Un­shake­able foun­da­tions

Com­pas­sion and courage are the cor­ner­stones of La­ni­ado Hospi­tal

The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Laniado Uk -

WHAT ARE your found­ing prin­ci­ples? What are the key, un­wav­ing val­ues with which you lead your life? La­ni­ado is the main hospi­tal in the Ne­tanya re­gion, serv­ing more than 100,000 pa­tients each year. Rabbi Yeku­tiel Ye­hu­dah Hal­ber­stam, the Klausen­berger Rebbe, who started La­ni­ado, wanted a set of prin­ci­ples to guide the hospi­tal in ev­ery sit­u­a­tion. The cen­tral pil­lar of th­ese is mu­tual re­spect for all hu­man­ity and the sanc­tity of all life. For this rea­son, La­ni­ado UK has broad ap­peal, at­tract­ing sup­port from Jews, non-Jews, re­li­gious, sec­u­lar, Ashke­nazim and Sephardim.

In bring­ing heal­ing and com­fort to the sick, the founder wanted doc­tors and nurses to un­der­stand that they were ful­fill­ing one of the great­est mitzvot of the To­rah — and that med­i­cal staff have the obli­ga­tion to care for all a pa­tient’s needs, not just phys­i­cal but also spir­i­tual and emo­tional. To get this mes­sage across, the Rebbe came up with the “found­ing prin­ci­ples” — the same ones by which the hospi­tal is run to this day. They be­gin with the in­struc­tion that all should be treated, re­gard­less of race or creed. The Rebbe felt that, af­ter he had wit­nessed and been sub­ject to so much per­se­cu­tion, part of his life mis­sion was to put some tol­er­ance and love back into the world.

“Ev­ery ef­fort shall be made to em­ploy doc­tors and para-med­i­cal staff who have ex­celled in their pro­fes­sional fields,” he said “and who pos­sess char­ac­ter traits per­me­ated with love for their fel­low man, as the To­rah teaches ‘and you shall love your neigh­bour as your­self’.”

The Rebbe felt it was of ut­most im­por­tance to ob­serve the com­mand­ments on man’s re­la­tion­ships with his fel­low man. So “the hospi­tal must be care­ful not to cause un­nec­es­sary bur­dens on em­ploy­ees or any in­di­vid­ual in­volved with the hospi­tal” and “the hospi­tal at­mos­phere should be per­me­ated with the spirit of peace­ful­ness, tran­quil­lity, love and de­vo­tion”.

A sim­ple story high­lights the Rebbe’s con­cern and love for peo- ple, which still per­vades the hospi­tal. When La­ni­ado was built, the Rebbe was asked about the bud­get for nee­dles. “Which one hurts the pa­tient less?” the Rebbe in­quired. On that ba­sis, thin­ner, more ex­pen­sive nee­dles were pur­chased. This puts our fi­nan­cial strug­gles in per­spec­tive. The char­i­ta­ble com­mit­ments of yes­ter­day may seem out of reach to­day. But our com­mit­ments will reap great re­wards — by sav­ing lives. The found­ing prin­ci­ples of this hospi­tal pro­vide an in­spir­ing les­son to us all. Even in chal­leng­ing con­di­tions, we must do our best to treat our fel­low man with love, re­spect and dig­nity.

Com­fort­ing the sick is one of the great­est mitzvot

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