Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef and Lev Leviev at the dedication ceremony.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Featuring an eye-catching combination of modern design and traditional motif, Sheba Medical Center (Tel Hashomer), unveiled its spectacular new Beit Yehuda and Tamar synagogue last week at a ceremony that attracted rabbinical luminaries, community leaders, noted philanthropists and the hospital's executive staff.
Prominent businessman and philanthropist, Lev Leviev, along with his wife Olga, who have contributed to several major projects at Sheba, highlighted by the Leviev Heart Center, spearheaded the renovation of the synagogue along with several other families, who donated funds to create the one-of-a-kind architectural marvel. Artistic high-glass stained windows and a "hanging" Aron Kodesh (Torah ark) made from glass in the shape of a Magen David (Star of David) accentuate the synagogue's unique design.
Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, Israel's Sephardic Chief Rabbi affixed the synagogue's mezuzah with Sheba Medical Center's spiritual leader, Rabbi Yisroel Solomon.
Brimming with pride and excitement, Professor Yitshak Kreiss, Director General of Sheba Medical Center said, "It is important that we treat our patients in a human manner. This synagogue will inspire our patients and provide them with the spiritual strength to heal."
Mr. Leviev revealed, "This hospital is such a special place. I had seen people coming to the original synagogue, which did not have enough room to accommodate every patient, many of whom were attached to their infusion lines, crying during the prayers. It is my wish and hope that this new, larger synagogue will offer them a comfortable to pray for mercy from the Almighty and recover quickly from their illnesses."
Rabbi Yosef fondly recalled how his late father, the legendary Sephardic sage, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, would make a habit of coming to the hospital and urge sick patients to eat on Yom Kippur, since "Pikauch nefesh (preservation of human life), overrides all other religious obligations, even on Yom Kippur." He added, "I want to bless all of the doctors and nurses at Sheba for their dedication to healing. For anyone who saves the life of a patient, it's as if you have saved an entire world. This is holy work."
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