I was in Jerusalem a while back. While there, I went with friends from church to see some stained glass windows in the Hadassah Medical Center. The medical center was not as big as the Texas Medical Center, but it was a sizable place. There was a shopping mall embedded in the complex and I went to the drug store there to get some toothpaste. At least I hoped it was toothpaste. I don’t read Hebrew so I got a tube of something that looked like it was probably toothpaste. Meanwhile, I got separated from my little group of friends. We weren’t on the official tour that day. If you can imagine the underground hallways and elevators in Houston’s medical center, that was kinda like it was.
The stained windows I was looking for were designed by a Jewish artist named Marc Chagall. There were twelve windows representing Israel’s twelve tribes. They were in a synagogue in the hospital somewhere. I walked down one corridor that ended at a restricted entry. I began to notice nothing was in a straight line. It was as if the designers and architects didn’t want to offer clear fields of fire for terrorists. So I doubled back and saw more restricted areas. I wondered where my friends were. I did have my toothpaste, so I had that going for me. I was walking in this maze-like fortress or hospital or whatever it was. I felt like one of Pavlov’s dogs and I was looking for a bell to ring.
I guess I looked like I was lost and didn’t belong. It was crowded and the foot traffic was brisk. Everybody looked like they were efficiently accomplishing tasks. I was accomplishing nothing. I did have my toothpaste. A young man walked up to me and asked if I was lost. A genius in residence! I nodded, afraid to reveal a Texas accent to go with my Texas sized screw up. “Where do you want to go?” I told him I was trying to get to the synagogue chapel to see the famous windows. I asked for directions, but he told me he would take me there since the directions were complicated and it wasn’t close.
We walked through the tunnels and hallways and he noticed my Houston Texans hat. Maybe that’s why he felt sorry for me! We chatted and walked for a while. Finally, we arrived at the synagogue and he showed me the door to the chapel. The young man was wearing the uniform of an IDF soldier. He pointed to the windows and showed me a hole in one where an Arab fired into the hospital during a previous war. I thanked him for escorting me to the chapel. As he was leaving I took his hand and told him to be careful. The hatred some people have for Jews is palpable.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had to stick your head in an attic or a tunnel or some other dark place where someone could be lurking to blow your brains out. I have. All of my police officer friends have as well. Have you ever had to make a forced entry to get a couple of killers out of a back bedroom? I have. I know what that feels like, and I wonder if the young IDF soldier who showed me the Chagall windows is preparing to enter those long black corridors of booby trapped horrors to find hostages and baby killing terrorists. I suppose he is. No matter how much training one has, the hostages add an incredibly difficult aspect to the operation. IDF soldiers will die in those pits of depraved evil.
By the way, I found out what those restricted areas in the Hadassah Medical Center sub levels were. It’s public knowledge—not a secret. They are for IDF mass casualties. The area has been converted to a huge emergency surgical facility. I hope lives will be saved. I hope Hamas is destroyed and all the killing stops. I hope peace will reign In Jerusalem.
It would be naive of me to think that significant numbers of people would stop hating Jews. “Kristalnacht” was nothing compared to October 7th. It sickens me that legitimate governments side with Hamas in vowing destruction of the Jews. It sickens me that Jews are threatened in college libraries and on airport tarmacs. The only thing I can do is to ask the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to protect the young soldier who took me to the chapel and all of his brothers and sisters. I will do that. Selah.
Photos: IDF soldier, Hadassah Medical Center, Chagall Windows