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A Slice of Heaven on Earth

03/15/2017 03:04:27 PM


AS our group entered the ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem I immediately knew that we had landed in a very special and unique place. In the heart of Jerusalem this pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation facility opens the hearts of all who enter its doors. We arrived on the day that the hospital was celebrating Purim and were delighted as  staff and children alike donned their costumes. Jewish, Christian and Muslim children play and reside next to each other. Children from all over the Middle East and some from Europe and the States as well have been treated here.

We watched as parents of babies on respirators were counseled and taught how to bring their children home and give them “normal” lives. We were amazed in hearing about how the technology department developed and retrofitted technology so that each child could be as independent as possible. Standing wheelchairs,  computers controlled by minor movements, very small respirators allowing children to move freely, unique prostheses have all been developed by the amazing staff at ALYN. After they develop a successful tool for the children they make the plans  available to other pediatric rehabilitation hospitals around the world.

The pool at ALYN was filled with children of all ages working on their motor skills while others were in school on the premises keeping up with their grade level whenever possible. Clowns work with the children while therapists design individual plans. It is hard not to walk these halls and not have tears in your eyes.

In the heart of a city known for strife lies a slice of heaven on earth. Children in need are seen simply as children, not as Arab or Jew, Israeli or Palestinian, White or Black. Our tradition teaches us that the difference between bliss or degradation in the worlds to come is not external circumstances but the internal desire to reach out to others. At ALYN children help each other and the staff rallies to create beauty and healing in the midst of these young lives touched by severe difficulties. 

As we were about to leave I looked at our group and saw that many had tears of joy in their eyes. These were the sacred tears of knowing that our hearts had been touched and in some important way our lives had been changed.


Fri, September 18 2020 29 Elul 5780