Brief Takes Of Columns Past
From a Divorce Maven
I recently came across a back issue of The Jewish Press and read the letter written by a “Skeptical Onlooker” (see Chronicles June 28) who would like the reader to believe that chassidish couples are more apt to get divorced than their more modern counterparts. He can’t be for real. Everyone knows that divorce among the ultra-Orthodox occurs less frequently than anywhere else.
This does not mean that divorce is unheard of, or that the heimishe crowd has not been adversely affected by exposure to electronic media and outside influences. But they are still a community that boasts a high rate of contented marriages.
Paradoxically, couples dating for a prolonged period of time pre-marriage are more prone to divorce than those who opt to get to know their partners well only after marriage. The statistics speak for themselves.
In the know
A Wash-Your-Hands Advocate…
In February of this year you ran a letter from a reader who called himself “Married to a Germophobe” (see Chronicles Feb 15). It was a husband’s cynical critique of his wife who consistently badgers him to wash his hands with soap whenever he gets home.
In your response you basically took the wife’s side by supporting her argument for hand washing. You and your reader/writer might be interested in knowing that according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, about 100,000 patients die every year from infections acquired in hospitals, and that hand-hygiene of hospital workers is considered to be the single most important preventative — so that many hospitals are now instituting tracking devices to ensure the proper hand-washing of personnel (physicians included) who come in contact with a patient.
Your column entertains and enlightens at the same time. Thank you.
A Grateful Reader
No sooner had I finished reading the letter written by a woman who was frightened out of her wits by some melodramatic doctor (see Chronicles July 19) than my husband wobbled into the room claiming about extreme discomfort in his left foot that had abnormal swelling.
His general doctor was on vacation and someone suggested a visit to a local clinic, where he was diagnosed as having a mild infection. My husband was advised to wrap his foot in an ace bandage and was issued a prescription for antibiotics.
Fast forward, despite following doctor’s orders, the pain became more acute. Since by this time my husband’s regular doctor had returned from vacation, he made an appointment to see him. A brief examination turned up a new diagnosis: “You have gout. The doctor who missed it and put you on antibiotics was an idiot.”
You’d think that with a condition so common, a certified physician could render a reliable diagnosis.
I’m sure you heard about the doctor who was arrested for deliberately misdiagnosing patients with cancer and subsequently administering chemo and radiation treatments — in order to profit from false Medicare filings. It was in the news this summer. As unbelievable as it sounds, it’s a true story. This oncologist was running multiple oncologist centers in Michigan and was arrested for Medicare fraud after an FBI investigation.
If this is not a wake-up call to seek out a second medical opinion, I don’t know what is!
A horrified Detroiter Neat Bas Mitzvah Solution to the Party Quandary
As a mother of young children (mostly girls), I read the letter from “Proud of our Son” (see Chronicles Aug. 16) with great interest. The mom of mostly boys wrote about how “themes” of bar mitzvah affairs in their yeshivish community eclipse the essence of the occasion.
We too live in a yeshivish community and will be spared the predicament this family encountered, thanks to the sagacity of the heads of the school our girls attend. Girls are not permitted to invite any of their grade mates to a bas mitzvah party, period. This may sound like a harsh mandate but actually serves to eliminate multiple headaches.
There is no motivation to “keep up with the Goldbergs” and envy of the girls whose parents throw lavish affairs is non-existent. This policy also helps avoid hard feelings on the part of less popular girls who may be left off some invitation lists.
The school actually throws a party of its own (one per year) to collectively celebrate the birthdays of their bas mitzvah aged students. Needless to say, parents are free to celebrate their daughter’s bas mitzvah in the privacy of their home or however they please — so long as the guest list excludes school friends.
Proud of our School
This column and the countless readers whose lives you touch in immeasurable ways all year round appreciate your insight and sentiments, often gleaned from first hand experience.
May each and every member of Klal Yisrael be granted a Shana Tova U’Mesukah… a sweet year filled with Yiddish nachas from loved ones, optimum health, peace of mind and heart, an undiluted emunah in the Ribbono Shel Olam, and unity amongst us.Rachel
About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.
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