Humanitarians not Sadists

I avoid politics like the plague, and would never normally comment on current events.

But I would like to say the following, as it directly concerns myself, and the organizations I belong to.

The undeniable, indisputable truth, that by some absurd twist of reality, is openly confirmed, even by the ‘other side’ is that;

Whilst some “sanctify” G-d’s name by murdering innocent civilians;

We Sanctify G-d’s name by helping, treating and saving people without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender or nationality.

And we do so:

  1. Without Discrimination
  2. Without Prejudice
  3. Without Anticipation of Remuneration


We – refers to the EMS organizations in Israel, including MDA, Team and United.

We – refers to all Emergency Medical personnel and institutions including hospitals and their staff.

End Quote.


But that’s not what this story is about.


It was late evening, and I was just about to retire when the radio crackled to life.

“Police requesting our assistance in their search for a male teenager missing since this afternoon. He has black hair, blue eyes and is wearing a white shirt and black pants.”

“He answers to the name Jacob.”


I have never understood quite what that means.

Is it that – “He answers to the name Jacob – but his real name is David???”

Is he schizophrenic ?

If you call out David, will he respond?

Or does he only react when called by his imaginary name?

Odd, isn’t it.


But that’s not what this story is about.


Then a Call came in as, “Elderly Male – Fell in Street – Minor Injury.”

By the time I got there, his family had picked him up off the floor and I found him sitting on a plastic chair in the entrance way of his apartment building.

One look at his bloodied face, and I recognized him immediately. He was a popular neighborhood Rabbi, the head of a Rabbinical College actually.

He was a Very Important Person; and you know what that means…

VIP patient = same exact treatment as every other human being, except more limelight.

I ask the regular questions, but first and foremost I want to know;

“Did he faint perhaps, or was it just an unfortunate slip?”

The difference, while imaginably insignificant to the uninitiated, is actually enormously important. If he tripped or slipped and therefore fell, I need to treat the consequences thereof. Bumps, cuts, bruises, perhaps the odd fracture.

If the patient fainted, however, I need to do all of the above plus investigate the syncope.

Victims of ‘simple falls’ will often deny transport or further treatment, whereas I will make an extra effort to convince elderly post-syncopes to get themselves properly checked out in a hospital. It might be a simple vasovagal event, or it may be something more sinister.


But that’s not what this story is about.


The patient insists he had simply tripped on an uneven sidewalk, and just wanted me to have a look at his cuts; of which there were several – on his face, hands and knees. There was a small trickle of blood coming from his nose and so I fiddled with it to ensure it wasn’t broken.

Close your eyes, and imagine this scene.

OK, open them. I guess you can’t read this if your eyes are closed.

Maybe I ought to do an audio book version – food for thought.


Anyways, imagine this:

Stroke of Midnight

Elderly important Rabbinical personality

Wife in PJ’s

In the public domain

Blood everywhere

And I’m fiddling with his nose


Boy, I love this job.


Ok, so his nose isn’t broken, but his booboos need attention. So I put on some gloves, get out my equipment, and ready myself for the operation.

(If my medical supervisor is reading this, I actually put on the gloves as soon as I arrived on the scene.)

(“Yes Sir – I know – Safety First”)

Out come the gauze pads, tape, Band-Aids and sterile wash; although not just any sterile wash:

I was brandishing a brand new, anti-septic, anti-bacterial, anti-Semitic spray.

The spray had just been added to my kit and was the most advanced of its kind. I was just about to let it loose on the bloodied limbs when the pajama clad wife said to me, oh so gently,

“My child – are you sure it doesn’t burn?”

I wasn’t sure actually, but instead of admitting my unfamiliarity with the product, I said,

“Of course it doesn’t burn! – We’re humanitarians, not sadists.”

I showed her the bottle for good measure. Thankfully, I was right. It said in large green, ever so innocent letters:

“New Formula – Does Not Burn!”

So I felt absolutely comfortable doing a 10 spray, quick succession assault, on his open wounds.


Did you get a premonition,

That he would scream,

“ES BRENT AH [popover title=”Yiddish” trigger=”hover” placement=”top” text=”It Burns Like Fire!”]FIRE[/popover]!”


THAT my friends – is what this story was about.

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