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in brief: SHIRAN SHACHAR Place of residence: Petach Tikva Family status: Married + 10 School: Tel Aviv University Year of study: Sixth

Please briefly describe why you decided to study medicine.
As a Haredi woman I encountered, several times throughout my life, situations in which it was clear to me how much G-d-fearing people are needed in key professions in general, and in the world of medicine specifically. Apart from the sense of chesed that is innate to it, this field requires sensitivity to Jewish law and customs, the understanding of the value of “sanctity of life” and understanding the “codes” of the religious/Haredi society, including sanctifying G-d’s name in encounters with the general population. The combination of these factors, together with my desire to realize my personal capabilities, led me to choose the medical profession.
Please tell us briefly about yourself: Where are you from? Where are you headed? Something personal.
I grew up in a traditional home, and when we got married, my husband and I decided to establish a Haredi home. Until I began studying medicine, I worked in a laboratory in the Maaynei Hayeshua Hospital. Thank G-d, we are privileged to be raising ten beautiful children, ranging in age from 13 years to 4 months and I hope to combine my contribution to the community and to the public with raising a family and running a home. Whoever hears that I am the mother of ten children, or alternatively, that I decided at the age of 35 to begin studying medicine, raises an eyebrow, to say the least, but I believe, that with a healthy approach to life, a relaxed attitude, the correct management of time, and a great deal of help from G-d, everything is possible.
Please briefly describe how your medical studies affected you personally.
Medical studies and acquaintance with the wonders of biology and anatomy brought me to a deep appreciation of the endless wisdom with which the world was created, and the wondrous supervision with which it is conducted. I also got to know different populations and communities and try to understand the distress of people who are struggling with health problems and their families. Furthermore, every topic I study strengthens in me the understanding of how necessary it is to have Haredi doctors in the system because, in practically every medical field, there are issues pertaining to Jewish law and outlook. If they are addressed, the added value it brings to the patient, and ultimately his recovery is indescribable.
Please briefly describe a personal challenge you experienced in the past year of your studies.
Raising ten emotionally, physically, and religiously healthy children together with intense medical studies that require a real understanding of the material studied, were my greatest challenges this last year. Additionally, the religious complexity of studying in a secular environment while trying to sanctify G-d’s name through my conduct was also a great personal challenge.
Please tell us about your professional plans for the future.
There are two areas of residency that greatly appeal to me and I am debating between them. Gynecology, with a specialty in fertility, is a field that requires tremendous sensitivity and halachic knowledge. The sense of mission is enormous, and the need for Haredi gynecologists is unrivaled in its importance. On the other hand, internal medicine – a field where great sensitivity and understanding of the sanctity of life is required, with a proper and respectful attitude to the senior population, fascinates me, as well as general inter-disciplinary medicine.
How has the KEMACH medical scholarship helped you in your studies?
I can simply state that without KEMACH, I would not have been able to study medicine. With the full days of classes and the load of tasks I have, I would be able to work only for very few hours. Additionally, I have been blessed with ten sweet children, thank G-d, and plenty of expenses. Because of the need to support me during my medical studies, my husband had to leave his job as the principal of a school, and the family income dropped drastically. The scholarship enables us to live with dignity while I continue my medical studies. I have no words to express my thanks…

לתורם הנכבד,
כאם לעשרה ילדים, עם כל המשתמע מכך, אני רוצה להביע את תודתי מכל הלב על תמיכתך הנדיבה, המאפשרת לי להגשים חלום וללמוד רפואה תוך גידול ילדי בראש שקט ובנפש קור רוח, החיוני לשתי המשימות העצומות הללו.
תרומתך מאפשרת לי ללמוד ולהשקיע בלהפוך לרופא טוב יותר, לקדש את שם גן העדן ולמלא את שליחותי בצורה הטובה ביותר. אני מתרגש ונרגש מהמחשבה שאדם שאני לא מכיר נותן את הכסף שלו בכדי שהדבר הטוב הזה יכול לקרות. אני מקווה באמת כי הכשרון של נתינה שלך למען הציבור והחסד המגולם בעולם הרפואה יעבור לזכותך בקביעות לכל החיים מלאי נאתות, שפע ובריאות.
בהערכה רבה,
שירן שחר

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