Irony abounds. After Robert Bowers was wounded and captured by the police, he was taken to Allegheny General Hospital where the doctors and nurse who first treated him were all Jewish. It is truly a testament to their professionalism that they treated Bowers as they would have treated any other person who needed their help.
But someone needs to explain to me the thought process of the hospital’s president, Dr. Jeff Cohen, who told the press today (and I think with some pride) that he had dropped in on Bowers and “… asked him how he was doing.” I would like to ask Dr. Cohen a question: Does every single patient in your hospital receive a get-well-soon visit from the prez or did Bowers somehow merit special consideration ?
I think it’s admirable that the hospital’s chief administrator cares about the satisfaction of his clients, but why on earth would he care about the welfare of a subhuman (I won’t call him a ‘man’) who had just slaughtered 11 innocent people? By all means, deliver the medical care that the Hippocratic Oath demands, but this is not a person who deserves any extraordinary attention or concern.
In my view, Dr. Cohen’s gesture is all too typical of those (mostly liberal) Jews who believe they have to prove to the non-Jewish world that it is our mission to succor and make whole every wounded soul on this planet. We always have to be the bigger man, putting aside attacks and insults, and signal to the world that we are empathetic and forgiving.
The tenet of Tikkun Olam does require Jews to care about the welfare of every other Jew, but there is no interpretation of that concept of which I’m aware that says we’re responsible for fixing what’s wrong with every single person (Jew and non-Jew) in every corner of the world. Bowers is a person beyond redemption and Dr. Cohen had no reason to enquire about his welfare other than to preen in front of the press and signal his oh-so-admirable virtue.
I would suggest to Dr. Cohen that if he has extra time on his hands, maybe he could spend a few more minutes with the police officers Bowers wounded. They are actually worthy of his attention and compassion.