Impossible Takes Longer

November 17, 2023

We are witnessing the traumatization of an entire country.

The wounded from October 7th and those wounded since. And their families and neighbors. Those who lost loved ones on October 7th. Those who have spent years running to safe rooms from rocket fire. And I could keep going. The good friend not near Gaza whose 13-year-old daughter insists on sleeping in her parents’ bedroom now in case of another Hamas attack. Who is exhausted because she lies awake thinking every noise in the street is a terrorist attack.

The geography is staggering too.  This isn’t just the Gaza envelope. Young people from around the country attended the music festival. And of course, soldiers from across the country are serving and being wounded. While we have 6 degrees of separation in Western society, Israel is really 1-2 degrees. So, a huge proportion of the population is traumatized and everyone else knows someone who is traumatized or suffers along with them. Experience says that the mental and emotional wounds from this war will likely be harder to treat than the physical wounds.

Much, maybe all of Israeli society faces a long and very challenging road ahead.

It is a task that is overwhelming to contemplate.

How in the world will so many people be treated for trauma? How does trauma counseling scale up to treat huge segments of an entire country?  How quickly can this be addressed, because the trauma counselors at Sheba tell us, it is better to treat trauma immediately and it is much more difficult when it becomes PTSD.

We just do it. As Ben Gurion said: “The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes longer.”

Sheba Medical Center brings to the people of Israel two important assets to meet this massive challenge:

  •   Deep experience in treating emotional trauma and PTSD.
  •   World-class training and simulation capabilities to rapidly provide counseling skill sets to many others, from direct training to training new trainers.

Israel, Sheba’s got this.

Sheba will be the pebble in the Israeli waters that will spread ripples across the country. Sheba cannot counsel millions. Even with remote technology Sheba cannot counsel hundreds of thousands. But Sheba can scale up to train new counselors and new trainers with national impact.

If we wallow in the enormity and discouraging depth of all this pain and ugliness, it can be paralyzing.

If we remember that the Jewish people and Israel have surmounted other “impossible” mountains, if we focus on the tools we have, if we believe in the genius of Israel to survive and thrive, the picture looks much brighter.

Sheba will need financial help to establish the national training center for trauma and PTSD. Please go here if you are willing to help fund the new center.

Sheba’s got this.

A recovering patient from Kfar Aza posted this sign in his hospital room

It says: Sheba Medical Center is the fortress that protects from the pain outside.

Am Yisrael Chai.


Don't miss out.

Sign up our weekly newsletter for the latest updates on medical advances and humanitarian efforts of Israel.