Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Visits ALEH

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, visited the ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran rehabilitative village last week.

Approximately one month ago, the government decided to allocate some 20 million NIS towards the continued building and development of a hospital in the village, to establishing a neighborhood for hospital and village staff, and to the creation of programs to encourage employment. Last month’s decision comes as a follow-up to the government resolution of September 2014 regarding development of the South, within which 36 million NIS was allocated to establishing a hospital at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran—the first rehabilitation hospital in the Negev.

Doron Almog: “The visit by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, to ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran constitutes a powerful social message, testifying to the Government of Israel’s commitment to developing the Negev, taking into account the needs of society’s weakest members. The visit strengthens and intensifies the government’s commitment to the building of the first rehabilitation hospital in the Negev. Adjacent to the ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran rehabilitation village, a new community, Merchavei Daniel, will be established. The visit emphasizes ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran’s social significance as a place that embodies outstanding harmony between all elements of Israeli society.”

Avi Wortzman: “The strength of the human chain is measured by its relationship to its weakest links.” At ALEH, we believe that volunteerism and instilling values of human respect and love of the other, will strengthen and nurture the younger generation, who will become better, more accepting people. By exposing and increasing awareness regarding those with disabilities and special needs, we will be able to create a stronger and more powerful society. This important visit, and the deep responsibility towards developing the village demonstrated by the Government of Israel and its leader, will reinforce and accelerate the process of developing the village together with our partners: the JNF, the UIA, and many other donors and supporters.”

Rabbi Yehuda Marmorstein, Director General of ALEH: “This moving and important visit by the Prime Minister of Israel and his wife strengthens and empowers the work being done at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran in particular, and the entire ALEH network, with its concern for the weak and its activities towards creating a model society and effecting tikun olam.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: “Sara and I are so moved by your dedication, Doron and Didi. Yours is a life’s work that will have significance for many generations. This is not inconsequential, rather comes from deep within the soul. We are impressed by the great assistance you receive from everyone, including our friends Shai and Tamir, I am happy to see MK Anat Berko here, and all the donors, caregivers and psychologists. It is very moving. I think there are two things that come up—one is the Jewish aspect, the human, deepest value of ‘And you will love your neighbor as yourself.’ “Your neighbor’ can be a teenager, a boy or girl, a man or woman. It can be a Jew, Moslem, Bedouin or Christian, Russian or Ethiopian. It is simply an expression of the most noble ideal, not solely concern—but love. The most profound emotions of compassion and empathy stem, perhaps, from recognition of the second, deeper thing; that each person has a soul.

You showed me Pinchas, he has a soul. Perhaps he hears, we have no way of knowing how much he can hear, but he has a soul. And I saw the little girl, an extremely difficult sight, but an example of those you care for here. Your work is the most refined, most clear, most essential expression of the concept of humanity.

My father had a great, distinguished teacher by the name of Joseph Klausner. He was a literary researcher, and on his door, I remember this from when we used to visit him, my brother Yoni z”l and myself when we were small children, we would come to bring him flowers. And above his door was inscribed ‘Judaism and humanity.’ Here there is a pure expression of Judaism and humanity. ‘And you shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ everyone has a soul, and you have a soul.”