My 13-year-old daughter just wanted to be helpful and save me time when she took the new, razor-sharp kitchen knife and started chopping vegetables for me. But when the knife slipped, causing a deep gash in her finger, the minutes saved cost me a good few hours, as we ended up spending the morning at the Hadassah Hospital Emergency Room.
A hospital emergency room is a world in itself, as anyone who has experienced it can tell you: all kinds of people, all sorts of illness and injuries. And the ever-present smile of the Ezer Mizion volunteers deftly cutting through the heavy atmosphere.
The woman next to me looked so helpless and miserable. In the camaraderie that the ER fosters, she poured her heart out to me: “I live in Ashdod. The constant sirens, running to the shelter, the unrelenting tension – were grinding us down. Finally, I decided we needed a break. My husband couldn’t leave his job, but I took the kids on the bus and headed for Jerusalem, to family, to get some peace and quiet.
“On the last leg of the bus ride, the driver had to make a short stop. My son flew forward, knocked his head and got a nasty cut. I know it’s not serious, but… Three weeks in Ashdod, and not a scratch, baruch Hashem. And now – this…” She sounded so overwhelmed, my heart went out to her. I heard her telling her little boy, “No, I don’t have any food with me, I’m sorry. Hang in there. I hope it won’t be much longer.”
When I heard that, I jumped up and tracked down one of the Ezer Mizion angels. I told her the situation, and minutes later, she was back with two hot meals, sandwiches for later, and warm, reassuring words. The woman from Ashdod came to life at this show of attention, and her son smiled for the first time since I was there. They are really unbelievable, those volunteers from Ezer Mizion.