Religious woman ousted from hospital for ‘spiritual counseling’

"She came to give ‘spiritual support’ to patients without the halachic angle over which those who trained her boast,” the weekly handout said.

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January 16, 2017 00:31
1 minute read.
Ichilov hospital and Sourasky Medical Centre in Tel Aviv.

Ichilov hospital and Sourasky Medical Centre in Tel Aviv.. (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/GELLERJ)

 
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The health minister took action “within 24 hours” to remove a national-religious woman from the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center who offered to give “spiritual counseling” to cancer patients.

The ultra-Orthodox weekly handout Bemercaz Ha’inyanim, which took credit for bringing the “scandal” to Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman’s attention, said the woman, Meira Welt-Maarek, a graduate of the Lindenbaum Center for Halachic Studies-Ohr Torah Stone in Jerusalem, recently received “rabbinical ordination from Rabbis Shlomo Riskin and David Stav.” In the article, she was called a “Reform Jew.”

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An ultra-Orthodox Jew who learned of this contacted Litzman, who called his former ministry director-general, who is secular, and the current director- general of Sourasky, who made inquiries and had her removed.

Sourasky hospital Rabbi Avraham Reznikov, who is himself national-religious, told the handout that he had “been misled” as he had “not known that Welt-Maarek or someone who referred her to the hospital used Sourasky and patients to advance the Reform-liberal agenda. She came to give ‘spiritual support’ to patients without the halachic angle over which those who trained her boast,” the weekly handout said.

Asked by The Jerusalem Post to comment, Litzman’s office refused to talk about the incident.

Sourasky spokesman Avi Shushan said the article “did injustice to Welt-Maarek, as she is Orthodox and not Reform.”

But he said Reznikov erred by taking her on to counsel terminal patients “without going through all the regular channels, such as looking at her credentials, a training session and vaccinations, as do all people who come to work here, whether as a paid employee or as a volunteer.”

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