When armed conflict is a way of life, a lasting solution may seem unattainable. And yet, while small acts of personal bravery may not ultimately shape the larger outcome, there are some people on both sides who continue to seek peace anyway.
Israeli kindergarten teacher and mother of three Idit Harel Segal wanted to do something meaningful for her 50th birthday. Instead of receiving a gift, he chose to give one.
In memory of his late grandfather, Segal decided to donate a kidney. The life-saving gift Segal offered not only aligned with his Jewish faith, it was also his way of extending an olive branch, because the recipient of the kidney was a 3-year-old Palestinian boy from the Gaza Strip.
Although there are strict restrictions limiting the number of entry permits, the Jerusalem-based non-governmental organization Matnat Chaim was able to organize the surgical procedure on humanitarian grounds. (To move the boy to the top of the donor list in Gaza, his father also agreed to donate a kidney to an Israeli patient, a 25-year-old mother of two.)
With all the pieces in place, the surgery was scheduled for June 16, 2021, but before it took place, Segal wanted to make sure the boy knew how much it meant to her to give him this particular gift when he grew up as well. that she sent him a letter.
“You do not know me … You do not understand my language and I do not understand yours, but soon we will be very close because my kidney will be in your body,” he wrote. “I wholeheartedly hope that this surgery is successful and that she lives a long, healthy and meaningful life.”
At the hospital, Segal was reunited with the boy and his mother. * She sat next to them on her hospital bed, and while the mother comforted her son, Segal sang to him until he nodded.
“He fell asleep, then I left. I cried, “he recalled in an interview with the Associated Press (AP). “It was really moving. Deep down I knew I had done something good. “
Segal admits that his course of action was not met without conflict within his own family. Her husband, eldest son, and father initially opposed the plan.
But Segal, seeing the gesture as the best way to honor the values of the beloved grandfather who had lost five years earlier, stood firm on a decision that she said came in the immediate aftermath of an 11-day outbreak of renewed hostilities.
“I put my anger and frustration aside and I only see one thing. I see hope for peace and love, ”he told AP. “And if there will be more like us, there will be nothing to fight for.”
Over time, her family came to appreciate and embrace the choice she had made.
Segal believes that, compared to the larger scheme of things, what he has done is only “a little thing”, but even so, any step towards peace that is taken in good faith is a step in the right direction.
(CLOCK the AP video for this story below).
SHARE this story of true kindness with others on social media …