Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Judaism to the Rescue

[Hatzolah Helping Injured Man]

The Torah is the first book to advocate altruism. I am happy to report that this tradition is still alive and well in the Jewish community.

There is a network of volunteer ambulance corps in Jewish communities known as Hatzolah - “rescue” in Hebrew. Thousands of men volunteer their time to participate in saving lives. Together, the combined New York State branches have grown to become the largest all-volunteer ambulance system in the United States. The work these people do is incredible. Their response time is lightning fast and the work is done with genuine concern and caring.

One Saturday afternoon about two years ago, my son Samson, who has cerebral palsy, was riding his gait trainer on our home’s second story deck. Unfortunately, he attempted to ride the gait trainer down the stairs that lead to a concrete patio. He crashed face first into the concrete. My wife heard this happen and then ran into the house carrying him and screaming. I jumped up from my Sabbath afternoon nap and speed dialed Hatzolah on my cell phone. Within a few minutes an ambulance was in our drive way and two paramedics were in the house. They decided to transport my son to the emergency room at the Westchester County Medical Center. Fortunately, my son only suffered a black eye, and a damaged gait trainer. The obvious concern and caring of the Hatzolah volunteers was amazing and made this difficult experience much easier for everyone. I have no doubt that in many cases it makes a life or death difference.

I wonder why atheists seem so concerned for the Midianite children killed by the Israelites over three thousand years ago, yet seem unaware of all the children helped by Hatzolah today. It’s also interesting that atheists have committed so many atrocities in modern times, however they don’t seem to have any organization equivalent to Hatzolah as far as I know. Perhaps we do need God to be good.


Anonymous said...

I have heard of this type of thing being offered by cities throughout the world, regardless of religious affiliation or lack of. Even Las Vegas and Amsterdam have it. It is called ambulance service.

jewish philosopher said...

Hatzolah was created by Orthodox Jews with private funding primarily to lower the unacceptably long response times of the New York City services. Hatzolah has apparently succeeded in this goal.

Next time you have a heart attack, call your local atheists and see what happens. Duh!