Day 25: Dr. Rick Hodes

Dr. Rick Hodes (b. 1953) is an American doctor specializing in cancer, heart disease and spinal conditions. Dr. Hodes has worked in Ethiopia since 1984, first as a relief worker during the famine, then as the advisor to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. He continues to practice at various clinics in Addis Ababa, as well as volunteer at Mother Teresa’s Mission for the Destitute and Dying where he cares for some of the sickest children in the world. In 2001 Dr. Hodes adopted two of his patients so that they could afford treatment in the US. He has since adopted 3 more children, and has hosted as many as 20 of his patients. In 2006, Dr. Hodes was inducted into the Medical Missions Hall of Fame, and was nominated as one of CNN’s “CNN Heros” in 2007. rick-_980At Brandeis in 2013, Dr. Hodes delivered the following message: “A rabbi taught me a tradition that when the messiah shows up, he will ask just one question – ‘show me the bottoms of your shoes.’ The messiah, who will rebuild the temple, bring clarity to our lives and peace to the whole world. He cares about our shoes? Yes. The bottom of shoes should be worn out, worn out – making the world a better place, dancing in this world…Remember this: Run to do good. Create a momentum in the right direction. Get your hands dirty. Wear out your shoes. Don’t try to get too comfortable, please! Leave America and explore the world. Learn from other cultures.”

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