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Arab and Jewish medical staff in Israel unite to remind the world they are not enemies
Rambam Health Care/Facebook

As the world watches longstanding tensions between Israel and Palestine escalate into violence once again, it's good to be reminded that political conflicts are not a reflection of how average human beings feel about one another. Even when violent attacks take place among civilians, even when hate crimes happen, even when some people express their prejudices loudly and passionately, there are plenty of examples of people on opposite sides of those conflicts—people that the world views as enemies—who join hands to say, "This is not who or what we are to one another."

Case in point: This inspiring show of solidarity between Arab and Jewish medical staff at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel.

The city of Haifa itself has been viewed as a model of peaceful coexistence between people of various faiths and backgrounds, its religiously and ethnically diverse population avoiding most of the violence seen in other large Israeli cities over the years. Living up to that reputation, in recent weeks, Jewish medical staff at Rambam Medical Center have taken extra shifts to give their Muslim coworkers time off for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, and Arab staff have done the same for their Jewish coworkers to give them time off during Shavuot.

On May 12, as violence escalated, Rambam's medical teams shared photos of Arab and Jewish medical personnel standing arm in arm with signs of peace and coexistence written in Arabic and Hebrew on Facebook.


"Three turbulent days and the escalation in Israel's security situation has led Rambam Health Care Campus employees to send an important message to the general public – we are together," the post states. "The medical staff, nursing staff and employees from other sectors across the hospital are united in these difficult days under the umbrella of peace, coexistence, unity, and solidarity, and many of them chose to take part in a campaign showing colleagues and friends from different religions working side by side to provide the best possible healthcare. These individuals were photographed together, carrying signs of peace and seeking to convey this important message."

The post also included the text of a letter sent to employees from the hospital's director, Michael Halberthal:

"Dear Rambam Employees,

We are all witnessing the recent events in the country, which are characterized by great tension and violence.

Rambam is a hospital where members of all denominations and religions from all walks of life, work side by side. We are all united around only one goal - to help our patients recover and make their hospitalizations easier.

Each of us holds diverse personal opinions and worldviews, but all of these are irrelevant to our shared mission in the hospital.

I hope and believe that Rambam, as a family with differences, will remain an island of sanity within the uneasy reality around us, standing together as we have done during all of the difficult trials we have experienced in recent years.

Therefore, when we, the employees from all the different sectors, enter the hospital and put on our work clothes, we leave the turbulent world behind us and concentrate on our shared goals.

We have built a special "home" here, one that we nurture as a place of harmony and inclusivity. One of which I am personally proud to be a part. Let us keep it going together."

The staff took that message to heart and organized a "solidarity rally" with dozens of Arab and Jewish doctors, nurses, and para-medical staff gathering together under the slogan, "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies."

"We work side by side in the departments and the operating rooms," the doctors who organized the rally said. "We are one big family, and this is our message."

There's no doubt that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over land rights and political recognition is complicated. When you have a centuries-long quagmire of power, oppression, religious prejudices, historical injustices, and more, violence is a natural—though not inevitable—result. While people around the world may feel compelled to protest or support one side or the other for reasons they feel are totally justified, it's heartening to see people on the ground, who live and work with one another, rejecting the idea that they are enemies and embracing one another as fellow human beings sharing a common goal.

The vast majority of people simply want to live in peace. Thank you, staff of Rambam Health Care, for reminding the world of that truth so beautifully.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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