Coronavirus ward (illustrative)
Coronavirus ward (illustrative)David Cohen/Flash90

Maheer Ibrahim, the head nurse of Afula's Ha'emek Medical Center's coronavirus ward, on Tuesday was informed by the Culture Ministry that he was chosen to light an Independence Day torch at the ceremony marking Israel's 73rd birthday.

In February, Ibrahim made headlines when he said the "Shema" prayer with a Jewish patient dying of coronavirus at the hospital.

The patient, who Kikar Hashabbat identified as Rabbi Shlomo Aharon Glaster, was a prominent Chabad hasid in Israel.

When Rabbi Glaster's condition deteriorated, his family was called to his side, but became trapped on the roads during a snowstorm.

When Ibrahim realized that Rabbi Glaster's family would not make it in time to see him before his death, he decided to help Rabbi Glaster with his final prayers himself, an act that warmed the hearts of millions. Following his act of humanity, Ibrahim received a phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, thanking him for his exemplary behavior and general dedication to the coronavirus patients he treated.

Culture and Sport Minister Hili Tropper (Blue and White) said: "Maheer Ibrahim represents the human and professional excellence of the nurses' staffs in our country's healthcare system. Each and every one of them, in their shared path, is a symbol and example of Israeli brotherhood and a bridge between the various communities and religious ethnicities in our nation."

"Ibrahim is a nurse par excellence, who has been working for many years to build bridges of humanity, compassion, and tolerance among patients from across the spectrum of ethnicities and religions of Israel."