Post 350: Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem – A place to heal – a place for Jews and Arabs Israelis to meet and reach a common ground by accepting/complaining about their medical treatment and parting with wishes for a complete recovery; Jerusalem Muslala – a place to meet artists and attend workshops; Rosh Chodesh Elul Women’s gathering, September 14 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm; Melabev Center Rosh Hashanah Sale Melabev invites you to come and shop for your Rosh Hashanah gifts at their fair. Great vendors, raffle prizes and children’s activities. All the proceeds go to support the dementia care facility for English speakers. 125 Derech Beit Lechem 02-651-6764 Price Entrance to the fair is FREE; Quick trick for using commercial pastry dough ; Recipe for Quinoa Muffins.

This has turned into a very lengthy post. To make matters worse, there were opportunities to add to it via my phone, on the bus, in a waiting room. As a matter of fact  in several medical offices. THIS IS IT: Last one. Italian Synagogue  Festival Tonight on Rechove Hillel. And Shatz Jazz festival Tonight at 9:30 PM.

The post’s theme is to be a hospital patient is to be humbled. Relying for your survival on others isn’t pleasant.

This is the way an admission to Hadassah Hospital begins:

At the side of the entrance to the Davidson Pavilion is a statue. Are you able to make out the figures in the photo? The boy is picking an apple and the younger female figure beneath him (as seen in the second figure ) is standing patiently beneath him, arms folded behind her back in a military posture, cautiously waiting.

I’ve written to Hadassah Hospital to ask who is the creator of the statue? Who are the children? There is a strong hint that they are Ethiopian Jews by their slight build and proud posture. Undoubtedly, these two figures have been standing in their positions for a while. They are easy to notice very early in the morning when the Davidson entrance is quiet.




The photo above and below is a custom Corian counters and high end sinks found in post-op, intensive care area.

This $5,000 sink is genuinely extraordinary. The debris of casual hand washing and human waste-products are flushed down it. The rooms off of it smell fresh and clean as a whistle. Not like the normal  hospital ward.


Below are a few points to consider when you or a family member is going through the admissions process;

1-The Admissions process is somewhat frustrating. Directions are sometimes  not UNDERSTOOD to a native English speaker.

3-Do not ask questions to Doctors when they are doing rounds:

I had the opportunity to be present in the unit during early morning rounds, and that was only for a second because I was chased out. Do not attempt to speak with a doctor doing rounds, or with a nurse during change of shifts, don’t even try!

4- There is no way to gage when a patient will be discharged. The best that you can do is speak with a 6 year surgical resident and see how up on the line you are.

Corian counters form a defense around all the nurses stations.


5-Make the best of waiting for surgery:

I like to compare a stay at Davidson  to one at a  five star hotel experience. Factor out gourmet food, entertainment and gambling that are not provided  at Davidson. However, I understand the maternity section boasts a gourmet Kosher chef. Like checking in to a hotel, one must wait until your room is ready.

The staff tries to help as much as possible. If one looks closely at the Hazmanah, the appointment with specifics about arrival, one is warned that the time of an appointed procedure is not NECESSARILY the time.

So instead of waiting for an hour behind a curtain, the nurse if asked, will provide the patient a bed to rest. That gesture was very much appreciated.

6-Appreciate the homy touches:

There are also the homy touches of colorful P.J’s for young patients. Snacks and drinks  are provided for family members during the wait and during the hospitalization period.



SURGICAL FLOORr -4 includes a waiting area. This photo is taken from inside the Intensive care wing, At the conclusion of surgery the patient’s  Hebrew initials are displayed on a digital sign..

The following story is based on my experience over several days as a visitor at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem:

 1:Taking a break in the family room;

       I met a couple from Gaza. The family name was Asef. The wife Nargina sat in the same seat in the family room every day, mostly snacking and talking on her cell phone. Her husband didn’t seem like the nargilah pipe smoking type.

      The night before, Abu Asef was heard in the hall talking very loudly in English to the staff. I said to myself, this is not a family from East Jerusalem. They would be speaking Hebrew. Possibly they are from Jordan or Syria. They gave the  impression of being fairly well off.

I introduced myself to Nargina. It was apparent that the family was not of local origin and Abu Asef volunteered, when he came into the family room, that they arrived to the hospital by taxi from Gaza City at a cost of about 250 Israeli Sheckel for a trip that took two hours.

Abu Asef explained that his problem could not be treated in Nablus the closest hospital.

Nargina told me me then that the Asefs were part of a larger klan.

I decided to hold back on some questions until Abu Asef was more relaxed. He complained that he was feeling awful after the aorta surgery.

Nargina and I delved into the complexities of Arabic handwriting. Coming into Israel was a bit of a culture shock for her. She was surprised to see the prevalent short and she noticed that I was dressed conservatively. She offered to help me with Arabic any time that her husband didn’t need her, any time that she was in the family room. We had a long discussion about the word “To Cut”. The Arabic word sounds like the  Hebrew word “Knife”, “Sakan”. An aide nearby confirmed the similarity.

From several conversations with patients and relatives it became apparent that many patients in the rooms next to the family waiting room had an ailment called aortic dissection, a serious condition in which the inner layer of the aorta, the large blood vessel branching off the heart, tears. Blood surges through the tear, causing the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate. Aortic dissection is the most common catastrophe of the aorta, 2-3 times more common than rupture of the abdominal aorta.

When left untreated, about 33% of patients die within the first 24 hours, and 50% die within 48 hours. The 2-week mortality rate approaches 75% in patients with undiagnosed ascending aortic dissection. I held onto this information before I saw Abu Asef the following evening. I also met a trained nurse from Cyprus who was with an uncle who cam to Hadassah under Medical Tourism. She explained that the surgery in Israel was much cheaper than in Cyprus.

Another member of the “Aorta Problem” group was a young man, dressed in knee-length shorts and hard-rock tee-shirt. The conversation between a 20 something Israeli biker and Abu Asef reminded me of Krapp’s Last Tape. Abu Asef like Krapp, is a lonely, solitary figure, playing the tapes of his illness and re-telling what might have been, saying that in spite of his surviving 13 hours of surgery, Allah could still take him in a minute. He spoke of his 20 year connection to a German construction company. During his  civil engineering career he supervised the building of dozens of schools and hospitals across the Middle East. At that point I couldn’t hold back. I said, “Abu Asef, you are very stubborn, and a hard worker, and you are anxious to get back to work.  But your complaining and your “what if” will not help you survive this surgery, but patience will. The CAT scan accidentally revealed your aorta problem. You would have not survived and aortic incident. For cardiac patients, attitude is the most important factor.”

He shook his head in agreement. Then he could not resist, “You know that the Jews are the wealthiest people in the world (not the oil sheiks). I smiled, “If this is true, and that’s a big if, then with wealth goes a great responsibility to help people and use it wisely.” He accepted my words.

On the other hand, the biker was patient and accepting, which I am sure was not part of his character. He had used his challenge, the “Nisayanos” of his illness as an opportunity for growth as a tool to strengthen his character. He described convincingly that inner sections of his aorta were torn and as he described, flapping, making it insufferable to eat. He was waiting to receive heavy doses of a blood thinner that he would be taking at home. Or perhaps he was waiting for the prescription. In any case he had been brought to the unit expecting to be admitted for surgery. The doctors then decided that he was  to go home and they would see him again and perhaps the spontaneous tear would heal.. He had an attitude of complete submission to whatever his fate would be.

When I last saw Abu Asef I took the risk and asked, “Did you come in to Hadassah Hospital through  the Palestinian Authority Office? and who paid for your surgery? He replied that one can be admitted from Gaza after a thorough check by the Israeli military from Gaza, that they have no criminal record. I offered that I’m checked too, and he agreed and that he perfectly understood the need for security checks. He also said that the surgery had a cost of $150,000. I asked Nargina if she knew who built Hadassah Hospital. I have yet to meet an Arab Israeli who is familiar with Henrietta Szold and the Hadassah Womens Organization, the largest volunteer organization in the USA with over 100,000 members. I suggested to Nargina that she write a thank you letter to Hadassah Hospital and that it would encourage the volunteers.

2-On the last day of my visits,  I brought along a braided rug that needed repair. Many Arab workers passed and admired the rug. I said, “This rug is really a symbol. The work is done by a strong hand, and it held together well for a very long time. It is coming apart places. The whole is made up of many distinct parts, some stronger and some weaker, each with a unique identity. When there is a disruption in one part it is felt throughout, and the weak need to be helped. The vital indispensable Aorta provides oxygenated blood to all the organs. The aorta is largest  blood vessel. It branches off from the heart and pumps oxygen-rich blood back into the body.

my heirloom braided wool rug

Isolation, I explained, is harder to suffer than being poor. The rug represents the stronger helping the weaker to hold on.  Family and community are  very important. Without them there is no society.

The aide said that she had traveled to Jordan and Turkey and she didn’t see that kind of caring for the weak.

3-The following is a tip:

I don’t know a single person who does not use the Israeli ubiquitous pastry dough roll or buy prepared frozen burekas. Both  contain sugar. To cut back on that, I defrost the frozen burekas which have a TINY amount of filling. Then use the defrosted pastry roll and cut a piece, roll it out and add any vegetable filling that I fancy.






 These are the packed burekas before I open the seam.


4-Healing, tshuvah repentance, repair and learning in Elul:

A good friend wrote to me that she feared knee surgery that loomed over her is past and that she is recovering in a Florida rehabilitation center. Now she can work on repair. We all can because we are in the month of Elul.

Yesterday was September 11th. I will never forget that life altering day in 2001. 15 years have passed since the Twin Towers attack. it still hurts.

Elul and  Tshuvah Healing:

I attended a very enlightening talk given by Dr. Anders Nerman, ND. Most of the details are not news to me. Before I actually give an honest response to the lecture, there were several questions that bothered me. hence I am awaiting a reply from Dr. Nerman.

An Upcoming Event:

Torah V’Ta’anug —תורה ותענוג

Chodesh Elul Women’s gathering – התכנסות נשים לחודש אלול

Preparation for the New Year – הכנה לשנה החדשה

Thursday September 15th יום חמישי י׳׳ב אלול

7:00 -7:30 Light Refreshments—כיבוד קל

7:30- 8:20 Torah Yoga with Diane Bloomfield–

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook teaches that we have forgotten the holiness of the body, and that we need to return to our bodies as well as our souls. In this Torah Yoga session, we will return to our bodies through Torah study and yoga practice.

הרב אברהם יצחק הכהן קוק מלמד ששכחנו את קדושת הגוף, ושאנו צריכים לשוב אל גופינו ולא רק אל נפשינו. בסדנת תורה יוגה זו, נשוב אל גופינו עם לימוד תורה ותרגול יוגה.

8:25-9:15 Sacred song circle with Ruthi Soudack.

Meditative chanting and singing of psukim from the

tefilla and the sacred texts. The repetition of the words and the beautiful melodies will prepare us to move into the new year inspired and with open hearts.

מעגל שירה מקודשת עם רותי סודק. צנטינג ושירה של פסוקים מהתפילה והמקרא. החזרה על מילים והמנגינות המרגשות יפתחו לנו את הלב ויכינו אותנו להכנס לשנה החדשה מלאות השראה.

Nachmum Shadmi 2 in Talpiot, Corner of Efrata and Giladi (Mizmor LeDavid Shul)

30 shekels suggested Donation: All Proceeds go to the Karen Doris Foundation

For more information contact Diane at 02 -672-3626

I’ll (B’H) be visiting the Beta Center for Arts: Address: 155 Jaffa street, Jerusalem Next to the Saidoff Building. They off community residents classes in Carpentry

Arriving by public transportation: the light rail, Mahane Yehuda market station


Telephone: 02-5953346/7

Email us at:

Facebook: Beita Jerusalem / ביתא ירושלים

Opening Hours: Closed Sunday

The Beita offices are open Mon-Thu between 9am and 4pm

Visiting center/Beitacity – Mon-Thu 12am to 7pm or by appointment

Beita HUB – Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu 9am to 5pm

Open Workshop / Carpentry Workshop – Wed, Thu 4pm to 9pm

Open Workshop / Sewing Workshop – Thu 4pm to 9pm

Opening hours and activities at Beita


Beita is open to the public five days a week, Mon-Thu between 12am – 9pm, excluding holidays. The Beita office hours are Mon-Thu 9am – 4pm. The following chart contains a general work schedule.

Monthly activity calendar / Workshop activities
















09:00 Art






Art Hub Beita Academy


12:00 Carpentry course Open

class Urban


16:00 Open workshop Open worksop
17:00 Artists


Beita stage
18:00 Beita Academy workshop Carpentry course Carpentry





20:00 Culture salon




















Quinoa Muffins


1 1/2 cups oat flour ( can be made from oats

1/2 cup quinoa flakes/cooked quinoa
¼ cup oats
3 tablespoons coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup + 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1 egg
flavor option 1: lemon blueberry
½ cup – 1 cup blueberries
Zest of 1 lemon
flavor option 2: carrot cake
1 cup shredded carrots
1/w cup chopped walnuts
flavor option 3: coconut chocolate chip
½ cup coconut flakes
½ cup dark chocolate chips


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, quinoa flakes, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Beat together the wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl. Add to the dry and mix to combine. The consistency should be that of a runny oatmeal. Let the batter stand while you pre heat the oven to 375 degrees F. If by the time the oven is ready the batter seems too thick (you should be able to still stir it easily) add more milk or milk substitute  1 tablespoon at a time.
Just before baking, folding in your desired add-ins.
Spray a muffin tin with non stick spray and fill the wells ⅔ of the way full. Bake on the center rack.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s