START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
2,222,430 people care about Environment & Wildlife

Woman Wades into Jordan River to Save Dove Discarded by Clergy

Woman Wades into Jordan River to Save Dove Discarded by Clergy

 

Every day, we at The Great Animal Rescue Chase bring you tales of heroism from animal lovers across the globe.†Today’s† is one of the most provocative we’ve ever†shared. You sometimes have little more than a heartbeat to decide if†you will†turn sorrowfully away from an animal in distress or if you’ll†summon the courage to run forward and help. For all you runners out there, this†one’s for†you….

Written by†Judith Sudilovsky†of Jerusalem, Israel

Working as a journalist in Jerusalem for more than two decades, I have covered many a religious ceremony, including the Greek Orthodox Epiphany Ceremony at the Qasr el Yahud baptismal site on the Jordan River. It is always packed with Orthodox pilgrims from all over the world, most of them Greek Orthodox. The ceremony also involves the release of three white doves.

Last year, the site had been renovated by the Israelis and included a wooden platform near the water’s edge. As always, the site was packed with pilgrims with barely any walking room. Through this throng the Greek Orthodox Patriarch and Archimandrites (Orthodox ranking just below bishops) made their way with three white doves perched on the tops of three tall golden staffs.

Unfortunately, as they approached the water’s edge one of the doves was knocked off the staff. He was scooped up quickly and put back on the staff and the procession continued to the water’s edge. At the end of the ceremony, the doves were released into the sky, but the dove who had fallen off the staff†apparently had broken a wing and could not fly. He†fell right into the river. Luckily, he fell close to some water plants and was able to pull himself to the plants where†he clung on to the reeds. It was a a cold rainy day. I was sure one of the priests would arrange for the dove to be rescued. After all, the dove had been a symbolic part of their religious ceremony.

But as the patriarch and others began leaving the site, I saw that nobody was giving the dove a second thought. I approached one of the clergymen and asked him what would happen to the dove who was stuck in the water and could not fly. He looked out into the water and said “I don’t know. Maybe he will die.” I asked him if he could send someone into the river to get the dove and he said no. I then approached one of the young Israeli policemen who was dressed in head-to-toe rain gear if he would go into the water to get the dove, but he too said no.

So I, a middle-aged woman in jeans, asked†one of the†photographers who was there to hold onto†my purse and, clinging to a handrailing leading down into the river, I felt my way with my feet slowly down the stairs leadng under the water until I was almost hip-deep into the water.

I was afraid that the dove would be startled by my appearance and try to escape before I was able to catch him so I quickly scooped him up from the reeds and clutched him to my chest as I made my way back up the stairs.

I was surprised to see that the thousands of pilgrims there — and also who had been watching from across the Jordan on the Jordanian side of the river a few hundred yards away –†began to applaud me and the dove. As I made my way through the crowd, they began to bless me and reached out to pet the dove.

At the office of the Israel National Parks Authority near the parking lot of the site, I found a ranger who also was an animal rescuer and he took the dove, telling me he would take the bird to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo where they have a rehabilitation center for injured birds. When possible, they later release the birds back into the wild. Though I do not know the fate of “my” white dove, I like to think that it healed well and is now in a place where he is safe and comfortable — whether it is in the zoo’s sanctuary or other bird sanctuary or in the wild.

Your Reaction….

We welcome your comments on this extraordinary story that says so much about all that is wrong and all that is right in this world of ours.†Please visit our website to:

 

Related Stories:

Matilda the Duck’s Marvelous Journey

Owl Rescue on Peace River

He Survived 5-Story Drop: Keeping Birds Alive After Window Crashes

 

Read more: , , , ,

Photo credit: © Gabriel Blaj | Dreamstime.com

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

447 comments

+ add your own
10:57AM PDT on Apr 9, 2014

Discarded by CLERGY after their ceremony? What the hell kind of teaching allows judgement on who will live and who will die? ALL life is precious, no matter the species, and should be so dealt with.

9:13PM PDT on Aug 21, 2013

Beautiful.

4:46PM PDT on Aug 21, 2013

Many blessings to all that will have the courage and compassion to rescue any living creature!

5:14AM PDT on Aug 21, 2013

No life should be taken lightly; thanks for saving the bird

4:42AM PDT on Aug 21, 2013

Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing!

6:33PM PDT on Jul 29, 2013

Wonderful, Judith! I find rescuing animals to be incredibly fulfilling, seems you do too. Kudos for stepping up when those who seemed better suited did not.

3:14AM PDT on Jun 19, 2013

Just goes to show how the mind works, it feels it has all the bells and whistles of religious life so therefore it can shut off love and kindness - absurd stuff.

4:11PM PDT on Jun 18, 2013

Religion-compassion... truly an oxymoron!

7:57AM PDT on Jun 7, 2013

So much for Christian charity! Actions speak louder than words. The world could do with many more Judiths and rather fewer clergy.

2:38PM PDT on May 31, 2013

Again a religion leaves us down (I have been raised catholic) and a wonderful woman named Judith was the closest to God that day....

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.