SHABBAT ACROSS AMERICA: TIKKUM OLAM—TO REPAIR THE WORLD, MARCH 5, 2010

FROM OUR RELIGOUS SOURCES ON OUR OBLIGATION TO HELP OTHERS

Aleynu: l'taken olam b'malchut shaddai: "to fix the world under the kingdom of God."

Simon the Just...used to say, "Upon three things the world stands: On Torah, on (Divine) Service, and on Deeds of loving kindness." Pirke Avot 1:2

Hillel used to say: If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?" Pirke Avot 1:14

"Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with G-d." Micah 6:8 "And you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Leviticus19:18

"If you see that your neighbor's donkey or ox has collapsed on the road, do not look the other way. Go and help your neighbor get it back on its feet!" Deuteronomy 22:4

SONG: AMAR RABI AKIVA
Amar Rabi Akiva. Amar Rabi Akiva.
V'ahavtah l'ray'acha. L'ray'acha kamocha.(2x)
Zeh k'lal gadol. Gadol batorah Amar Rabi Akiva (2x).
(Click to hear the song)

Translation: Rabbi Akiva said: "And you shall love your neighbor, your neighbor as yourself. This is a great rule, in the Torah," that's what Rabbi Akiva said.

GUEST SPEAKER: MS. HILA ELROY,
Advisor to the Consul General, Israeli Consulate, New York, New York
THE ISRAELI RESPONSE TO THE DEVASTATION IN HAITI

Ms. Elroy made the following points in her speech:

The Israeli Medical-Rescue team spent two weeks in Haiti. The decision to leave Haiti came after the arrival of additional aid forces to Haiti (including the United States military and civilian aid), which had begun providing regular medical services. Furthermore, many of the local hospitals had reached a sufficient level of functionality.

On Jan 24, 2010, the medical staff at the Israeli field hospital, started transferring patients to the US hospital ship, and on Jan 26, they stopped receiving new cases. After the Israeli manpower left Haiti, most of the equipment brought by the delegation remained behind for use by the various medical personnel, including tents, medications and other medical equipment. (See videos below for information on the medical equipment brought to Haiti.)

During their stay in Haiti, the delegation treated more than 960 patients, conducted 294 successful surgeries, delivered 16 births including three in cesarean sections and saved many from within the ruins. During the weekend of Jan 23-24, the Israeli team managed to save a 22 year old from the ruins after being buried for 11 days. The man was brought to the hospital and where he his medical condition was upgrade to stable within one day.

For the future aid to Haitians, Israeli government together with Jewish organizations will establish an Israeli facility in Haiti that will include a school for children, an adult education program and a trauma center.

In concluding her speech, she stated that: "it is in these situations, that the true nature of a state and its people is revealed. I am proud of my country and of the wonderful, caring people who live in it".

The earthquake in Haiti occurred on Jan 12, 2010 and the IDF set up its field hospital in Port-au-Prince by Jan 15, 2010. Until the arrival on Jan. 20, of the USS Comfort, the US hospital ship, the IDF field hospital was the only hospital in Haiti with resources to handle extremely severe injuries.

The IDF search and rescue teams which freed Haitians from collapsed buildings

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