Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Mulberry Story

In 1929 after completing a residency in the well known Mayo Clinic, Prof Edward Gordon Joseph took his family and emigrated from New Zealand to Palestine.  He immediately began working as chief neurosurgeon in the new Hadasa hospital in Jerusalem.  In his first house in Jerusalem, there was a special mulberry tree that gave mulberries like no others.  For the rest of his life, and after moving to Beit Yanay on the Mediterranean coast, Prof Joseph tried to find this specific kind of mulberries with little success. His daughter Naomi who grew up in their first house in Jerusalem, knew of his quest and one day while hiking in Nahal Amod met a group of soldiers that look like they just had a bloody bath, since their faces and hands were covered with reddish blood like stains.  When Naomi asked them what had happened they pointed her to a group of mulberry trees that were loaded with fruits.  Naomi knew that this was the holy grail of mulberries and the same variety that her father tried to locate all these years.  Being skilled in tree nursery, she took few shoots which she was successful in grafting into another tree and thus she fulfilled her father quest.

When I first tasted these incredible mulberries, I decided that I must have such a tree in my garden.  The first graft went well but after couple of years the tree that reached a mature state, got sick and I had to trim it back.  Meanwhile I was able to create another tree from one of its branches.  It grew very slowly, and this year gave fruits for the first time.  Indeed their sweet juicy taste is more like a raspberry and you cannot pick them without having your hands getting stained from their abundant juice.  So here it is to you Prof. Joseph both a pioneer of Israeli medicine and a great lover of mulberries..


פרופ' אדוארד גורדון יוסף (ג'וזף)

נולד בוולינגטון (ניו-זילנד), בשנת תרנ"ד (ספטמבר 1894), לאביו יוסף בן יוסף (ג'וזף ג'וזף, סוחר), ולאמו אליס בתמוריס מייארס.
אחר גמר בית הספר התיכוני למד באוניברסיטה באדינבורג (ניו-זילנד) בפקולטה לרפואה. קבל תואר ד"ר בשנת 1918, לאחר ששירת שנתים (1914-16) בצבא ניו-זילנד. בשנת 1919 עבד בבית חולים באנגליה. בשנים 1920-23 השתלם בארה"ב (מיו-קליניק, מיניסוטה), חזר לניו-זילנד ועבד שם עד 1928.
בשנת 1924 נשא לאשה את לאה ממשפחת פיינמן.
עלה ארצה בשנת 1929 ונכנס לעבוד כמנתח ראשי בבית החולים "הדסה" בירושלים, ומשנת 1931 מנהל המחלקה החירורגית שלה. כיום גם פרופסור בפקולטה
לרפואה באוניברסיטה בירושלים.
פרסם מחקרים מקצועיים בעתונות הרפואית בארה"ב ובארץ.
צאצאיו: נעמי אשת אפרים בן-דע (קיבוץ "מעברות", ילדיהם: רן, אילת), רות, יוחנן.

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