In the Heart of the Holy Land

Last week, my wife Jen and I arrived home from 10 days in Israel. It was a wonderful and transformative journey on many levels, and we are still absorbing all that we experienced.

The opportunity to teach my approach—the Eclectic Triphasic Medical System (ETMS)— to the Integrative Medicine department at the largest and leading medical complex in Israel, the Rabin Medical Center (of Beilinson Hospital) was both a unique opportunity and a remarkable experience. The medical professionals were refreshingly welcoming and open to the ETMS approach to cancer and healing. At the invitation of Dr. Opher Caspi, Director of the Integrative Medicine unit at the hospital, I was fortunate to spend 5 full days with the staff, during which time I lectured and saw patients daily. I also presented to the Hematology/Oncology staff on the immense research on botanical medicines for cancer, and to the Dieticians, introducing them to immunonutrition, nutrigenomics, and nutraceuticals to address issues of cancer-related cachexia and malnutrition. At the end of the week, I was invited to give a short presentation to the research department at Bar-Ilan University’s Cancer, Aids, & Immunology Research Institute, directed by Professor Benjamin Sredni.

Because of the rigorous teaching schedule we had just 3 days to do some sightseeing before heading home. Although Israel is a small country, there are many historically significant sights to explore. We’re already looking forward to our next visit! We enjoyed spending some personal time getting to know Dr. Caspi as he took us on a spiritual quest to Jerusalem, the heart of the Holy Land. The brief time we spent in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was deeply sacred to us as we prayed over and touched the tomb of Jesus. We then visited the Wailing Wall at the start of the Sabbath, and experienced one of the most sacred places for those of the Jewish faith. The Sages said about it: “The Divine Presence never moves from the Western Wall.” We went to Jerusalem a second time on our last day and visited the Church of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives. We also enjoyed the various merchants selling jewelry, clothing, pottery and other unique treasures inside the walls throughout the Muslim, Jewish, Armenian, and Christian quarters.There is a rich culture and spirituality that infuses daily life in Israel, which I believe is often missing in our lives in the U.S. The people were the best part—there was so much love, passion, authenticity, and appreciation freely expressed. Jen and I were able to spend time with family members (from my adopted father’s family) and even one of my patients who lives in Israel. I was struck by how hard daily life is in many ways, but at the same time, how deep and rich their lives are. As a culture, the people spend quality time socializing, going out almost every night for a late dinner and chatting. They manage to live fully and with heart and spirit, in spite of the fact that they are surrounded by so much tension and the constant threat of violence and destruction.

One of the greatest pleasures was of course the food! We love the Mediterranean diet and we enjoyed plenty of hummus, tahini, tabouli, olives, fresh pomegranate juice and falafel.

Jen and I are both deeply grateful for the opportunity that we had to travel to Israel, and I look forward to helping to nurture the seeds that were planted and to witness the growth of ETMS in Israel.

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