David Eidelman ... left a thriving dental practice in South Africa to start again in Ramat Hasharon
Although David started off as my family dentist, he eventually became my life partner. The bare outlines of his life match those of many immigrants from South Africa. David and his then-wife, Naomi, came on aliyah in 1965 in order to ensure a Jewish education and upbringing for their three daughters, Debbie, Sheila, and Karin. He left behind a thriving dental practice, having to start again in Ramat Hasharon, sharing premises with the late Dr. Sidney Cohen on Sokolov Street.
David's interest in his patients' welfare eclipsed his interest in financial gain and he kept his fees as reasonable as possible. Besides his devoted care of patients, he will be remembered for his sense of humor, always trying to ease the pain of the patient!
In the course of time, he and Naomi brought a sabra, Michal, into the world. Some years later, when his marriage ended, and my husband, Tolly, died, he and I made our home together and so continued happily for the past 25 years.
All four of David's daughters live in Israel and represent the wide gamut of life styles in Israel: two live on Kibbutz Merom HaGolan, a third lives in the haredi community of Beitar Elite with her family, and the fourth lives in Karkur. He leaves a loving family, including 20 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, all of whom had a special relationship with him.
Even as his health and especially his hearing, declined, David kept a ready smile and continued to regale us with some choice shaggy dog stories. This is the way all who knew him will remember him. He will always be in my thoughts.
Many members of the ESRA community have had to stand up against the odds in their lives. Some showed perseverance in pursuing a social goal; others showed bravery in battle against an acknowledged enemy. But David Eidelman stood out in that he devoted the latter part of his life to fighting ignorance and obstinacy in the medical professions. This is a battle he could not win but he never gave up.
I was privileged to know David when he consulted me about the publication of his research. I was an instructor in scientific writing at Tel Aviv University. Not content with just practicing dentistry, David was interested in the total health of his patients. His observations led to research which suggested that the common symptoms of headache, fatigue and vertigo could often be traced to dental problems. Indeed, he was instrumental in relieving the symptoms of several patients who had not received any understanding in their encounters with physicians. He went on to research the subject, and published 12 papers showing what should have been obvious. There is a connection between dental and overall bodily health. Just to cite one example of how he challenged conventional practice: David's research showed that common dentifrices were harmful to the tooth surface. Let's hope some time soon, the medical community allows itself to consider his 'revolutionary' ideas.