Two Photos Tell a Story of Israel

November 24, 2023

The two photos below capture Israel’s pain, Israel’s history, Israel’s resilience, and a promise for Israel’s future.

In this photo are three generations of hand surgeons, three generations of dealing with the medical fallout of Israel’s wars.

Dr. Batya Yaffe, on the right, a renowned expert in plastic/hand surgery and microsurgery, was the Director of the Hand Surgery Department at Sheba. She retired in 2015 but came back to volunteer at Sheba on October 8th. Over the years she took part in treating the wounded of the Yom Kippur War, the First and Second Lebanon War and many other operations.

Dr. Yona Yaniv, on the left, an orthopedic and hand surgeon, replaced Dr. Yaffe in the management of the department, worked on patients from Operation Cast Lead, the Second Lebanon War and more, she also retired only two years ago but has been working at Sheba since October 7.

Dr. Anna Seltzer, in the center, is an orthopedic and hand surgeon and Director of Peripheral Nerve Treatment. She has been working at Sheba since 2011 treating people from accidents and wars and is now leading during Iron Swords.

Since October 7th, the hand surgery department has performed over 250 surgeries on injured civilians and soldiers, who have benefitted from the combined decades of experience of these three amazing women. Together they share professional passion and the experience of moving the wounded back to health.

In this photo there are smiles, but each person in this photo carries the burden of incomprehensible pain and trauma.

This group is a mix of young people, some who survived the massacre at the Nova music festival and the rest who survived the attack on the now-infamous shelter near Kibbutz Reim that turned into a death trap. They are all currently hospitalized at Sheba’s Integrated Rehabilitation Hospital. These young people, part of Israel’s future, gathered with intentionality as a group, to strengthen and hug each other. To connect a bit of their shared pain, which those who did not go through the experience can possibly understand.

Modern Israel’s journey has been one of incredible highs and painful lows. And the people of Israel have endured and in fact flourished.

Israel and Israelis will find a way across this narrow bridge. They have each other. And they have our support.

The physical and psychological rehab task ahead is enormous. But we will not be afraid. And we will meet the challenge.

Am Yisrael Chai.


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