web analytics
March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

By:
Chronicles-logo

Dear Rachel, Before I begin, I’d like to emphasize that I am only an onlooker and that my observations have been arrived at strictly through a closely involved party.

This is about a tragedy that has unfolded in one of our fine communities and has generated a flood of strong opinion and high emotions among a close circle of friends, neighbors and within the suffering family itself. (To protect the identities of the people connected to this story, I have altered some identifying details.)

A few months ago an adorable little girl of less than a year was rescued from the lethal jaws of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) by one of her parents who happened to check on her as she slept, since she had been uncharacteristically cranky earlier in the day.

Though the child was no longer breathing, she was eventually brought around with the help of dedicated Hatzolah members and hospital staff, but the outcome of a prolonged period of oxygen deprivation had already left its devastating effect on the poor baby.

Needless to say, the sober event turned this family’s life upside down. The initial medical prognosis was grim, to say the least, yet the broken-hearted parents refused to give up on their once precocious and lively little girl. Once the child was stabilized as best as she could be, she was brought home to the loving embrace of her family, who immediately embarked on a course of therapeutic treatments — for the most part prescribed by alternative/unconventional medicine mavens.

As the Yiddish saying goes, az men gevoint zich tzi tzu tzoros, laybt men in freiden (one who adjusts to his woes lives with joy). The parents and siblings of this child are filled with optimism and are committed to seeing her restored to optimum health — regardless of how grueling the input, how much time expended or how many miles they must travel in the process. They have tremendous emunah, which is a major factor in their persistence, and they are convinced that their adored daughter/sister will make a full recovery.

However, they seem to be confronting a challenge on another front: the chaos that rages on in the extended family, some of who feel strongly that all this exertion is a wasted effort, that the parents are in denial and that their energy should be directed to their other children who must be suffering physical and emotional deprivation under the circumstances. In other words, some very close relatives feel their “loyalty” lies in trying to impose their negative views upon this family, and this seems to be creating needless anxiety in an already stressful situation.

I am hoping that readers of your column will be motivated to respond with their own insight gained from having undergone similar experiences. This story should also serve as caution to parents to be ever mindful in the care of their children, especially babies who are fragile and more vulnerable to all sorts of mishaps.

I guess the bigger question, Rachel, is how does one react to vocal expressions of pessimism, as displayed by those relatives vehemently opposed to the way these poor parents have chosen to deal with the sudden curveball life has thrown their way. I’ve also been told about cutting, albeit well intentioned, comments by “professionals” who tell the parents that all they can do is to “keep the baby comfortable and ensure that her condition doesn’t worsen.”

By the way, this little girl has shown some visible improvement since she was first released from the hospital, which only encourages the hopeful parents to continue on in their quest to bring her back to life as she once was. A well-meaning outsider

Dear Outsider, Your letter raises several issues but glosses over the most obvious one: that Hashem is the Rofeh Cholim (healer of the sick) and quite capable of pulling off what man would deem “inconceivable.”

As for the relatives who believe they know what is best for the child belonging to another, and think nothing of interfering with the very personal decision-making of the child’s parents, they are sorely lacking in faith as well as good sense.

Has it occurred to anyone involved in all of this speculation and discussion about what this family “ought to be doing, could have done or should not be doing” that they may well be transgressing the laws of lashon hara? Besides, who are we to try to fathom Hashem’s mysterious ways?

Wouldn’t time be better spent in supporting this family in its hour of need? Offers of meals, food shopping, babysitting, car rides, encouraging words, monetary support, and prayers for the child’s refuah would surely be more welcome than unasked for and uninformed advice.

Even you as an “onlooker” – or better yet, “outsider” – are missing a wealth of information that makes it impossible for you to truly empathize with this family’s pain. Those who have not walked in their shoes have no right to say, “If I were you…” Be grateful you are not.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com 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.


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 “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addresses a joint session of the US Congress on March 3, 2015.
‘Alliance Between Israel & US Must Always Remain Above Politics’
Latest Sections Stories
Yarden Merlot

Bottles of wine accompany the Pesach storytelling – each glass of wine represents the four expressions used by G-d in describing the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt.

Schonfeld-logo1

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Brigitte Gabriel

Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.

The husband needs to make some changes!

Purim is a fantastic time for fantasies, so I hope you won’t mind my fantasizing about how easy life would be if kids would prefer healthy cuisine over sweets. Imagine waking up to the call of “Mommy, when will my oatmeal be ready?”… As you rush to ladle out the hot unsweetened cereal, you rub […]

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It was only in the reign of George III (1760-1820) that Jews became socially acceptable in Britain, and Nathan became music master to Princess Charlotte and musical librarian to King George IV.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-300/2012/01/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: