web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



A Kidney For A Stranger

Lessons-logo

Share Button

Marsha Klein had been looking after the elderly Mrs. Baumgarten for several months. She used to see her every morning and help her arise, and get showered and dressed. The two would then have breakfast together and spend some time chatting and taking a slow, gentle walk around their Jerusalem neighborhood. They had become good friends during the months they had spent time together.

One day Mrs. Baumgarten told Marsha that her daughter’s mechutan, Yitzchak, was suffering from kidney failure and would soon have to start dialysis. Marsha sympathized, as her own brother’s sister-in-law was also very sick with kidney disease. She had to be on the dialysis machine regularly, and even so was still weak and sick. She was on a list for a donor but so far none had been found.

As the weeks passed, Yitzchak’s condition deteriorated further. Mrs. Baumgarten explained the process in which all of Yitzchak’s children and siblings were undergoing medical and psychological tests to determine if they were able to give one of their healthy kidneys to Yitzchak.

Kidney transplants from a living donor are infinitely preferable over a transplant from a dead person. The chances of it being rejected by the body are much lower, the life expectancy of the newly transplanted kidney is twice as high, and the recipient’s life and diet can return to normal much faster.

All of the potential donors undergo very thorough medical tests to ensure that they are completely healthy and show no sign of suffering from any kind of health problem that could be adversely affected by the operation or having to live with only one kidney.

Since one of the children was found to be as perfect a match as possible, the transplant was carried out. Over the course of the following months, Mrs. Baumgarten reported that Yitzchak was recovering very well and what a chesed it was that he had gone from being a truly sick person whose entire life was dominated by the regular dialysis treatment to being a new, healthy person.

Several months later Mrs. Baumgarten – with tremendous pride – had another story to tell, this time about her grandson. He too had been tested as a potential match for his father-in-law even though the chances that he could be the donor were low because he wasn’t a blood relative.

He was so disappointed that he couldn’t fulfill the mitzvah of saving his father-in-law’s life that he asked for his details to be transferred to every donor registry. He thought that one day he could save someone else’s life.

And then his turn came. He was found to be a perfect match for someone, a Jewish person in America. He traveled to the U.S. and the transplant operation was carried out. Mrs. Baumgarten took out a piece of paper from her bag and said, “We’re all davening, for my grandson and for the recipient, that the operation should be successful, that they should both recover quickly and that the recipient’s body shouldn’t reject the new kidney.” She asked, “Can I give you the names as well, to daven for and say a few chapters of Tehillim when you have time?”

Marsha readily agreed, expressing admiration for the grandson who so selflessly agreed to help save a total stranger’s life. She took out a pen and piece of paper and started to write as Mrs. Baumgarten dictated the names: Mordechai Yosef ben Sarah and Rivkah bas Devorah Yael.

Marsha stopped in the middle of writing and stared at Mrs. Baumgarten. “Rivkah bas Deovrah Yael? I’ve been davening for her for so long. That’s my brother’s sister-in-law. It’s unbelievable. Of all the people in the world, your grandson just donated his kidney to my relative.”

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “A Kidney For A Stranger”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Arab rioters hurl objects at Israeli security personnel who use pepper spray to quell the violence emanating from the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.
Arab Violence Closes Temple Mount to Visitors Again
Latest Judaism Stories

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

Haggadah used at the Passover Seder

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

Rabbi Sacks

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Marror is the reliving of the bitter enslavement and matzah is the under-eighteen-minutes redemption.

Rabbi David Bar-Hayim argues it is time for Ashkenazim to abandon the prohibition against Kitnyot. What do you think?

More Articles from Penina Pinchasi
Lessons-logo

Kidney transplants from a living donor are infinitely preferable over a transplant from a dead person. The chances of it being rejected by the body are much lower, the life expectancy of the newly transplanted kidney is twice as high, and the recipient’s life and diet can return to normal much faster.

Lessons-logo

Avi and Rachel had always assumed, as most people do, that within a year or two of their marriage they would be blessed with a child. But, as we know, that isn’t always the reality.

To be honest, I never really understand what’s happening on the screen during an ultrasound scan. But on this visit the technician was strangely quiet. I looked at the screen. “How come you’re not showing me everything?” I asked. “It’s all still there, isn’t it?” I asked jokingly.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/a-kidney-for-a-stranger/2014/01/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: