Trained as medical musicians, Guitarist Navot Ben Barak and Flutist Avshalom Eshel, of the Haverut Organization, perform music at a patient’s bedside in an effort to enhance their healing.
Twice a week, they visit three different departments at the Hadassah Medical Center. “We’re not just doing a concert, but trying to elevate spiritual health through music and prayer,” Mr. Ben Barak explains. “We have found that you don’t have to be Jewish, and certainly not religious, to find comfort and encouragement through our music.” He notes that “we try to make a personal connection with the patients, intuitively finding the chords that will touch each of them.” By the same token, the musicians reach out to the staff as well. “We know that the staff works so hard,” says Ben Barak, “that they appreciate musical interludes in their life-saving efforts.”
Mr. Eshel adds: “We hope patients will get used to this new approach and feel free to request their daily dose of harmony.” Joined by fellow musicians, Mr. Eshel and Mr. Ben Barak will soon inaugurate monthly Kabbalat Shabbat (Welcoming the Sabbath) performances in the atrium of the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower.