web analytics
May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


It’s My Opinion: First Do No Harm


One of my dearest friends recently flew to New York to be with her ailing father who had suffered a severe heart attack. Sadly, he did not survive.

 

Her father lived in the same Boro Park building for over 60 years. His children grew up there. His wife had passed away a few years earlier. My friend’s father stayed in his apartment. It was his home.

 

Over the years, the neighborhood changed. The apartment building became more and more haredi. The elderly man in the knit kippah was now an anomaly, but he managed with a pleasant word and lighthearted banter toward all.

 

During the dark days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he became the information center for the building. He was the only one in the entire apartment house who owned a television. He graciously accommodated everyone who came to his door seeking news.

 

His death occurred on the first day of Sukkot. My friend stayed in her father’s home throughout Chol HaMoed. Because of the holiday, she would not be able to sit shivah until the Motzaei Shabbat after Simchat Torah.

 

The normal sadness of losing a father was exacerbated by the strange behavior that she observed as exhibited by the tenants of the complex. Residents passed in the hall. People came in and out of the same doors. No one offered a condolence. No one spoke a single word about the loss of a longtime neighbor.

 

My friend is one of the nicest and kindest human beings I have ever met. Her fuse is long. Her patience is incredible. Days went by. Finally, even she had enough.

 

She exploded. “What’s wrong?” she asked one of the women. “You know my father just died. Don’t you even have the decency to say, ‘I’m sorry for your loss?’ ” The woman responded, “It’s Yom Tov. We are forbidden to take part in mourning.”

 

             Obviously, the neighbors in the building were acting in accordance with what they thought was proper adherence to Jewish law. The regulations of mourning during holidays and the Sabbath are actually quite restrictive. However, a few words of condolence are not the same as an effusive public eulogy.

 

The neighbors in this apartment building certainly did not purposely act with malicious intent. They meant no harm. Nonetheless, their actions left behind a hurtful aftermath. Medical doctrine advices, “First do no harm.” We would all be well advised to follow that credo.

About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.


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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “It’s My Opinion: First Do No Harm”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
What's happened to NYC's Celebrate Israel Parade?
Israel Rejects as ‘False’ UJA Federation’s Claims about Israel Parade ‘Inclusion’
Latest Sections Stories
Respler-logo-NEW

When I complain, she tells me it is retail therapy.

West-Coast-logo

Tal Dimenstein has been selected to present her ELI Talk about Appreciation during this year’s conference in Chicago.

How is it possible that some of our people cannot see what I see, the miracle of the existence of the state of Israel?

Birobidzhan railway station sign is the world’s only one spelling the town’s name in Yiddish letters

She’s seen as a poster child for The Jewish Home’s efforts to reach beyond its Orthodox base.

Girls don’t usually learn Gemara. Everyone knows that.

Mordechai and his men shared a strong mutual loyalty.

“Can I wear tefillin in the bathroom?” That was the question US Private Nuchim Lebensohn wrote to Mike Tress, president of the Agudath Israel Youth Council, in a letter dated November 18, 1942. Lebensohn was not your typical young American GI. Polish by birth, he was forty-three years old and married when he was drafted […]

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

More Articles from Shelley Benveniste
South-Florida-logo

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

South-Florida-logo

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Two weeks of intense learning in the classroom about Israel culminated with Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Students attended sessions with their teachers and learned about history, culture, military power, advocacy, slang, cooking, and more.

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, declared, “The Young Israel of Deerfield Beach is looking forward to our partnership with the OU. The impact the OU has brought to Jewish communities throughout the country through its outreach and educational resources is enormous and we anticipate the same for our community in Deerfield Beach as well.”

They may have taken the required courses, scored well on the tests, and earned good grades.

“We wanted to shed light on the mystery that surrounds biblical interpretations. This really is an eye-opening course.”

“This added dimension helps the girls with their hashkafa and ability to educate their children. The added light of chassidus helps combat the darkness children are exposed to on a daily basis.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/its-my-opinion-first-do-no-harm/2010/10/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: