There were tears of joy at Hadassah Mount Scopus this week as staff mobilized to create a special circumcision ceremony.
The new mom and dad made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) alone from Ethiopia and did not have the wherewithal to host a circumcision for their baby boy and the accompanying celebration.
Maternity Department Head Flora Ben-Hamo noticed the young mother was distressed.
“As part of my job, I hand out birth certificates, something I’ve been doing for 30 years,” says Ben-Hamo. “In one of the rooms I saw a woman who looked so sad. I inquired if she was okay and through her tears she asked me if we arrange circumcisions within the hospital.”
While the hospital does not organize circumcisions, the mom’s story touched Ben-Hamo.
“I found out that her family lives in Ethiopia and they have no acquaintances or family here, with whom they could celebrate. The couple also have financial problems making this even harder.”
Ben-Hamo enlisted help across the Mount Scopus campus and everyone was keen to help.
When hospital Rabbi Moshe Klein set out to locate a volunteer mohel (ritual circumciser) he was inundated with offers.
“When Rabbi Ofer Rhoda was selected, the others expressed disappointment that they could not participate in this joyous occasion,” says Rabbi Klein. “This was Israel at its best, pulling together just for the sake of giving.”
The kitchen staff provide delicious refreshments while the maintenance team decorated the area around the hospital synagogue.
Hospital staff, patients and visitors joined in the event.
"It was very exciting," says Ben-Hamo. "The kindness, the donations, seeing way beyond just a patient’s medical case – the hospital staff enveloped the couple with everything they required.”
The new mom spoke for both the delighted parents:
“Thank you dear Flora and all the hospital staff. I can’t believe how they embraced my husband, myself and baby Daniel. Flora was attentive to me from the beginning and made me feel like we were family. Thank you everyone. This is our people in all its glory.”