web analytics
April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


The Ins And Outs Of Visiting The Sick: An Interview With Hospital Chaplain Rabbi Simeon Schreiber

.

You write, though, that it’s important to leave a patient with hope.

Exactly. You always leave with the idea of hope. I have a patient right now dying of pancreatic cancer. But I never go on statistics. I had cancer myself eight years ago. I say to patients: I want you to know you’re looking at someone who had cancer, and here I am talking to you. You always have to have hope because the truth of the matter is we really don’t know. There are stories every day where people who you think are going to die just don’t. We’re not God. So although you don’t promise, you do give them hope.

You’ve been a chaplain for a decade now. What are some of the more interesting things you’ve experienced?

I write about one of them in the book. When I was a chaplain in Hackensack University Medical Center before moving to Florida, a young lady came over to me and said her mother had been in a very serious accident – she was hit by a car going 80 miles an hour – and asked if I would mind visiting her.

When I came into the room I saw a very seriously ill woman. I spoke to her for just a few minutes – I didn’t want to tax her – and at the end I said, “May I say a prayer for you?” She said yes, and I said, “What is it that I can pray for?” She said her dog Buttercup had died two weeks ago, and she’s concerned that the dog is not being fed or walked properly in heaven. Would I please pray for Buttercup?

Well, I went to Yeshiva University and studied under Rav Soloveitchik, but I never learned how to pray for a dog. Nonetheless, I created a prayer that God should take care of Buttercup in heaven, He should make sure that he has friends, that he’s walked daily, that he’s fed properly and that he will be very well taken care of. When I finished I saw that the woman’s face completely changed. She was relieved that I had prayed for her dog.

So it’s important to ask what patients want you to pray for because if you make the wrong assumption, you may end up saying a prayer that has nothing to do with what they really want.

Of course, there may be those who say, “I don’t want any prayer,” and you accept that as well. I’m not there to force prayer or my religious beliefs on you. The idea is to be present with the individual and allow them to know there’s someone in the world that cares about them, is listening to them, and will try to help them through their situation.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


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 “The Ins And Outs Of Visiting The Sick: An Interview With Hospital Chaplain Rabbi Simeon Schreiber”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
This is what is left of the bus that was firebombed Saturday night.
Shhhhhhh! Police Now Say Bus was Firebombed Saturday Night
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

South-Florida-logo

We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.

South-Florida-logo

The Hebrew Academy students took part in all categories and used successful and innovative techniques to achieve their goals.

“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Dr. Mitchell Bard

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich

You have to understand that Ukraine was really a very, very Jewish place for many years.

What I think is going on here is the Midrash is making a comment about Rut’s love for Naomi being some sort of reflection of how we have to love God.

HarperCollins’s omission was especially egregious because it is a major general and educational publisher.

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

I was very pro-Israel, I was very proud of being Jewish, and I was living in New York at the time as a single man in my 20s and I was just looking for a little bit more.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/health/the-ins-and-outs-of-visiting-the-sick-an-interview-with-hospital-chaplain-rabbi-simeon-schreiber/2011/12/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: