JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Dr. Moritz Wallach—a century of medicine and tradition in Shaare Zedek]

Orit Navot
Harefuah 2003, 142 (6): 471-4, 483
12858837
Dr. Wallach, who founded the Shaare Zedek Hospital and managed the institution for forty-five years, was instrumental in providing modern medical care to Jerusalem residents since his arrival in the city in 1891. He dedicated his life to medicine, to the Jerusalem Jewish community, and to improving the quality of service provided by the existing medical establishment. He was one of the outstanding personalities in a city and community struggling for existence. The Jewish religious character that marks today's Shaare Zedek hospital was determined 100 years ago by Dr. Wallach, who integrated the ancient Jewish moral spirit into a modern medical service tradition. While fulfilling his daily tasks, both as a practicing physician and as the hospital-director, Dr. Wallach became a role model to those who followed him. He mixed freely with the "elite" and his personal relations with local dignitaries, political figures, influential westerners, intellectuals, and important foreign diplomats contributed significantly to the growth, success, and reputation the hospital enjoyed during the last century. On the other hand, he was also personally involved with destitute new immigrants to Eretz Israel and actively engaged in finding jobs, housing, and employment for them. Dr. Wallach became a legend in his own time, both locally and internationally. Due to his professional status and personality, Dr. Wallach became a representative of the Jewish community. He had the ability to speak for the Jews with the Ottoman authorities, and afterwards with the British Mandate authorities. He played a significant role in educating the population in public responsibility, while concurrently leaving his mark on generations of physicians who learned from him the value of precision, loyalty, professional secrecy, and medical responsibility. He was one of the "Giants" of the land (Yishuv) in its critical formative years.

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