|Of interest to possible future travelers to the area:
Throughout the trip, security guards everywhere dismissed me and my entourage as innocuous. I felt like there was virtually no security coming into Israel. Leaving, there was more, and that was where we got the most attention.
The officer who did the first passport check noticed Kevin and I still practicing our Hebrew on each other, and she asked how it was that we knew Hebrew, and a string of questions followed. When I answered one of them "Shabbat," she waved us on.
Final travel advisory: if you need to take a long flight and you have a choice of where to have a layover, I suggest Paris. The airport food was unlike any other I've seen. I bought two boxes of an exotic salad and was set for the 9 hour trip from Paris to Detroit.
Notes on this Journal
While in Germany, I had more time to edit than I did in Jerusalem. I mentioned to a few people that I was going to cut cut cut when I got home, and they requested that I not change much. So in honor of those who want a lot, I've kept it. In respect of those who want less, I've inserted colored headings to help direct you to what you want interests you.
It was medical study that brought us to these places. While learning from experts in their fields who excell at what they do, Kevin and I were both grateful to return home to practices that allow for more individualization of care than we saw in our observations in Germany. The German medical system is felt by some to be excellent, with it's efficiency and protocol. We weren't convinced.
In the modern medical world, there is a push to practice with an "Evidence Basis," using conclusions drawn from studying large numbers of patients which are then fashioned into protocols. Get your diagnosis, then follow the decision tree to determine your standardized treatment algorithm. Never mind, the studies on which such algorithms are based may be flawed. As we unwound from our medical adventures, Kevin noted Rabbi Berger's words applied well:
We are all created unique.
No matter what the modality, approaches to care will always need to reflect that. So much energy around this trip was about improving our skills in our respective areas of technology, yet we got the best wrap up at Rabbi Berger's Shabbat table.