Friday, June 28, 2013

Special Burial At Mount Zion, Humane just Human and Faithful

The celebration has been exceptional in many ways: the circumstance of the death of a Russian Orthodox woman on her pilgrimage to the Holy Land at Easter - her passing-away at the Mount of Olives and a certain time of expectancy before she really proved to be "died". The donation of her organs at hadassah that allowed saving three Israeli lives. The question that exists of how and when a dead person can donate organs to save other lives. I have been visiting Hadassah for years as the representative of the Rum/Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, comfort the sick, assist those that are dying, the children. I said to Dr. Kyrill Grosovsky that Hadassah is a real "church in the sense of Grea tAssembly or Congregation" where all fight for all in order to save few humans. As a priest in Israeli society, this celebration in the middle of the Mount Zion cemetery of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, in the presence of the representative of Hadassah Hospital, Irina P. and her assistant, Nabil, the Arab Orthodox man in charge of the burials at the cemetery and the Arab workers of the cemetery who paid a lot of respect and silence during the celebration, quiet in listening to the prayers both in hebrew and Slavonic (Church Russian), marked a very profound act of faith and confidence. In particular at Zion, where the Church was born from the Holy Spirit as we celebrated last Sunday. This Saturday night and Sunday morning, the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem will celebrate All Saints. The challenge of faith in this act of burying a person who donated her organs to save local sick people interrogates the Church and morals, both Orthodoxy and Judaism. It is a great commandment to do all possible things and acts in order to save one single life. The new aspect is that this Russia nOrthodox woman on her pilgrimage could - by the assentment of her family - donate the organs that have saved three individuals - also that the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem did accept to bury her at Zion, the Mother of All the Churches.

May I add that I have been visiting the sick for more than 35 years as also in Jerusalem and Israli society with the blessing of the Patriarchs of Jerusalem and of course H.B. Theophilos of Jerusalem and Archbishop Aristarchos, Secretary General. I was glad to bring this soul and body to rest in this place, assisted by our Arab Orthodox brothers and assistants, Irina P. whom I know quite well (from her very arrival to Israel). In such a context, we were the Church as a whole, in totality, together with the representative of the Hadassah Hospital transplantation Department. There are steles and names in the cemetery of Mount Zion: the departed rest in peace there, where faith rose and developed till the ends of the world. it was also then possible to make a connection with the neighboring Jerusalem "Yad VaShem/יד ושם '' Memorial Institution, where those who perished without any funerals or decent place with a stele and a name for ever call us, in particular this weekend to think of human, humane attitude. Tobiyah spent his time to bury the dead he found. Just as Abraham had bought the "cave of Machpelah" for Sarah his wife and their descent, the ancestors. The saints are those who are "melting" while being very, highly humane (mentschlech/מענטשלעך as said in Yiddish) showing that love and loving-kindness, mercy and and tenderness are signs of Divine Presence and of the Resurrected Lord, just as the bones in the valley woke up and revived in Ezekiel chapter 37.

Hadassah News


Pilgrimage Ends With Organ Donations at Hadassah

A few weeks ago, a 61-year-old Christian tourist from Russia died in Israel after a heart attack; her organs, though, lived to save two lives.
During a pilgrimage to the holy Christian sites in Israel, the woman suffered extensive brain damage and was immediately admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the Hadassah Medical Organization. After numerous efforts to save her life were unsuccessful, she was pronounced brain dead.
When A 61-year-old Christian tourist from Russia suffered a massive heart attack during a pilgrimage to the holy Christian sites in Israel a few weeks ago, Hadassah's organ transplant coordinator made sure the woman received a dignified funeral and burial.
Kyrill Grosovsky, the organ transplant coordinator at Hadassah, located the woman's two adult children in Russia and spoke with them. They decided to donate their mother's organs, and asked that their mother be buried in Jerusalem, as she was a religious woman and this would be something she would want.
Because of the organ transplants performed at Hadassah last week, a 55-year-old man suffering from Hepatitis B with a malignant liver tumor received a new liver. The recipient is a new immigrant, who had moved to Israel last August. He is currently recuperating in Hadassah Hospital Hospital-Ein Kerem's surgical ward.
Another patient, a 63-year-old man suffering from diabetes and hypertension, received a new kidney. He has already been released from the hospital. The organ transplants were performed simultaneously by Dr. Hadar Merhav, Director of the transplantation unit at Hadassah, and Dr. Abed Khalaileh and Dr. Muhammad Faroja.
Although it was not his responsibility, Grosovsky decided to make sure that the Russian woman received a dignified funeral. He embarked on a mission that became more challenging every hour.
The process took several days and included talks with various government authorities in Israel, but also in Russia and the Ukraine, as well as with various figures from the Greek Orthodox Church in Israel and in Russia. Grosovsky was able to attain all the necessary documents needed for the woman's burial.
The funeral took place a few days ago and a photograph of the woman's grave was sent to her family back in Russia. Hadassah also arranged for a wreath with the word "Hadassah" in Russian on it.
"This whole event emphasizes both the international and humane aspects of organ transplantation, as well as love for one's fellow man," said Dr. Merhav. "Hadassah is proud to be an institution that is open to all, regardless of religion, race or gender. The complexity of this situation also shows the need for multidisciplinary teams from all hospital departments with the ability to operate in real-time situations."
Further in Yediot Ahronot in English:

Tourist's organs save lives of 3 Israelis

Christian woman dies of heart attack during pilgrimage to holy sites in Israel. Her children, from Russia, agree to donate her organs. In show of gratitude, Greek Orthodox Church buries woman on its property on Mount Zion
Dr. Itay Gal
Published: 06.28.13, 13:11 / Israel Culture

For the first time, a Christian tourist has donated her organs to Israelis and was even buried in Israel. Thanks to her donation, the lives of three people were saved.

About two months ago, during an Easter pilgrimage to Christian holy sites in Israel, a 61-year-old Russian tourist suffered a heart attack. She was rushed to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center, suffering from extensive brain damage, and was hospitalized at the Intensive Care Unit.

Halachic Ruling

Rabbi okays HIV-positive organ donation / Dr. Itay Gal

In halachic precedent, Israel's former Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron rules life-saving organ donation can be received from HIV-positive patient, even if recipient may be infected with disease
Full story

Doctors fought for her life, but several days later they were forced to pronounce her brain dead.

The organ transplant coordinator at Hadassah, Kyrill Grosovsky, located the woman's two adult children in Russia, and after several conversations they agreed to donate their mother's organs. As she was a devout Christian, her children asked that she receive a religious burial in Israel in order to ensure a proper closure.

The Greek Orthodox Church does not usually bury Christians who are not Israeli residents on its property on Mount Zion, but agreed to give the woman a dignified Christian funeral and burial in Israel due to her organ donation and following appeals from officials in the Religious Affairs and Interior ministries and from Archbishop Aristarchos, who serves as the secretary-general of the of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
הלוויית התיירת. הטקס התקיים בשתי שפות ( )
Tourist's funeral held in two languages

The ceremony was held in two languages, Hebrew and Russian, by the Church's representative, Father Alexander. A wreath of flowers was laid on behalf of the Hadassah hospital, and another on behalf of the travel agency which brought the tourist to Israel.

Grosovsky continued the complicated coordination work, which required many permits and discussions in order to transfer the deceased from the Hadassah hospital to Mount Zion. The burial ceremony and funeral were documented and the photographs were sent to the woman's children in Russia.

The woman's liver was transplanted in the body of a 55-year-old man at Hadassah. A 63-year-old man suffering from renal failure received a new kidney at Hadassah, and the other kidney was transplanted in a 62-year-old patient at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
 French version/Version en langue française

Une touriste chrétienne Russe sauve la vie de 3 israéliens grâce à ses organes…

Publié le : 28 juin 2013
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Pour la première fois de l’histoire d’Israël, un touriste chrétien a fait don de ses organes à des Israéliens et a même été enterré en Israël. Grâce à son don, la vie de trois personnes ont été sauvées.
Il y a deux mois, lors d’un pèlerinage de Pâques sur lieux saints chrétiens d’Israël, une touriste russe de 61 ans a été victime d’une crise cardiaque. Elle a été transportée à l’hôpital Hadassah Ein Kerem de Jérusalem.
Capture d’écran 2013-06-28 à 16.55.10
Les médecins lutté mais quelques jours plus tard, ils ont été contraints son la déclaré sous état de mort cérébrale.
Le coordinateur des transplantations d’organes à Hadassah, Kyrill Grosovsky, a contacté les deux enfants adultes de la femme, en Russie, et après plusieurs conversations ils ont accepté de faire don des organes de leur mère. Comme elle était une fervente chrétienne, ses enfants lui ont demandé de créer une sépulture religieuse en Israël.
L’Eglise orthodoxe grecque n’a pas l’habitude enterrer les chrétiens qui ne sont pas résidents israéliens sur sa propriété sur le mont Sion, mais a accepté de donner à la femme un enterrement chrétien et une sépulture digne en Israël, grâce à son don d’organes, aux appels du Ministère de l’Intérieur et à l’Archevêque Aristarque, qui est secrétaire général du Patriarcat grec-orthodoxe de Jérusalem.

La cérémonie s’est déroulée en deux langues, l’hébreu et le russe, par le représentant de l’Eglise, le Père Alexander. Une couronne de fleurs a été posée au nom de l’hôpital Hadassah, et une autre au nom de l’agence de voyage qui a transporté la touriste en Israël.
Grosovsky a poursuivi le travail de coordination complexe, qui nécessitait de nombreux permis et des discussions en vue de transférer la personne décédée à l’hôpital Hadassah vers le Mont Sion. La cérémonie d’enterrement et des funérailles a été documenté et les photos ont été envoyées à ses enfants.
Le foie de la femme a été transplanté dans le corps d’un homme de 55 ans. A 63 ans, un homme souffrant d’une insuffisance rénale a reçu un nouveau rein à Hadassah, et l’autre rein a été transplanté chez un patient de 62 ans au Centre Médical Rabin de Petah Tikva.
Trois vies de sauvées.
Par Elinor Cohen-Aouat – JSSNews