According to Yonat Daskal, Co-ordinator of MDA’s Wish Ambulance Project, “Every day the MDA Wish Ambulance dispatch receives numerous requests from terminally ill Holocaust survivors, patients who are interested in fulfilling their last wish – to meet their family, to visit their home for the last time or to visit the Western Wall.
“Fulfilling the wish of a Holocaust survivor is always special, because to hear the life story of the Holocaust survivor is always touching, and you feel privileged to hear these stories firsthand and to be the one who brings a smile to his or her face on that special day.”
Rachel, daughter of Mordechai Rinzler and the mother of an MDA Tiberius station driver:
My dear father, Mordechai Rinzler, at the age of eighteen, along with his older brother Nathan, then twenty, left his parents’ home in the city of Tlomtz in Poland when the war began. They left behind his parents and his brother David, aged sixteen, who died during the war from starvation.
All his life, he felt terrible for not taking his brother with him, thinking that maybe he would have survived. My father joined the Red Army and won a meal every day, won his life. After the war, when he left the army, he had nowhere to go. He did not know where his brothers were. His parents’ house was in rubble. No parents and no siblings, alone on earth, he became homeless and searched for food in garbage cans, walked around with his hair full of lice and the same shirt for a few years. He wished for his own death..
Following the war he moved to Lvov where he met our mother. After their marriage, they lived for several years in Poland and then immigrated to Israel in 1960. Life was not easy in Israel, but he was hard-working and smart and, together with our mother, saved a little money and was happy to see his children get married and have twelve great-grandchildren.
When Dad was sick with that terrible disease, while he suffered so much, we had a light at the end of the tunnel. The Wish Ambulance brought my father to his house in Jerusalem, to his synagogue and travelled a bit with him around the neighbourhood.
It was all thanks to the sacred MDA volunteers. May there be plenty more like them in Israel. One year after his death another great-grandson was born, named after him. May his memory be blessed.