Ravitzky walks out of Beit Loewenstein

After compatose period and 15 months of rehabilitation following serious bus accident, renowned Israeli professor walks and talks again.

ravitzky books 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
ravitzky books 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Prof. Avi Ravitzky, the Israel Prize laureate and Hebrew University professor who was critically injured in October 2006 after he was run over by a bus in Jerusalem's Jaffa Road, was discharged from Ra'anana's Beit Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital on Wednesday after over a year of intensive treatment. Ravitzky, 62, left the hospital on his own two legs, shook the hand of hospital director Prof. Ya'acov Hart, thanked him and was taken home by his wife Ruthie and other family members. He will live at home in the capital and continue to undergo rehabilitation at several institutions in the city. The accident, which occurred while he was crossing the street at a crosswalk, shocked the country. Ravitzky was rushed to Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem, where trauma surgeons worked to save his life. He was in critical condition, attached to a respirator and unconscious, and all feared the worst. Four weeks later, he was stable but still in a coma and moved to Beit Loewenstein, where he regained consciousness three weeks later. "Hadassah saved his life, and we devoted more than a year to his rehabilitation," Hart told The Jerusalem Post. His team included doctors, nurses, a clinical communications therapist, occupational, art and physical therapists, social workers, a psychodrama expert and others. "They taught him to walk and speak fluently. He is very happy," said Hart. Asked about Ravitzky's cognitive abilities, Hart would say only that "we don't have replacement parts. We rehabilitate. There are many miracles in our hospital. Avi, who is a delightful man, was able in recent weeks to go home and visit his family and come for day hospitalization." Ravitzky, who at the time of the accident was head of the HU's Jewish philosophy department, is one of Israel's most respected philosophers and thinkers. In 2001, he received the country's most prestigious award, the Israel Prize, for his research in Jewish thought. A senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, Ravitzky has authored several books, including Messianism, Zionism and Jewish Religious Radicalism; History and Faith: Studies in Jewish Philosophy and Religious and Secular Jews in Israel. Ravitzky has served as a visiting professor at various universities in the US, including Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Rice University, Yeshiva University, Brown University and the Jewish Theological Seminary.