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Readers' Letters - July 2020 Issue 205

Let's hear it for all the unsung heroes

I write this to toast my colleagues, the anonymous but heroic frontline fighters in this worldwide war against an unseen but powerful enemy. I speak of physiotherapists, throughout the world and here in Israel – I am proud of them all, but mostly I am proud of the physios at the Sharon hospital, the now "Corona hospital" in Petah Tikvah.

Much justified praise is given to those valiant doctors, nursing staff, social workers and indeed cleaners, technicians and carers, but I have heard no word of the physios. We are a vital and integral part of that team – fighting for every life and well-being of each and every patient. We are equipped with the knowledge and skills for such a new and enormous task which has fallen to us, unwanted and unasked for.

I venture to say "we" and not "they" for I have been there. I cannot be physically involved, for both my husband and I have hit the eighties, but that work, that place, those people are in my blood and my thoughts are continually with them. I worked there for nearly 25 years. I need to mention people like Aya Gross who headed the Physio Department when I first started working. She set a standard of professional and personal dedication which has remained until this day. I took over from her and we, my staff and I carried forward these high standards demanded in an acute general hospital. This included all specialties as well as respiratory therapy in the acutely ill person – both in intensive care and out of it. I feel she, I, and many others, (some now no longer with us), have over the years contributed to this splendid profession and to their latest role. Today a younger generation is facing new challenges with courage, skill and dedication which cannot be measured.

A number of the present staff were my colleagues, my trainees including Raheli Yamin, now at their helm. At this very time these gallant physiotherapists have adapted to the new demands with a dedicated passion. Side by side with doctors, nurses and other members of the team, they can be found guiding the patients who are able to cooperate through screens; they can also be found, fully dressed in the cumbersome protective gear, hands on when needed. And at times, fighting for the very life of the intensive care patient. I salute them! Indeed, I feel proud of the Sharon Hospital, all those who work there, and proud of having once been a member of that staff.

Richelle Shem-Tov
Kiryat Ono

Surprised by this Sderot solidarity

ESRA has helped fund various projects in Sderot, a town in the periphery which has suffered rockets from Gaza for many long years. However, the solidarity in Sderot, especially support for the elderly during the pandemic and lockdown surprised me - students phoning if they could do shopping for us, telephone calls to ask how we were from people I didn't know. I especially want to mention the contribution of the municipal youth department which helps pre- and post-army youth, empowering them by offering them subsidized English and psychometric courses, for example. The day before Pesach they distributed parcels to the elderly and needy. I want personally to thank the director, Yigal Bracha, who recognizes the community's needs and tries to find answers, does a terrific job and is very modest.

Adele Rubin

Yad Sarah saved us a fortune 

I refer to to the item concerning YadSarah in Naomi Ariel's ConsumerWatch column in ESRAmagazine #203.

Did you know that they offer free legal advice to pensioners if they have any issues with Medical Aid schemes?It saved us a fortune of money a few years ago with just a single letter from their lawyer who acts Pro Bono.

Jackie Klein
Johannesburg, South Africa

Some you win . . . Naomi

Just a note of appreciation for Naomi Ariel's "sound advice" ConsumerWatch column which I turn to first on opening

ESRAmagazine— always timely, succinct, helpful and informative.

Renee Singer


. . . and there are some you lose, Naomi 

With great interest I am reading Naomi Ariel's ConsumerWatch page in ESRAmagazine.

However, I feel strongly that it is the real duty of our Press not only to point out and describe unfair treatment of customers, but to obtain and publish a change to future fair solutions by contacting responsible top management.

Already the Mishna pointed out the command: TIKUN OLAM!

Usually the Press can have greater "pressure"!

Robert Bachmann

An issue not to pass over

I much enjoyed the ESRAmagazine April issue (like most issues, some more, some less). I particularly enjoyed the article by Judy Shapiro, "Time for our cello to take a bow". Well written, informative and also entertaining. I also have placed an order for
Splunkin Soup ("What's in a name. A soup-er idea") with the author.
While I'm at it, could I have instructions on how to reach the Scroll of Fire monument by Rappoport? I knew nothing about this monument until I read about it in Lydia Aisenberg's article.
The article about Gino Bartaldi by Laurence Lebor was also superb. Keep it up. 

All the best and "Chag Pesach kasher".

Tsvi Klein

Pickles made me smile

I so enjoyed reading the very amusing, nostalgic tales of making aliyah in Stephen Schulman's 1969's 'Mixed bag of Pickles" in
ESRAmagazine #204, April 2020.
Schulman describes the spirit of arriving as a single new immigrant, writing about the brighter and happier side of his new life in Israel.
The article put a smile on my face, during these uncertain days of isolation.
Thank you Stephen and ESRAmagazine.

Adrian Wolff
Ramat Hasharon

A bright beautiful Pesach magazine cover

The two happiest moments of my day: the first of which was opening my front door to behold the rare sight of my clivia in bloom. The second was seeing the cover of the ESRAmagazine Pesach issue which I had collected from the post box in the afternoon – with the beautiful Seder table so bright and colorful – a joy to behold!

Ruth Shakenovsky
Ramat Hasharon

A real pickerupper

The cover of the latest ESRAmagazine, the Pesach issue, brought back many fond memories. The Matza cloth so beautifully embroidered by an Ethiopian woman in our ESRA Embroidery Project; and as Aliza Marks noticed the trim on the cloth that she sewed those years ago, was a real pickerupper in these terrible times.

Phyllis Bloch
Kfar Saba

Phyllis Bloch was the coordinator of the ESRA Ethiopian Embroidery Project and Aliza Marks was her right-hand volunteer helper. 

Editorial inspired me to read all

I loved Merle's editorial in ESRAmagazine, No 204 Pesach issue. It was interesting, lively and optimistic.

As usual, I looked through the whole magazine before starting to read anything, deciding there were some articles I would not look at. But Merle inspired me to read them, and I enjoyed them very much.

Phella Hirschson
Tel Aviv

ESRAmag from the world of normality

 Just a short note to say that today we received the Pesach edition of the ESRAmagazine and it was so good to receive something from the world "of normality"! I'm looking forward to enjoying this edition as much as l usually do - the timing is perfect!

Keep well and may we meet soon in better times.

Eve Adler

I love ESRAmag's diversity

Thank goodness for ESRAmagazines that have filled my time with so many delightful and interesting articles, especially during Corona lock-down. I so love the diversity of the magazine.

Fonda Dubb

I'll say it again

I must mention that the ESRAmagazine is one of the best I have ever seen and read - I said so at my first encounter with it, and I'll mention it again and again.

Mike Porter
Tel Aviv 

Zanzibar was such a disappointment

Having read in the last ESRAmagazine issue about Claire Rabin's trip to Zanzibar, I had to make a comment. I visited the island about a year ago and it was the biggest let down imaginable.

Claire mentioned what others thought about it, and I have to agree with them.

The exotic island with the air filled with the smell of cloves and spices was totally non-existent. The only smells were sweat and sewage, dirt and decades of neglect, everywhere. The atmosphere near the port where there were crowds, was very uneasy, and could have been threatening.

I walked through the entire town, and through Stone Town and apart from a very small area where some renovation had been done, there was nothing extra special to see.

For a beach holiday there are other nicer places in the area to go to.

Don't go out of your way to go there!

Harold Sterne

I'm over the moon with this company 

In these days everything is online and often, with self-isolation, this is the best way to shop. There are many tools with which we can keep in touch, including WhatsApp, Zoom, and Skype. However, there are those among us who have family and friends overseas without online capabilities, and phoning is the only way to contact them without leaving home.

But what about birthday cards and wishes for other occasions? One company that I have been using successfully for a few years is Moonpig - The company allows you to pick a card, personalize it, with a photo if you wish, and mail it without leaving your chair. They will mail to anywhere in the world and you can choose whether to use their service from the US, UK or Australian sites.

Baruch Tanaman

Feinberg and spies

On Saturday night I enjoyed reading the April 2020 edition of the ESRAmagazine which I received the day before. What particularly caught my eye was Wendy Blumfield's "Intrepid northerners weather the storms" as it referenced Avshalom Feinberg, the Aaronsohns and the NILI spies.

So much so that I researched Wendy's previous article in the ESRAmagazine of February 2019, which was titled, "In the Footsteps of Jewish Heroes".

About two years ago, I wrote about the given topic in my blog, as it was around the time of recalling the Balfour Declaration and I had strong feelings about the lack of coverage given the NILI. I am sending it to you in the event that it may be of interest to Wendy.

Alex Rose



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Thursday, 23 September 2021

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