Sunday, January 4, 2009

Blood: This Day In Yeshiva History- January 3 (with a current twist)

I meant to write this last night but I met up with a few people I hadn't seen in a while. Priorities, Priorities... Here's what I wrote in my journal:

"Big Day today. Magen David Edom came today to the yeshiva for us to donate blood. I donated for the first time in my life. It made me feel great too. My mom talked to me about it beforehand and she really encouraged me to do it. She said that she'd done it several times and more importantly, it was donated blood that help prolong Bubby's life. That gave me even greater incentive to participate."
Bubby is the Yiddish name for grandmother. My Bubby passed away a little over a year at the time - Nov 2004. I actually forgot about this detail about the whole experience, but nonetheless it's noteworthy to recall because of how important she was to me and it gives me great joy to simply bring her up in conversation.

But here's the current twist: My dad showed me this article he was emailed on Wednesday. The article was entitled "Filthy Jewish Blood".
Talk about an attention catching title. I won't spoil it, but it basically discusses the under-reported practice of Jewish humanitarianism - TO THE PALESTINIANS IN GAZA.

That's right. To the same place they just sent ground troops last night. I can't help but wonder if the roles were reversed, would the Palestinians consider a similar practice?

When I look back to when I gave blood that day, I thought about how much of a service to the country I was doing by giving my blood to those who need it. I thought of victims of terror attacks, hospital patients, soldiers in combat... pretty much anyone who'd be in need in blood to keep on living. Like my Bubby.

But to Palestinians in Gaza?
Wouldn't that seem a little counterproductive?

The other day I posted an article written by my friend who discussed her experiences as a medic who had to care for an actual terrorist. She mentioned that regardless of who or why, human life should be protected and preserved if means to do so are available. Human dignity shouldn't be compromised regardless of the situation. The article makes that very clear in a very creative manner by asking you to put yourself in the shoes of an Israeli solider facing the body of wounded Palestinian who just tried to kill you.

But the article goes on to another point. The articles mentions how in addition to humanitarian relief, several trucks of blood were sent in from Jordan.

Jordan? Why blood from there? Didn't I just give blood? Didn't I just mention that regardless of who it is and why, human dignity comes first? What's the story here?

It turns out my blood isn't good enough...

The article explains:

"The truth is, just as Israel has had to come to terms with a Red Diamond as its medical symbol abroad (since the International Red Cross made it clear that the Red Star of David is offensive to too much of the world), we have also somehow had to make peace with the fact that even our blood is considered sub-human and filthy by the very people with whom we are supposed to be making peace.

I'm going to leave at that. I've posted the link of the article above. But here it is again:
It's no coincidence that this article came out almost a few years after I blood @ my yeshiva in Israel.

Let me know what you think.

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