From Arutz-7 News
TOP DOCTOR-RABBI AND DAUGHTER-BRIDE MURDERED IN ATTACK
The tragedy of the Jerusalem attack was multiplied several-fold when it was
learned that among the murdered were Dr. David Applebaum and his daughter Nava.
The former was the director of the emergency room of Shaarei Tzedek Medical
Center, who dealt with hundreds of other victims of terrorist attacks and to
whom his colleagues said “thousands owed their lives” – and the latter was to be
married tonight. The two had gone to have a last pre-wedding father-daughter
Dr. Applebaum had returned just a few hours earlier from the United States,
where he had spoken about how hospitals should prepare for mass terror attacks.
Dr. Applebaum’s wife and five remaining children gathered in the Shaarei
Tzedek emergency room. Doctors and nurses stood around crying, even as ambulances
continued to bring in other wounded patients. They were barely able to absorb
the fact that instead of going to the joyous wedding planned for tonight, they
would be attending the double funeral of the bride and her father.
Natan Applebaum , the youngest son of the family, said that he had gone to
sleep early “to be ready for the wedding,” when he “suddenly awoke to the
screaming sirens of ambulances, and I had a bad feeling.” At those very moments, his
father’s colleague Dr. Yitzchak Glick, who arrived on the scene to deal with
the wounded, was identifying one of the dead as Natan’s father.
“He was one of the ’36 righteous men’ of the world,” Natan said. “His whole
life was dedicated to saving lives.” Dr. Yonatan HaLevy, director of Shaarei
Tzedek, said that the hospital had suffered a grave loss, while other doctors
spoke of a “great Torah scholar,” a “sparkling personality,” and a “model family
Stories about Dr. Applebaum began sprouting as soon as word of his death
became known. It was said that he was always one of the first to go to an attack,
and that he had developed improved methods for administering emergency
treatment. He was also the founder of the Terem Emergency Clinic in Jerusalem, which
now has chapters in Maaleh Adumim, Modiin, Beit Shemesh, Ramot and Rehavia.
As busy as his schedule was, “Dr. Applebaum told me that he set aside one
night a week to travel to Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh [near Ashdod] to study with his
Prof. Moshe Spero, Dr. Applebaum’s brother-in-law, said, “Everything was
ready for the wedding – and it turns out to be a mourning ceremony.”
Thousands of people, many of whom had prepared to attend Nava’s wedding that
very night, arrived at the Shamgar Funeral Home for the double funeral. The
two were first eulogized by Nava’s grandfather, Bar Ilan Prof. Rabbi Shubert
Spero, who cried and spoke about his “beautiful granddaughter who performed her
year of National Service with the most severely ill children.” He stated that
Israel, Jerusalem, and his family had suffered a tremendous loss with the
deaths of the rabbi-doctor and his daughter.
Rabbi Spero was followed by former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who said,
“When I saw Dr. Applebaum and his teacher Rabbi Aharon Soloveitchik, I saw a
perfect example of a student honoring and serving his master.” He spoke about the
way Dr. Applebaum combined the best of Torah study and the best of medicine;
the deceased in fact gave a weekly Torah class in Midreshet Moriah adjacent to
the hospital. Rabbi Lau further said that he saw the faces of the wounded in
the #2 bus bombing light up when they saw Dr. Applebaum.
The following are comments, special words and simply just memories of a great
man and and amazing young woman who are truly irreplaceable.
From Dr. Karen Djemal
In the TEREM family we are all bereaved. We feel the loss of David and Naava
continually. Our individual and personal loss is constantly reflected through
the disorientation and bewilderment we see in our friends, or co-workers and
our patients. It is something we all share.
David’s achievements are remarkable in so many respects and the incredible
impacts he made in the worlds of medicine, Torah and social justice made him
unique and larger than life: qualities that we admired and loved him for– and
miss terribly. Underlying these outstanding and superhuman achievements are
multitudes of personal encounters which David conducted in his own inimitable and
profoundly positive way.
Even beyond our deep and precious friendship which is forever invaluable to
me, I would like to acknowledge and share the impact he made on me and my
life– David as friend and role model, leader and teacher.
Since making aliyah almost 16 years ago, our friendship with David has been
instrumental in shaping the course of our lives. At a chance meeting way back
then, David invited Joe to join him in TEREM, opening up his dreams,
aspirations, home and family to us with a warmth and enthusiasm that was uniquely his.
A few years later, David, as friend and director of TEREM, provided me with
the opportunity to realize one of my own dreams. Emergency medicine not being
my chosen style of medicine, I yearned to establish a good Family Practice,
where doctors knew and cared for their patients, and families, over many years,
and had the time and expertise to treat them with dedication, consideration and
professionalism. Although this was a departure from the model of urgent care
medicine on which TEREM was based, David and the TEREM partners took up the
challenge, rented an apartment in Rehov Aza and so the first TEREM FAMILY
PRACTICE opened its doors to whoever might wander by, back in February 1993.
In those days, David and Mike Baum took regular sessions there, and I think
David referred nearly everyone he knew to the practice! We slowly but surely
built up our patient population, many of whom moved with us in 1998 to Gdud
HaIvri. The high standard of medicine and level of personal care which we provide
is the product of multidimensional teamwork in which the doctors, nurses and
secretarial and administrative staff all play integral parts. This was
acknowledged last year when we were accredited with the status of teaching practice
for Macabi Family Medicine residents, the first atzmai practice of this kind
David’s support was exceptional, and his commitment to the well-being of the
patients and the standard of the services provided resonated in me intensely.
We shared this goal and the challenge to achieve it. His incredible
creativity, dynamism, experience and dedication were an inspiration to me, attributes I
could simultaneously rely upon and emulate. It is important to stress that
often, our activities as a practice to provide a good service to our patients
came at a cost to our financial profitability. Taking the time needed to treat
the elderly or teach students or residents isn’t reimbursed by Kupot Holim.
While always reminding us of the need to be economically vigilant and aim to be
financially successful also, David always supported our commitment to good
standards of care, and understood that this limited our profitability. Without
this fundamental support, we would not have been free to evolve into the
vibrant and caring practice of which we are now so proud.
On a personal level David made it possible for me to achieve this dream. I
owe David for much of the success I have enjoyed since making aliyah, and
particularly since setting up the TEREM Family Practice. I feel as if he raised me
on his shoulders and carried me aloft. He enabled me to enjoy a vision, a
strength and a stature that was largely his.
Now I as I stumble on my own two feet, I am forever cognizant and eternally
grateful for his contribution to my life, and hope and pray that I can continue
to touch his ideals and aspirations, and acknowledge his greatness.
From Dr David Ben Eli
It is several weeks since the murder of Dr. Applebaum and his daughter. Their
losses are devastating. It is incomprehensible that Dr. Applebaum is no
longer with us to give a word of advice, support, a sincere observation, or a
smile. It is only now that I have the inner resources to write to you this e-mail
As you probably know, Dr. Applebaum was my only true emergency medicine
mentor. He was one of the driving forces that brought me to my current position at
the New York University Emergency Medicine Residency Program.
While working at Terem I learnt, for the first time, how a modern American
emergency medicine department operates. Working under the supervision of Dr.
Applebaum has led me to appreciate that, in order to be the best physician that I
can be, a full and formal Emergency Medicine training is imperative, and that
such training should take place in the cradle of emergency medicine, The
United States (where residency programs are well established). Dr. Applebaum
encouraged and supported my quest, helped with contacts, and wrote one of my
letters of recommendations. This letter had a crucial impact on my acceptance to the
NYU program (the NYU department director knows Dr. Applebaum well).
I was very pleased when Dr. Applebaum was appointed the director of the
Shaare Zedek emergency medicine department. I knew that he was the right person to
introduce greatly needed changes in this exceptionally busy and crowded
emergency department. I was looking forward to possibly working with Dr. Applebaum
once I completed my residency.
Am Israel has lost a giant among men. The Israeli Medicine has lost a
visionary, a leader, a role model, and an excellent clinician. Terem has lost its
creator, founder, and manager. I can not even begin to grasp the extent of your
personal loss. I have lost my mentor.
No words can comfort such a horrendous loss.
It is with Dr. Applebaum’s vision, wisdom, clinical common sense, generosity,
and “derech-eretz” that I now continue my residency. I hope that, one day, my
accomplishments will near some of his great achievements.
I wish you strength and inner peace.
Hashem yikom damam!
Ktivah ve-hatimah tovah,
From Dr. Joe Djemal
Dr Djemal gave a radio interview to the jerusalem Post that can be heard
My partner David Applebaum
I’m reeling from the pain and the emptiness- something feels wrenched out of
I first met David towards the end of 1988 at a party celebrating the birth of
a future neighbour’s child. We had not moved in yet, having arrived in Israel
on 16 Feb 1988. At that time our nuclear family consisted of my wife Karen
and son Zaki. On hearing that Karen and I were both practicing GPs [family docs]
he started outlining his vision of urgent care centres-it was so infectious-I
could not make him out but I knew I liked him. Sometime the following year,
with Karen somewhat concerned about the investment required both financial and
the long hours involved, we joined David’s fledgling company Terem. We were
then 6 partners.
In those days I would work 3 evenings a week till midnight or later speak,
breathe, live Terem. I would speak to David at least 5 times a day. I would wake
up remembering what I didn’t tell him late the night before. I admired him so
much. I could never understand how one person could do so much. His family
too was an inspiration, a model of education and strength. David was, in many
ways, a role model for me-an inspiring combination of cutting edge medicine,
thrilling entrepreneurialsm, commitment to Jewish observance, doer of good deeds
and a lover of the land of Israel.
Terem grew and the responsibility grew. As usual David remained calm
throughout always finding time to speak and solve problems many of which were of a
personal nature. The more the demands on him grew the more energy he would find.
Some two years ago a young child got ill with leukemia and David spent hours
everyday for many months helping with chemotherapy, and not least providing
emotional support to the young parents. There were many other similar situations
in which David became very involved. He would not accept defeat at any stage
and invariably gave more strength refusing to be disheartened. The medical
outcomes were undoubtedly better than could be expected without his interventions.
The human outcomes were of trust, hope and confidence despite desperate
On the day after the funeral I was working in my clinic in Maale Adumim and
was surprised when in the middle of a consultation a young Russian patient
expressed her sadness revealing that some 11 or so years earlier their family
received beautiful fruit baskets from the Applebaums. These were delivered by
David’s sons Natan and Yitzhak to their then home in Katamon in Jerusalem. The
Applebaum’s modesty means that most of these acts of kindness will be remembered
only by those directly touched by them, and as the days go by more, and more,
and more are coming to light.
We are facing an irreconcilable loss. A light has gone out of our world. How
do we cope without him? How will I cope without him? I can just imagine his
unsentimental answer to me ” C’mon Joe it can be done-let’s get on with it”
We should let David’s way of doing things rub off on us.
LET’S GET ON WITH IT_______________________
Dr. Andreas Tzakis, chief of liver transplant department, Jackson Memorial
Hospital in Miami, Fla, responding to Miriam Dombey’s (Moshe’s wife) email
informing him of Dr. Applebaum’s death, a few hours after the tragedy. Dr. Tzakis
performed Dombey’s liver transplant.
I have been very sad with the news about David and now his daughter. I have
met with David only a few times but I considered him a good friend. He was one
of the people with whom I was perfectly comfortable. He had a contagious
enthusiasm I have found only in teenagers, and then the mature thinking of a
sophisticated individual that he was. I am missing David already. I used to look for
David on CNN to see if he was in the rescue team. And now this
The coincidence of the events is also so tragic, I cannot even conceive the
magnitude of the grief.
My daughter Mariella asked about David and what he looked like. I told her he
had a beard and looked like a Rabbi. She gave me a little doll she had with a
beard so I remember him. I will surely remember David.
This time the news hit home, we are all very sad because of this.
The following letter was to the International Herald Tribune by Dr Shmuel
Berger (former TEREM staff physician)
Regarding “Jerusalem cafe bombing killed lifesaving doctor” (September 11):
Dr. David Applebaum was also a peacemaking doctor. The TEREM urgent care
clinics he founded receive patients from all religious and ethnic backgrounds in
Israel. TEREM also routinely services tourists, foreign workers and foreign
students, including scores from America. With patients and each other, the
multi-lingual staff works in several languages, including Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic,
English, French and Russian, to name a few.
TEREM is staffed by Jews (religious and secular), Arab Muslims and
Christians, Druze, native born Israelis and immigrants from across the globe. So great
is the mutual respect between colleagues at TEREM, that the Arab, Druze and
other non-Jewish staff cover shifts on the Jewish Sabbath and holidays, while
the Jews relieve their Muslim and Christian co-workers for the Muslim and
Christian holidays and holy feasts.
Dr. Applebaum once told me that he views TEREM as a microcosm of what could
be in the Middle East: peaceful co-existence based on mutual respect for human
life. Through the example of his TEREM clinics Dr. Applebaum proved that we
can all co-exist for a greater good. By murdering Dr. Applebaum, Hamas has
killed a lifesaver of both Jews and Arabs, and a peacemaker as well. His death
should be mourned by decent men everywhere.
From Daniel Rosenfield
Nava Applebaum and her father were killed tonight in a suicide bombing in a
cafe in Yerushalayem. Nava was scheduled to get married tomorrow, Wednesday.
Now, on the day of her wedding, instead, her funeral will take place.
Nava was simply a neshoma tehora. Full of life and exuberance. Chesed does
not begin telling you who she was. Nava, along with 6 other young girls, were
b’not sheirut this past year in Hadassa hospital on the Pediatric Oncology
department, working for Zichron Menachem (an unbelievable organization which helps
families battling with a child with cancer). Each day Nava and her friends
came to the hospital full of life, always smiling, singing – with one simple
goal: to put smiles and joy on the little faces of the children of Hadassa
hospital. From the very first day that we met Nava in the hospital, she immediately
made her impact on Chani. I remember even on that first day, Nava’s
high-pitched excited energy, raised Chani’s spirits and made Chani feel comfortable and
Beyond the songs, games, dress-up, and love that Nava gave Chani and the
others, Nava gave to Halana and myself. It is amazing how at such a young age,
just 20 years old, Nava was there for us. I mean that she served as a support
base for Halana and me. It is an incredible quality to be able to play silly
games with a two year old one second, and to relate maturely and discuss serious
life issues with us on the next.
Around half a year ago, I mentioned to Halana that I felt that the incredible
chesed work that these unbelievable girls accomplished in their 1 year of
sheirut leumi, was far greater than what most people contribute in an entire
lifetime. Nava, in her unfortunately short life, touched so many, and brought so
much joy, love and chesed, more than an entire lifetime. As our sages tell us
“Yesh mi shekoneh olamo…” There are those who acquire their place in the
world to come over an entire lifetime, and there are those who do so by even one
On a personal level, I keep thinking how Halana and I struggle and work daily
for past months to save the life of our little Chani, yet in the flash of a
moment – an entire life and an entire world is taken away. We know that every
person is a world within themselves (Olam Maleh), and in a flash of a second,
Nava’s beautiful life and world was taken from us.
I once asked Nava what she was going to study in college the following year,
and what she wanted to do in life. Her response was simple (for her): She was
going to medical school, so she could find a cure to cancer, so she could
actually save all of the children like Chani (and others). She was serious – and I
I remember the morning after Nava got engaged. All of the other 6 Zichron
Menachem girls got dressed up in wedding dresses and excitedly awaited Nava’s
arrival to the hospital that morning. Halana and I were naturally there awaiting
with our video camera ready. For us, this was not simply somebody getting
engaged; Nava was like mishpocha – family. As the girls danced with Nava on that
day, it was so natural that Halana had a personal dance in the middle with
Nava, like 2 sisters, or 2 best friends. I saw in Halana’s eyes on that day, how
truly happy she was for Nava – a person we hadn’t even known a few months
earlier. Nava, of course, shared her joyous moment as she sang and danced with
Chani as well.
Around a month ago, Nava came to New York with her mother for a short trip
before her wedding. It amazed me how Nava called us on the very first day she
arrived. I would have thought with so much to see in NY, so much family to
visit, and so much pre-wedding shopping to do, maybe towards the end of her trip
she would call us. If anything, we should have called her to welcome her. Nava
surprisingly had Chani on the top of her priorities. In her busy schedule, and
on such a short visit, she visited us two separate times in the hospital. I
was going to say that she found the time to visit us, but Nava made it like this
was the only thing in the world that she wanted to do, and she stayed and
played with Chani and shmoozed with us. It was so nice that Nava also brought her
sister along to the hospital the second time.
Just as surprising to me was, two days ago – on Sunday – 4 days before her
wedding, Nava called us to say hello. Unfortunately we weren’t home, but she
spoke to Halana’s mother (who of course knew Nava well, as she was one of the
family). I had been saying to Halana for a few days that we should call Nava to
see how she is, it’s almost the wedding. To think that Nava, with all of the
wedding preparations on her head and everything, the week of her wedding, would
have a head to call us and see how Chani was doing and see how we were doing,
was just unbelievable. But at this point it already didn’t shock me – because
this was who Nava was.
We then put a note on the fridge on Monday in big letters (which is there
until now) which reads “NAVA -Wedding”, reminding us in our busy schedule to call
her (during a time that works out with the time difference) before the
wedding to wish her a Mazal tov. Halana called Nava earlier today (Tueday) twice,
once to her home and once to her cellphone, leaving her messages which we are
not sure if she ever picked up. Perhaps Halana’s well wishes were one of the
last Mazal tov’s she heard.
I have to think that Nava must have still been carrying around the little
keychain that Chani gave her (and the other Zichron Menachem girls). It read:
“Nava – Chani loves you”. (Nava’s keychain was the only one that mistakenly had a
typo error. Instead of Nava, it was mistakenly printed: Navi. Part of me
thought that this was somehow meant to be, as it summarizes our close feeling
towards our Nava (Navi in Hebrew translation).
Even after writing and expressing all of these words, there are simply no
words to express the deep sorrow, grief, and mourning that I feel at this time.
The news has taken over my feelings, and have driven me to write down my
thoughts even late into the night here. Our deepest condolences go to Nava’s entire
family and chatan. Yehi zichra baruch.
As I did not know Nava’s father personally, I do not feel that I can write
and elaborate about him personally. From all that I have heard, though, the
apple does not fall from the tree. Nava’s chesed and love stemmed from her
parents. A number of years ago, my parents lived for a year in Yerushalayem, and were
neighbors of the Applebaums. It struck me so much tonight, when my parents
spoke on and on of the unbelievably tremendous chesed that Nava’s father was
known for; as top doctor medically treating all that were in need, whether it be
leading Terem, the emergency room, the shtachim, or any place anyone was in
medical need. Ironically, and sadly, Dr. Applebaum was usually of the first to
arrive in the emergency room after a terror bombing, to immediately treat the
wounded. On a separate note, Halana also recalls Dr. Applebaum very fondly as
she took two of his courses of Torah study at Midreshet Moriah during her year
in Israel. This combination of Torah scholar and medical expert was really
special – a one of a kind. He was known across the country for his care-giving,
teachings, and kindness. As a real talmid chacham and ish chesed, it is easy to
see these qualities shining through in Nava as well. Yehi Zichro Baruch.
From Joe Medved
Last night’s terror struck close to home. The boom of the blast at Cafe
Hillel on Emek Refaim shook the windows of our house and left no doubt that we were
hit again-this time in our own neighborhood. Our son Momo, 16, is a trained
Paramedic with Magen David and was near the blast. He took out his plastic
gloves which he keeps in his school backpack, and began to run the block to the
cafe, to help with the injured. Momo was one of the first to arrive at the
scene. As he described it later, it was a scene straight out of Dante or Eli
Wiesel. Victims were screaming and strewn about. A group of bystanders was
attempting to put out a fire that was consuming a man. Amputated legs and arms were
lying in pools of blood. A mans head was in the middle of the street. Momo acted
according to the training he received this summer, in a course designed to
teach him how to handle these kind of events. As soon as the lead ambulance
arrived he was told who to evacuate and he helped carry the injured on stretchers.
Within ten minutes it was over, and the amazing Israeli emergency medical
teams had again acted with alacrity and professionalism. His mother and brother
found him covered with victims blood and walked him home.
This morning as the bright Jerusalem sun came up again over our neighborhood,
most of the outward signs of destruction had been washed away and cleaned up.
Despite the continued terror alerts and torrent of news about yesterday’s
attacks, the children need to go to school, to get on with our lives. But the
news contained more bitter tidings that took your breath away. Among the dead in
last nights blast was Dr. David Applebaum and his daughter Nava. Nava was due
to be married tonight in a joyous wedding of 500 guests. David was a doctor of
emergency medicine who was a fixture in Jerusalem’s medical scene, having
treated hundreds of terror victims. He was the founder of Terem, Jerusalem’s
private emergency medical clinic, and my best friends partner. He was a learned
man, a kind man, a tzaddik. He was a true hero of Jerusalem.
From Chana Bracha Siegelbaum, wife of Dr Micheal Siegelbaum
We are in shock. Dr. Applebaum was murdered last night. He was Mechael’s
boss. He encouraged and believed in his abilities, when Mechael was first starting
out as a doctor in Israel. He used to say, “I’m not interested in hiring
someone who is just looking for a job, my staff has to be devoted to really want
to help people.” Mechael always spoke about Dr. Appelbaum’s greatness. The
meetings he had with the staff in order to ensure that the clinic would run in the
smoothest, most organized and caring way, for the sake of giving the highest
quality care to his patients. He always would greet everyone with a warm and
kindhearted smile. Mechael told me I should try to get a meeting with Dr.
Applebaum to ask for his help support Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin. He thought that
even though Dr. Applebaum was so busy, he would be sympathetic and generous to
this cause. Now it is too late. Now he is no longer among us. It was a real
zchut to be able to work for such a Tzaddik. Dr. Applebaum was a real inspiration
to my husband. May his memory be blessed.
From Dr Micheal Siegelbaum
I have been feeling sad about the murder of my late boss and mentor, Dr.
Applebaum, and I have been telling acquaintances about his greatness. I was
at the Beit Avelim- the house of mourning. The house and road were
overflowing with people coming to do a mitzvah of comforting the mourners. It was
standing room only in their living room, his wife Devorah and two sons sitting on a
low couch in the center. Her hair covered with an olive drab square
kerchief, Devorah seemed to appreciate the words of comfort coming from Dr. Amin.
“Your husband visited me when I suffered a death in my family,” said Dr. Amin, a
muslim from the Druse nation. There were other employees of Terem there as
well. A big male nurse was choking back tears as I looked at him and it made
me cry, too. Dr. Dana, an Arab was also there.
That was part of Dr. Applebaum’s vision. The Christians and Arabs worked
for the Jews on Shabbos and holidays, and in return, we took care of their
sick. And this was his family. His son, Nati, has been learning business
administration and been introduced to the several clinics which Dr. Applebaum built
up over the last 11 years. His wife looked very strong. I’m sure she didn’t
have to hear all the speeches praising her husband to know that he was and
remains in Heaven a great Tzaddik. Everything he did, he did for the Creator,
may His name be blessed. He was always giving of himself to reveal G-d in the
world. He would even travel one day a week to visit his son in the Yeshiva.
There he would learn the same matter in Torah law which his son was focusing
on in his shiurim (classes).
From Dr Avraham Rottman
The loss of Dr. David Applebaum is enormous; its ripples outward from the
Terem family reaching places we cannot even imagine. So many people depended on
David in every possible meaning of the word.
For me. he was a friend, medical colleague, informal teacher and employer.
I’m still grappling every day with the “what do we do now” and “what will it be
like now.” It is still hard to process what has happened.
I think the answer lies with what Joe Djemal alluded to in his touching and
poignant article. David left us with a clear directive for what we must do:
further his vision and maintain his legacy.
David demonstrated a grand vision of life, along with the determination and
talent to make it a reality. He made a permanent impact on how medical care is
provided in the greater Jerusalem area: as we all know, he revolutionized
urgent and emergency care in this country.
We’ve heard and read about many of the amazing public and private actions and
activities of this irreplaceable man. I experienced some of them, here are a
few personal anecdotes.
* He was the first person with whom I met on my “pilot trip” in June 1991,
the first to offer me a job and the first to employ me. Much of my success in
Israel is due to his advice, concern and caring, and the opportunity that he
provided to me: to be an urgent care doc in Jerusalem. I was always proud to be
a part of the TEREM Urgent Care Centers..
* Once, when we were both working in separate emergency departments on the
same night in Cleveland, I called him at 4 a.m. and he told me that his ED had
discharged its final patient of the night. I commented that he could sleep for
two hours, until 6 a.m., when the next shift started. He responded that those
two hours were his quiet time for researching and writing his book about Rav
* Later, when appointed to be the director of the emergency department at
Shaarei Tzedek Hospital, I asked how he could do it all (which he succeeded in
doing). He shrugged his shoulder and said, “I won’t sleep.”
* He introduced me to Rav Aharon Soloveichik z”l and announced, “Rebbe, this
is Dr. Rottman, he will be your doctor when you move to Ramat Bet Shemesh.”
This was news to me. I told David afterwards that I especially wished the
rabbi long life and health.
* Two years ago, when I called him regarding some medical concerns for my
wife’s mother, who was visiting and ill, he insisted on “adopting” her as his
patient, saw her as often as necessary, called and even wrote a note after she
had returned to the U.S. And he refused all pay, even from the U.S. insurance
companies. THAT was typical vintage David that we all knew and saw in many
different ways and at many different times.
* And whenever he saw my mother in the treatment area at TEREM, he would
ALWAYS stop whatever he was doing and take a minute to greet her, inquire of her
health, and then “embarass” me by giving her the “nachat” of telling her
positive things about me and how he was happy to have me as part of the TEREM team:
that was also quintessential David.
* I remember the night of Shushan Purim one year. When (as a non-Jerusalem
resident) I came in to work, I found that I was the ONLY doctor of the three
scheduled that night to show up. I went to see where the others were and found
them in David’s office; he was reading the Megillah for my two colleagues, both
Jerusalem residents who had arrived before me. When he finished, I said,
“David, you’re amazing.” He shrugged his shoulders in his typical way and said,
“They need to work, but they also need to hear the Megillah.”
THAT was David…
From Dr Yonatan Grossman
With tears and pain I am with you in this terrible tragedy of David’s death
and wish you comfort and strength after losing such a great, great man.
I haven’t stopped thinking about Terem, and the void there that must now fill
I think of David’s accomplishments and am overwhelmed by the enormity of his
presence in so many influential aspects of society. His absence will be a
gaping hole in the lives of his family and friends no doubt, but notably also, in
all of the thousands he treated, taught, led and directed in a spirit that
was indeed true of a lamed vavnick.
Such a loss
From Dr Jeff Green
The following letter was submitted by Dr Green to the NY Times.
To the Editor:
As we mourn the loss of Dr. David Applebaum, blessed be his memory, it is
important that we emphasize one aspect of his phenomenal accomplishments that has
gotten little press. He built his visionary emergency medical system on a
foundation of true Arab-Jewish cooperation and mutual support.
I was fortunate to meet him on a preliminary trip to Israel several years
before I immigrated there. Once I moved and had a few months of Hebrew study
under my belt he hired me to help provide ‘American style’ medicine in his
pioneering urgent care center. Out of the classroom and into the new Middle East.
It took me a short while to discover that I was working side by side with
Arabs and Jews in every level of the clinic: doctors, nurses, technicians, and
clerks. Having that mix solved a problem for the doctor/rabbi. On the Holy
Sabbath he could provide full service in the clinic without desecrating the day of
rest for the Jews. We in turn would cover the Muslim and Christian holy days.
What was truly remarkable was that our collaboration seemed normal. We were
after all working on the same anatomy and pathology. We had a common goal, the
usual one, stamp out disease. These truths were clear to David, and his vision
of who we were and why we were there made it easy to work together.
Mind you, David celebrated his differences as a Jew with a passion. But in a
woefully uncommon way his embracing the reality of living and working with
Arabs in an atmosphere of respect and common purpose was not a conflict with his
We are all the family of Abraham in this war. When given the chance we can
behave as brothers and sisters. David set it up for us once. We must keep his
From Mr Brian Moskovic
My Name is Briana Moskovic and I live in New Jersey. In 1995-1996 I had the
privilege of having Rabbi Dr. David Applebaum as a teacher in Midreshet Moriah.
He always spoke so proudly of the people who worked in TEREM. I visited TEREM
on some occasions, accompanying friends who needed medical assistance and
Rabbi Applebaum and his staff were always there to help with a smile and loving
A relative newcomer to the TEREM medical team shared this reminiscence:
After having worked at TEREM for a short period, I met with Dr. Applebaum , and expressed my concerns and anxieties about my performance, and my
acceptance by the rest of the staff. He said, Lift your head, straighten your back,
look straight ahead, and do it.
Some time later, Dr. Applebaum asked me, Have you started sewing
[lacerations] yet? Not yet, I answered. I am still observing the other doctors. He
strode out to the clinic floor and announced, Today all suturing goes to Dr.
I have been suturing ever since.
From Leonie Hardy (did a medical school elective at TEREM)
I can still see Dr Applebaum’s face, his smile. His animated expression as he
spoke about Terem, what it represented – an emergency clinic designed to take
the load of the busy emergency departments in Israeli hospitals, run in
accordance with Halacha – where his orthopaedic surgeons explain procedures by
quoting verses from Tehillim, from Psalms – and where clowns are employed to keep
people entertained on the inevitable long waiting list that accrues after
All running under his watchful eye, his enthusiasm, his Yirat Shamayim [awe
Within the last year or so, he was appointed head of the emergency department
at Shaare Zedek and turned it from a somewhat chaotic mass into an efficient,
organised and computer-run emergency department.
My heart is bleeding, my tears burning and the pain palpable. Klal Yisrael
has lost another valuable member to this war, along with all the other unique,
precious and wonderful Neshamot that have been forced to leave this world along
with Dr. Applebaum. Please G-d this should be the last. We have lost enough.
May Hashem avenge their deaths.
A Patient Remembers
Exactly 12 years ago, while attending Sukkot celebrations (simchat Beit
Hashoeva), I attempted a handstand unsuccessfully. I came crashing down,
incurring a big gash on my chin.
It was past midnight when I came to TEREM, and Dr. Applebaum was on duty. He
started taking care of me, when a woman came into the clinic, screaming. I had
no idea what her problem was, but Dr. Applebaum excused himself and went out
to see what she needed. A few minutes later, I heard the cries of a newborn
baby coming from the room next to mine. Dr. Applebaum popped back into my room,
saying, Mazel tov. We just delivered a baby. And we went on to calmly
finish suturing my chin.
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