Book Reviews - Childbirth

Raquela: Book Review

Flag of Israel

Raquela Levy’s family had lived in Palestine for nine generations. Did you know that Palestine, referring to Israel, is a name derived from Philistine? Historically the Philistines were enemies of Israel. Raquela was a nurse midwife during the final years of British rule in Palestine.

Ruth Gruber spent nine months with Raquela, gathering information and insights into the life of this remarkable woman. The resulting biography is a story of the babies born to holocaust survivors—and the birth of the nation of Israel. Raquela was sent to refugee camps as a midwife to minister to women that were refused entry into Palestine.

The vivid detail describes life in Israel during the war years: Israel’s War of Independence (1948), Six-Day War (1967) and Arab-Israeli War (1973). The book describes events through the experiences of Raquela and her family.

I could picture Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus,  the scene of       Raquela’s developing romance with Dr. Brzezinski. The description of the delivery room at the Hadassah Hospital reminded me my first        experiences as a labor & delivery nurse.

I could feel the sadness when Mount Scopus was lost to the Arabs of     Jordan. The hospital was lost, and Israel had to build a new medical     center.

Perhaps the most moving was the description of the ships filled with Jewish immigrants fleeing Europe. They were refused entry to Palestine by the British. One of the refugee camps that Raquela served at was on the Island of Cyprus.

I have a much better understanding of Israel’s modern history from reading this book. The book engaged me—it was hard to put it down.

* Ruth Gruber, Raquela: A Woman of Israel, New York; Open Road Integrated Media. 1978.

Linking with Christian Blogger link-upSeasons, Literacy Musing Monday,  Booknificent Thursday and Thought Provoking Thursday

Carol is a follower of Jesus and a wife, mom & grandma. She worked for many years as a childbirth nurse and prenatal educator. She recently retired from clinical work. She has written articles for nursing journals and devotionals. Her novel, Aliisa's Letter, was published in 2010 and she is currently working on another project.

11 Comments on “Raquela: Book Review

  1. Carol, many thanks for sharing the Israeli flag with SEASONS. Have several friends who are regularly there. I am always amazed how they bounce back from another attack.
    Referring back to the vaccines. What I remember when my kids were little (In Holland) . Each child has a vaccine card, that the parents have with them, when the child gets another vaccine – that is reported with the date on the card. So they can keep track of it. It’s handled as serious as a doc appointment. They tell you when you need to come back for the next one.
    Have a great week and “see” you back next week!

  2. You have quite a story of vaccinations of your “child” a few posts below. My middle daughter decided not to have the kids vaccinated (a few years ago), but she told me that her pediatrician always made her feel like she was doing something “wrong.” I told her to stick with what she believed was the best for her child.
    We lived in Holland when our kids were little (of course that was more than 25 y. ago), and I never heard about a connection with autism, etc. or kids getting sick afterward. I wonder if the vaccinations are different in each country?

    You are missed at SEASONS, hope to see you back this week:) The link has already opened and will run through Wednesday 7 pm Pacific time. I don’t have any problem with you sharing a book you read, etc. as long as it’s not an advertisement. Hope to see you there!

    1. My impression is that multiple factors are involved in vaccine reactions. Is the child healthy when the vaccine is given? Has the child received multiple antibiotics, which indicates that the immune system is already having trouble? How old is the child receiving the vaccine? How many vaccines are being given at one time? I don’t think we are tracking these factors.

      Thanks for the invitation to SEASONS.

  3. carol, thanks so much for recommending this fabulous book to me. Raquela is an extraordinary woman. after studying covenant this spring, i was so encourage to see from this book so many things we studied. sadly, having taught history in my younger years, i was astonished to see what happened at the birth of Israel esp. by the Brits. and of course, my prayer will always be for the Israeli’s to come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. Great Book. thanks for the recommendation.

    1. I thought I knew quite a bit about Israel’s War of Independence, but I learned so much too. My thanks go to Judy M. who recommended the book to me.

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