiopian woman (bless her, she even let me practice speaking Amharic, the official language of her native country).
No one likes staying in a hospital. It is so easy to feel alienated and uncomfortable when you are worried about your health and are at your most vulnerable. But my experience was different. At Shaare Zedek, I wasn’t a number. I wasn’t another cog in a medical machine. I was a human being, someone worthy of being treated with dignity and compassion – someone created in the image of God.
At Shaare Zedek, people are not only restored to physical health, they are healed in spirit by being given the respect that is due to every human being. And our Fellowship supporters help make this happen. So, as I stood at the dedication ceremony at Shaare Zedek, I felt doubly blessed – blessed to be in the presence of the men and women who work at this wonderful hospital and dedicate themselves to helping others, and blessed by you, our Fellowship supporters.
Your loving heart and generosity toward God’s people has done so much good for Israel! Your gifts help us recognize the basic humanity of all people, and help us treat each individual as one of God’s precious children. How wonderful to have you as The Fellowship‘s partners in this work.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President