Pashkvillim Decry United Hatzalah’s Use Of Female EMTs – Eli Beer “We Are Proud of Our Women”

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Posters went up in the more Chareidi sections of Beit Shemesh accusing United Hatzalah of transgressing the prohibition of yichud by training female EMTs to respond to medical emergencies. Extremist elements in the Chareidi community of Ramat Beit Shemesh posted the pashkvillim that declared that having women respond to emergencies, causes issues of Yichud (seclusion).

The posters went on further to claim that female EMTs are committing a double sin both by being involved in Sherut Leumi (national service) and also by transgressing “Abizrahu D’Giluy Arayos”. United Hatzalah refutes these claims as they utilize volunteers over the age of 21 and does not have national service volunteers responding to emergencies as EMTs. Additionally, regarding the claim of prohibited intimacy, the same objections raised against females treating males could conceivably be raised regarding males treating females.

Hatzalah tells YWN that if the person requesting help is female, “it would be more halachically correct that she be treated by another female than by a male and therefore the need for female EMTs is vital to strengthen the halachic aspects of emergency treatment, especially in cases of emergency childbirth or miscarriage.”

The poster also announced an upcoming campaign against United Hatzalah and against the “knitted kippa rabbis” (Rabbonim Srugim) who support them. However, according to the United Hatzalah website, the official rabbinic board of the organization (though surely other rabbonim are involved in different capacities as well) are: Rav Ezriel Auerbach, Rav Sariel Rosenberg, Rav Aryeh Dvir and Rav Yehuda Silman. None of these are “knitted-kippa rabbis” but rather Rabbonim of the Chareidi community in Israel.

President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer responded to the outrageous criticism by saying: “I am proud that United Hatzalah has women volunteers. We are the first organization to unite Ultra-Orthodox, Modern-Orthodox, Secular, Jews, Non-Jews, men and women alike. United Hatzalah stands as a shining example to other Jewish rescue organizations demonstrating that no one should be excluded based on their religious beliefs or their gender.

“We are going to continue to grow United Hatzalah and serve all communities. We will continue to increase the number of all of our volunteers, men and women alike, this is the best solution for all communities. This is especially true for the Chareidi community. Having women provide emergency medical care to other women who are in need of help is not just an issue of modesty, but it is a humanitarian comfort as well.

You don’t have to be Chareidi to feel more comfortable having someone of the same gender treat your injuries, especially if they are of an intimate nature. Everything we do complies with Halacha. We will not allow radical elements of any community to stop us from performing our duty and our mission which is to provide medical care and assistance and save lives, regardless of gender, religion, nationality. We are all human and we will work together to help everyone in need.”

The pashkvillim decrying United Hatzalah as creating Yichud situations
United Hatzalah female volunteers, Charedi, Muslim and secular after finishing an ambulance shift

16 COMMENTS

  1. This is total insanity coming from a small fringe element of the Chareidi tzibur. If they would prefer to suffer in pain or die while waiting for a same-gender first responder, that is absolutely their right and we should respect their passionate adherence to their misguided beliefs.

  2. Are those wicked evil Pashkvillim insinuating that they would rather have men assist in emergency birth deliveries than a trained woman EMT?
    Shame on Pashkvillim!!

  3. I don’t know why I have to know about a machlokes forming. Is it so I should take a side? So I should fight?

    So I should just hear about fighting? So I should make sure I tell more people?

    I protest the spread of machlokes. I lie in New York, there is no reason for me to know about this. I promise there is enough news today.

  4. I live in J-m. So thankful to Hatzolah. I do have to say they don’t hold a candle to American Hatzolah. Maybe in speed they do. But for example, Israeli Hatzolah allow bachurim to volunteer, US Hatzolah does not. Def the professionalism is not the same
    Kol hakavod though.. we need Hatzolah

  5. Hatzala could be more professional. Areas that dont want them shouldnt call them. I wouldnt as I find them to be less professional than MDA, more egotistical. My friend called MDA, they came promptly and helped the person needing help including putting them in the ambulance. Along comes Hatzala who immediately demanded that MDA transfer the patient from MDAs ambulance to the Hatzala one. No one called Hatzala so why they came was a mystery. They tried to delay the MDA ambulance, honestly the Hatzala driver was acting like a baby. He said, “I hurried as fast as I can, I deserve the patient”…seriously!! I hope Hatzala sees this as a wake up call.

  6. eli is proud of his women and so is the idf good company.

    there are enough guys who cant concentrate by davening and need to play with their hatzola toys that women are not necessary

  7. To Gadolhadorah: I am not sure there is a halachic right to allow oneself to die. Our bodies are the vessels for the souls that Hashem gives us. I believe that, halachically, we have an obligation to keep the vessels alive.

    To oyyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoy: I lie only when necessary, wherever I am.

  8. They are correct
    There in no problem with a male coming to treat a female patient. When he arrives and if he would be alone with the female patient, he would know to wait outside until other personnel arrive. Women however, since Noshim Daatan Kalos Aleihen, will not know that they should wait outside, and will instead go in and be Ovair the issur of yichud.

  9. how sad and far from the truth
    where is rabbi hoffman (who seems to know everything about everything) to explain that R’ Moshe who put down the guidelines for Hatzoloh in NY only allowed men to be members
    eli beer is neither charedi nor does he feel compelled to follow any well known chareidi Rav
    anybody who has any connection to united haztoloh can see and knows that the pashkvilim are on the mark
    it should be pointed out that ezer mzion also has sherut leumi volunteers (for those thatdon’t know the chazon ish paskened יהרג ועל יעבור)

  10. Interesting. So I guess that debunks the feminists claim, over at Ezras Nashim, here in Brooklyn. Classic case of “chosid shoyta”. These women are mamesh so heilig they would rather die than to chas vichalila chas vishalom be saved by a licensed trained certified male, who has years of proven experience, who has to touch her. Idiotic at best. It never had anything to do with tznius and has everything to do with incompetent feminism.

  11. Seems like YWN may have misunderstood the point of the sign. It appears that they were protesting the fact that the mixture between volunteers is something that may violate halacha. Such as the mixed shifts, the hanging out after calls, or overmixing at calls themselves. I think most people can agree that it is not necessary for women to be present at a call where the patient is male, and the female volunteer is no more qualified than the many male counterparts that are present already. An example of that would be a “Haredi” female Ichud volunteer doing compressions while 6 other Ichud men are present (I am not referring to female paramedics, which I am unsure if Ichud has any). The womens division has led to situations where female EMTs feel their opinion is worth more than a male paramedic (with decades of experience), because the EMT and the patient share the same gender. I would also love to see an article on the recent court decision where there was extreme negligence on Ichuds part, which may have actually been the cause of death, and instead of accepting responsibility for it, they blamed MDA. I think it might be worth placing a disclaimer in each article that Ichud has no affiliation with Chevra Hatzalah or any other Orthodox Hatzalahs around the world. There are many wonderful local Hatzalahs around Israel that are connected to Chevra Hatzalah such as Hachovesh Har Nof, Tzevet Hatzolah, Hatzalah Gush Dan.

  12. For those criticizing any lack of perfection of Hatzola members:

    Anyone dissatisfied with the free service these dedicated volunteers selflessly offer are guaranteed double their money back if not fully satisfied. If still not satisfied, then triple your money back…

    (Kefias Tov is the ugliest of all bad middos.)