Amidst the tragedies and difficulties brought on by the pandemic, a few startling images bring hope to the table, showing a side of Israel few media present: Muslim Arab health workers are helping their Jewish patients pray to God despite their illness. 

One video showed Smahar Jibrayin, a nurse in the geriatric ward of the Shoham Medical Center in Pardes Chana, reading from the Passover Hagada for a Jewish patient on the Seder night.

In a video, two male Arab nurses, Kahlil Gazawi and colleague Ahmed from Um El Fahm, were seen wrapping tefillin (phylacteries) on an elderly Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) patient who was ill with coronavirus and paralyzed on his left side. The two nurses were working in a closed ward in Naot Hatichon Geriatric Center in Tel Aviv so they had no one to ask. They looked online to check how to put the tefillin on and did so. 

Gazawi was interviewed on Israeli television. The reporter noted that Gazawi seemed proficient at performing the ritual, to which Gazawi responded, “B’Ezrat Hashem (With God’s help).”When asked how he felt about putting tefillin on a Jewish man, Gazawi said, “I felt happy inside that I helped him.” Gazawi’s actions were well-received by the other hospital workers, both Jewish and Arab.

The patient has since been released from the hospital. 

In another tweet, Dr. Abed Zahakla, a doctor in the Mayanei Yeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak, carries a Torah scroll to Haredi coronavirus patients who are praying.

Rafik Halabi, the mayor of the Druze city Daliat Al Carmel situated on the Carmel Mountain near Haifa, posted the image to Twitter, noting, “Politicians should learn from this how to be people.”

These images are quite reminiscent of the prophecy in Zechariah concerning relations between Jews and non-Jews in the end-of-days.

Thus said the lord of Hosts: In those days, ten men from nations of every tongue will take hold—they will take hold of every Yehudi by a corner of his cloak and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that Hashem is with you.” Zechariah 8:23

Commentaries on this verse relate to the corner of the garment as a reference to the mitzvah (Biblical commandment) of tzitzit, putting fringes on the corners of four-cornered garments. One of the purposes of the fringes is to serve as a mnemonic reminding Jews to perform all 613 commandments. The verse in Zechariah is understood as a prophecy that non-Jews would actively encourage and aid Jews in performing the mitzvoth. 

Rabbi Shaul Judelman, the co-director of Roots, a program to bring Jews and Palestinians together, noted that the service of God was a powerful interest devout Jews and Muslims shared.

“On one level, there is a conflict between Jews, Muslims, and Christians,” Rabbi Judelman told Breaking Israel News. “But there is another phenomenon in the world of people who are believing people, who believe in God, and service is something holy to them. And there are other people who think this is a bunch of outdated silliness. That is a very real dispute in the world. In that dispute, religious Jews, Christians, and Muslims are all very close to each other.”

Source: Israel in the News