“I remember when I was shot in the hand…”
Born out of the ashes of the Holocaust, the Sanz Medical Center-Laniado Hospital is the fulfillment of the vow made by the Klausenberger-Sanz Rebbe, Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda Halberstam, of blessed memory, when he miraculously survived a gunshot wound on a forced death march in the summer of 1944.
“I remember when I was shot in the hand,” the Rebbe once recounted. “I was afraid to go to the Nazi-run clinic, although it had doctors. I knew that the moment I entered that place, I would not come out alive. So what did I do after being shot? Despite my fear of the Nazis, I found a tree, picked a leaf, and held it tightly over the wound to staunch the bleeding. Then I tore off a branch and tied it around the wound to hold the leaf in place. With God’s help, I recovered in three days. At that point, I resolved that if God granted me life and I was healed—for I looked like a walking skeleton, a Musselman—and if I left this place and the evil Nazis, then I would build a hospital. It would be founded with doctors and nurses who believed that there is a God in this world. They would know that when they heal a patient, they are doing the greatest mitzvah in the Torah.”
Rabbi Halberstam lost his entire family, including his wife and eleven children. His response upon emerging from the flames was to avenge this evil by realizing the commandment “… I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life…” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20) in the most literal way possible – by building a hospital on the shores of the burgeoning State of Israel. A hospital charged with the holy mission of sanctifying Heaven by saving and promoting life. Where the kaleidoscope of Israel’s population – from birth to old age – can seek help and receive it with compassion, love and respect. Where very child who is born and every patient treated is a living legacy in memory of the millions of lives destroyed by baseless hatred.