17th May, 2016
Yesterday was a tough day! Talia and Ayalas school bus was in an accident, it spun several times and turned over completely after the driver veered to avoid another accident right in front of them. An idiot driver thought she could turn into a side road across the traffic, travelling fast.
16 little girls found themselves and their school bags flying against the side of the bus. Talia thought she smelled smoke so quickly managed to get most of the girls out through the broken back window and passersby stopped to help the others out. Everyone and gave their phones to the girls to call home – including cars with Palestinian licences whose drivers went out of his way to help them. In Israel, no-one simply walks by, the girls remember a huge wave of people coming to see how they were and gently seating them at the side of the road until the ambulances and first responders arrived.
Rachel raced to the scene almost immediately but couldn’t get to the hospital when the ambulances left because all traffic was diverted due to the accident. She called me and of course I raced to the Shaare Zedek Hospital, just 10 minutes from our home.
The children were all in shock. Some of the mothers had not yet arrived and the girls saw a familiar face in me. Ayala had a bump on her forehead and Talia’s shoulder and arm hurt – but by some miracle, none of the children was seriously hurt but all were silently traumatized, except Talia who gave a full description of exactly what happened. Ayala and Talias Auntie Shiran came too – so that we had one on one with the girls until Rachel could get there.
Shaare Zedek Hospital was incredible, over and above the call of duty. Not only the incredibly efficient and thoughtful medical staff who gathered the girls after triage, taking them to paediatric ER ensuring they were all together in one place. The social worker spoke to them, brought in the clowns (literally), medical clowns who helped them through their trauma, teasing, blowing balloons, tricks and gifts, the nurses brought them all gifts from a special cupboard of surprises, age appropriate; their headmistress, school supervisor, hospital social worker, school social worker, senior and incredibly patient junior doctors came to check on the girls. In fact the hospital social worker took them to the petting zoo up on the main children’s ward, to break the tension before they were examined again.
The parents were also cared for and given hospital food to sustain them and a lot of love from the staff.
Talia received the recognition she deserved, her quick thinking was exceptional for a 9 year old. Both girls are now home, sore and bruised but OK. Rachel, who finally managed to get to the hospital after about an hour, is my heroine. She kept her head, asked the right questions and eased the other mothers. Big brother Yosef was so worried that Saba Zvi went to get him from school and brought him to Shaare Zedek to put his mind at rest.
Shaare Zedek Paediatric ER – I cannot imagine any other hospital going all the way to ease the pain of 16 little girls the way they did.
This morning all 16 girls went to school and they were greeted with a room full of balloons and treats, the teachers all came to hug them and the other girls in the school waved and cheered. Good will can turn a trauma into a good experience, but both of the girls are in pain today as their bruises come out. Rachel is watching them carefully – an amazing Mother.
Independence Day came and went with a wonderful party in Ramat HaSharon and a beach birthday party for Gili. Friday night we had dinner with Sam and Debbie Bettsak at the Dan Panorama here in Jerusalem. It is always good to catch up with the Bettsaks, great friends.
I thought you may like some general statistics and wonderful videos about a 68 year old lady, more beautiful every year – Israel of course!!!
68 Reasons to love Israel http://forward.com/opinion/340242/68-reasons-to-respect-if-not-love-israel-on-its-68th-birthday/
68 More things I love about Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/68-more-things-i-love-about-israel/
68 Things you didn’t know about Israelhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3wmT2wH690
Finally the somewhat dry but very accurate statistics of Israel at 68http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/AboutIsrael/Spotlight/Pages/Israel-at-68-A-statistical-glimpse.aspx
May 19th sees the 100th anniversary of the Sykes Picot agreement. The entire region was divvied up according to interests by Britain and France, with Italy and Russia taking a minor role, basically cutting Germany out of the equation As a result of the division of said countries, with no consideration of ethnic or national divisions, we have had incessant wars, displacement, extremism and revolutions ever since. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/sykes_pico.html
I am usually the optimist – I tend to love everyone but something made me furious this week.
A religious friend was walking on the Tel Aviv beachfront with her sister when suddenly a lunatic began throwing bottles and other things at them yelling (in an American accent) “I love to see Harediot run” Nobody helped them – no-one, not a soul despite the fact that the promenade was full.
I am angry at the lunatic but much angrier at all the Tel Avivim who allowed it to pass………… shame on them. All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.
My mind is still on my grand-daughters – I’m sorry if I haven’t written in a well constructed manner but I think I am also a little traumatized!
Let’s go straight to music
The first song is a beautiful melody sung by Zvi’s choir Hakol Yachassi – lyrics by Eli Yaron (Ladino) Music by Adi Hayat; dancer Liron Mussachi and violin solo Alexandra Denissov
Israel Mio – My Israel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oZfs4WjDpU
Arik Einstein (z”l) wrote Ani ve Ata – You and Me, about changing the world together, no matter what anyone sayshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUgCUgDUBmA&list=PL1WC0PL2DeIVjVwcYgdtTe80V-UhLomRk&index=2
So friends, let you and me change our world. You know we can do it one person at a time. Don’t leave anything to the politicians and diplomats, their self-interest is evident and their populism and desire for control obvious in every move. The quiet revolution is the effective one, the war of words, the determined letter writing, the talking to journalists, the simple act of standing up to be counted.
Miracles happen. They did for our family yesterday.
PS I will try to give you a Shabbat Shalom but felt the need to tell you about yesterday too.