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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
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Shouldering the Pain

I was directed to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem where I donated bone marrow and learned a bunch of new words.
A view of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

A view of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

Well, that’s the title.

So – if you are unlucky enough to take a fall, hope you don’t break something.

If you are lucky enough not to break something, pay attention if the pain continues. It seems that while I was lucky enough not to break any bones, I apparently tore my rotator cuff enough to require surgery. On the bright side, each new experience in Israel provides you with a way to learn more Hebrew!

How many new immigrants know how to say bone marrow? Well, less than a month in Israel (back 20 years ago), I was directed to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem where I donated bone marrow and learned a bunch of new words.

It seems, exactly 20 years later, I’ll be heading back there for yet another procedure – though this one is likely to require a more extensive recuperation.

For now, my left shoulder (did I ever mention I was left-handed?) reminds me often that I can type but not lift and really need to watch how I move it.

There is a concept in Judaism that all things are for the good. That’s often a very hard concept to take in. Sherri Mandell lost her son – no, that’s the wrong way to say it. Kobi Mandell was not lost, he was murdered in a horrible terrorist action in which two young boys (Kobi and Yosef Ish Ran) were stoned to death just outside the village where they lived. Sherri wrote an incredible book about learning to live after the death of her son. She called it, amazingly enough, The Blessings of a Broken Heart. If you haven’t read it, I really recommend you try to get a copy.

How can you find good in such a vile and cowardly act? It’s hard to explain, but the concept is there – there is good to be found in all that happens. Having written of the extreme – finding good out of the tragic death of a child, needing an operation is ridiculous.

So, I’m trying to find the good here – for one thing, it is slowing me down; forcing me to think about what I can do and what I can’t; and forcing me to accept more help from others. My husband and kids have been amazing. I’ve barely driven anywhere; haven’t shopped in weeks. This past Friday, Amira came over and helped me cook and she and Davidi and Aliza cleaned.

My kitchen is amazingly orderly – no one dares leave a dish around and if they do, everyone starts asking where it came from and who is going to wash it.

The surgery remains a huge mountain in front of me – a mountain of pain and restrictions that is incredibly daunting. So, for the next bit, I’ll take it as it comes; I’ll try to find the good and I’ll be thankful that what I have can be fixed; that I have help – friends and family that have come forward to help.

There is a blessing in everything – if we have the strength to look for it, the courage to accept it. That’s my task for the next few months…

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