By Earl and Kathleen Cox
Ever wonder what makes Israel and the Jews so special, aside from the fact that they are God’s chosen people and Israel is His special land – the land flowing with milk and honey? While the answers could fill volumes of books, here’s just a dusting from the surface.
In previous articles you’ve read that Israel loves life, all life. The Jews live by rules, traditions and a faith that compels them to make the world a better place. Yet, for all their life-changing contributions, they are constantly being condemned by the United Nations and other world bodies. In addition, Israelis live under the daily threat of terrorist attacks from their hostile Arab neighbors and Jews around the world live under constant threat of harm due to hate-filled acts of anti-Semitism. Appreciation for Israel and the Jews seems to be in short supply, yet Israel and the Jews continue their efforts to help the world.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that Orthodox Jewish communities in New York were hard hit with Covid-19. Thankfully, most have recovered and, like Jews since the beginning of time, they are now turning their curse into a blessing.
A drive is underway within New York’s Orthodox Jewish communities who have recovered from the virus to donate their plasma to help others. Experimenting with the plasma of recovered patients has been underway in Israel for several weeks but it is still relatively new in the U.S. So far, plasma has been donated by over 3000 New York Jews with more than 6000 awaiting test results to determine if they are eligible. The goal is to secure donations from 45,000 qualified donors, meaning those who have recovered and have antibodies in their blood. The most recent group to donate was comprised of 120 Hassidic Jews. They spent an entire day in travel from NY to Delaware as this was the nearest collection center with the capacity to receive them.
Helping others and saving lives is built into the Jewish DNA even if it means altering their traditions and religious rules. Because the crisis is so huge, Rabbinical authorities have given permission for the observant to drive on Shabbat and holy holidays which, typically, is absolutely forbidden. However, plasma from just one donor could help save three people so, for this cause, driving is permissible. The blood drive organizer said, “The plasma isn’t just for Jewish people, it’s for people in general. As observant Jews, we have an obligation to preserve life, save life, and help as many people as we possibly can.”
Wonder if those who are sick with Covid-19 and who embrace boycotting Israel will ask their doctor for the source of the potentially life-saving plasma they are about to receive? Wonder if the anti-Semites of the world will refuse the golden gift of life if it comes from a Jew. My guess is they won’t ask and will hope nobody tells. Cowards never want to stand alone.