Trip to Israel

Every now and then it is beneficial and theraputic to take a mental and physical break from our routine. We all need a refresher course on what are the really meaningful things in life and a change of perspective that comes with traveling can be just the thing. Such was my experience in my first trip to the holy land. My daughter and I, along with 168 other Dennis Prager listeners, enjoyed 10 fantastic days touring Israel. From Tel Aviv to the Golan Heights, Ceasaria to Kfar Blum, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Masada, floating in the Dead Sea and, finally, Jerusalem we experienced history, religion and the co-existence of a vibrant working society. After a visit to these places it is unlikely that one can ever look at the world the same again. We had the opportunity to hear interviews and lectures from a cross section of ideas including the Palestinian Mayor of Bethlehem, a member of the Israeli defense forces and an amazing woman at Yad Vashem to a former ambassador along with the wisdom of Mr. Prager. As he always says, "Prefer clarity over agreement". Seems pretty clear to me that any real peace in the Middle East will not occur in my lifetime. Nonetheless, one must continue to try and it begins with open dialogue and free access to information for the children of the Arab world. For freely educated children are the only hope that old enmities will die out.

As I return to Los Angeles and the work that I love I am hopeful that some of the lessons I learned in Israel can be applied to my profession. I believe more than ever that my profession has been going in the wrong direction. Widening the divide between caregivers for birth by hardened rhetoric does not benefit those we wish to serve. We have a duty to educate the future generations of obstetricians in the skills needed for vaginal birthing and encourage them to reach out to our midwife colleagues in a way that organized medicine has vehemently resisted in my professional life. Collaboration benefits everyone and honored co-existence makes for a more peaceful world for children like my daughter to inherit. That would leave a beautiful legacy for the Middle East and for the birthing world. Dr. F