Tribute to Tova

Tova Kararo

(facebook credit)

Here I would like to pay tribute to a wonderful person, tragic heroine of a news story just a week before the spring, and I don’t know how to start.

First of all, I want to get her out of the news and place her sacrificial death in the large and dark history of human destiny.

Tova … This person was so well named…

Her name means goodness and kindness and she was infinitely good.

She was small and blonde, so gentle with her little nurse’s uniform.

I heard this week that Tova was burned alive last week in her Clalit office by an insane old mentally-deranged man who wanted to show his disagreement to have contracted the flu despite his vaccine.

Just writing it makes me cry.

I remember Lisa coughed. She drank some of my honey ginger decoction and said, “I’m afraid I have bronchitis.”

I asked her: “If you think you have something serious, why don’t you go see a doctor?” But she shook her head no.

“I can’t approach anymore the clinic.”

I laughed, “Right, true that it’s an ordeal to go, but when you gotta, you gotta!”

Incredulous Lisa  looked at me.

– You really never listen to the news?

– Uh … what are you talking about?

– But, last Wednesday, all centers were on strike throughout the country and the entire week we spoke only about this horrific new on TV, newspapers, the internet …

News stories are both minor and distant. We listen to, shudder and move on.

I didn’t care with the strike and it took a while for me to realize that Lisa’s dispensary was mine. But I don’t know anyone there. Quite simple, Tova is there the only one I know. And I love her. As if my affection could protect her from the fury …

But Lisa looked at me with shock. “Tova, she is the one who was murdered.”

Tova died? What the fuck are you talking about?

I felt a cold hand shaking my heart, started to cry and Lisa coughing had to comfort me.

The truth is that we got here a totally oversold Israeli health system, as education or telephony.

The best doctors in the world who accomplish extraordinary medical feats, where are they ? Have anyone met them elsewhere than on flyers of the Sohnout ?

Who I mostly met were overworked nurses hooting in a surly tone “mi harishon” in front of ninety sufferers both bewildered and resigned, underpaid doctors slouch in their white-coat saying “verooss” typing wildly on their computer keyboard and a Georgian dermatologist who stared at me and said “look, if you stop consider that mole (yes, the one which require urgent removal from my family doctor opinion), it might as well not exist. Don’t you think so ?”

Definitely better not to be sick with such great teams. But sometimes, no choice.

In my starting israeli life, I felt some discomfort and inconvenient witnesses of my ridiculous fainting episodes force me to get some blood test.

And for the very first time in my life, I met a cute nurse who easily found my vein without making my arm become blue for a week. I went back to thank her and asked for her name. That’s how I met Tova.

Then, we didn’t met for a long time (I am not a loyal customer).

So long that I was called by the Clalit last month to check up. I went with a heavy heart. But when I found myself faced with Tova, I felt heartened. “You have to take care of you,” she said, closing the door of her office “for your children.”

And she told me about her grandchildren with brilliant eyes. It was sweet, it was tender, I didn’t even notice that she already finished filling her tubes, she made me drink some water, gave me two or three other analyzes, “listen, it’s silly not to do it, you are entitled to and don’t worry, I’ll help you write everything you’ll have to.”

Anyway, I finally told her, “you know, just to meet people like you, it’s worth coming to butcher arms” and she laughed. She was so gracious and charming … So beautiful persons in this sordid system, it’s just miraculous.

I came home perky and the kids made fun of me when I told them that I met Tova the tova that I liked so much.

And this angel is the one who was murdered.

“You mean it was Tova? Your Tova?” The children were appalled.

So that’s it. Tova was so full of kindness and goodness that it was a complete privilege to  cross her road…

I don’t know Tova’s family. But I want them to know how much Tova represented humanity as its best.

I share their sorrow.


About the Author
Victoria worked as broadcaster, print journalist, illustrator and court reporter in France. Living in Israel for 8 years, she teaches and opened the very first art gallery in Florentin (this country makes you crazy). More seriously, she is the happy mother of three wonderful kids and she makes clafoutis, crumble and tiramisu very well.