Somewhere in our holy scriptures it is written “u’kratem Shabbat oneg”.. you shall call the Sabbath a day of delight. And so it was for me.
The Hebrew daily newspaper YISRAEL HAYOM printed a very heart-warming story. A lovely way to begin Shabbat.
It reported the story of a Syrian woman living on Cyprus who gave birth ten days ago to a baby boy.
The boy was born with a very severe heart-defect and only immediate surgery could hopefully save his young life.
Hospitals and Cypriot doctors did not have the facilities to perform such delicate surgery. It was then decided by the Israeli embassy on Cyprus, the Israeli health ministry and the foreign office to permit the ten- day old boy to be transferred to Israel.
A Cyprus ambulance plane flew the infant to Israel where he was then transferred to Sheba Medical Center for the surgery.
It is unknown if the Syrian mother will be allowed entry into Israel to monitor the care of her baby boy.
The story warmed my heart as the Shabbat ha Malka… the Sabbath Queen… was descending.
Furthermore, the report informed readers that this was not the first instance when Syrian citizens… enemies of Israel… were welcomed in Israel for medical treatment unavailable in their country.
Pride in Israel’s humanity is over-flowing and glowing. I was surprised to learn that many Syrians have been coming to our country for life-saving medical treatment.
I do not think that any other nation at war with a bitter and dangerous enemy would consider opening the gates at its border to allow entry of someone from the enemy country in search of medical help.
In this regard, we stand proudly against other nations. It is based upon our Jewish law and tradition to help those in dangerous situations and to save lives wherever and whenever possible.
Hopefully our superior cardiac surgeons will be successful in repairing the defected heart.
If that becomes too dangerous or not a realistic possibility, perhaps the baby boy could be given a new heart to replace the bad one.
In any case, I wish the surgeons hatzlacha raba..great success. May Hashem grant their skilled hands the strength and the precision to give a ten-day old boy a chance to grow into manhood.
May the infant live. May his mother be comforted. May they be returned to their home on Cyprus with thanks in their hearts for another small heart.
And it pleases me to know that one day, when the baby boy grows into manhood, a Syrian Muslim child will have a Jewish heart!
Today, Shabbat is an extra-special oneg. An extra day of delight. A story of a heart-warming heart. A story of Israeli pride and its humanity.