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Posts Tagged ‘face’

All’s Well That Ends Well

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

On August 29, 2011, I took my three kids to a New York Mets baseball game and was sitting in the front row. During the last inning, my 12-year-old son Eliezer was hit in the face by a line drive (the clip is on YouTube, “Baseball hits boy, Mets-Marlins”). He was rushed to the hospital and received eight stitches; he was discharged the next day.

A few days later he started throwing up blood and was rushed by Hatzolah to Long Island Jewish Hospital. They told me he had a fracture in his skull and would need a craniotomy that would be scheduled for Tuesday, because of the Labor Day weekend. My father-in-law called all the yeshivot and shuls and, thanks to their tefillot, we were told on Monday morning that the doctor reviewed the CT-scan and was going to hold off on performing surgery.

They discharged Eliezer again and, to our horror, Hatzolah took him back to the hospital that same night. Due to his internal bleeding, he lost half his blood and needed two blood transfusions.

He had surgery on his nose, which stopped the bleeding. He is, Baruch Hashem, back to good health now. I wish to thank Chai Lifeline for their amazing support and help – and all of you for your prayers.

Rapist of Holocaust Survivor to Stand Trial

Monday, September 24th, 2012

An Australian man who allegedly raped a Holocaust survivor two decades ago will face trial.

A three-judge panel of the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal rejected claims last Friday by the defense for Robert Paul Webb that he could not receive a fair trial because the complainant could not be cross-examined, according to a report by the Australian Associated Press.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave video testimony to police just months before she died last year. She was 70 at the time of the alleged attack in Sydney in 1991.

The judges allowed the prosecution to admit the video statement into evidence, AAP reported. Crown prosecutor Sally Dowling said the woman, who immigrated to Australia in her 20s, had been the victim of a “calculated attack” and it was in the public interest for Webb to stand trial.

Webb, who was 18 at the time of the alleged attack, was charged in 2011 with two counts of aggravated sexual intercourse and aggravated assault. He was charged when police discovered a semen stain on the ground in the car park where the alleged rape occurred and used it to match his DNA.

Shhhh…

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Rest period in the pre-kindergarten class at the Jewish Educational Center, the precursor to the current St. Paul Jewish Community Center, circa 1939.

It was built in 1930 at the corner of Holly and Grotto Streets. Programming combined recreation and education, and by the time this picture was taken, over 100 community groups used the building.

I was looking for something sweet to prepare us for the Holy Day of Yom Kippur. I was born on Yom Kippur, and so I always find it difficult to feel fear when it comes to what is, after all, my birthday.

I can understand intellectually why people are so afraid – judgment, sealed fates, it’s supposed to be scary. But I don’t feel those things. Instead, I fell the beauty of the tunes, the fragrance of the citrus fruit poked with cloves which I smell every half hour or so, the amazing stories of the Mussaf service.

Who else gets this kind of goodies on their birthday?

I didn’t find any image that would express my Yom Kippur joy. So I picked these toddlers, who are in their 70s and 80s today.

But if you look closely, you’ll see that the child up front is squeezing his face and fist – faking a peaceful nap for the benefit of the camera. No innocence there…

Ah, well, the search for spontaneous expressions of authentic joy continues…

The Staggering Costs of a Special Needs Child

Friday, September 21st, 2012

“It’s a boy!”

While these three words can be a source of one’s greatest happiness in life, it can also be bittersweet for those who give birth to children with special needs, when the parents think about the emotional challenges they and their children will face throughout their lives.

The spectrum of special-needs children ranges from mental to physical to psychological and sometimes all three. A 2008 study by the United States Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 14 percent of children in this country fit into this category, and about 20 percent of families have at least one special-needs child. The definition of a special-needs child can range from one who is diagnosed with a mild learning disability to one who has a life-threatening condition, such as cystic fibrosis. This article will focus on the more severe categories.

Aside from the emotional toll it takes on these families, the financial strain such a diagnosis puts on the family is often overlooked. Goldie S., a mother of a special-needs child, says that the list of added expenses seems endless. Tuition, for instance, costs a great deal more at special-needs schools than at mainstream institutions. Although the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires that special-needs children be provided by the local school district with a “free and appropriate education (FAPE),” the provisions that are offered to parents often fail to meet their child’s needs. This compels parents to enroll their child in a private school, or sometimes fight to move their child to a school in another district. This is what happened to Goldie S., whose district was unwilling to transfer her child. While she fought successfully to have the child moved, she had to pay significant attorney fees in the process.

Similarly, children are often entitled to various therapies, such as physical, occupational, and speech. Sometimes, though, the district evaluates a child and denies the child these services. Parents who feel that their child needs extra help are then forced to pay the therapists out of their own pockets.

Sending special-needs children away for the summer is another great expense. A six-week stay in one upstate New York camp can cost about $12,000, which is three times more than the average sleep-away camp. This is due to the one-on-one care that is often required, as well as the additional medical staff.

Additionally, often these children require expensive equipment and medications. While the family’s medical insurance may cover some costs, parents often find that much of what their child needs is not covered by their plan, and that they need to fight their insurance company to pay what they feel they are due.

Beyond this, some of the extra expenses that are often perceived to be insignificant are the ones that can make a family’s financial situation unbearable. For example, special-needs children require more frequent doctor visits than most children. This means that one or both parents will frequently end up missing work, with a possible impact on their pay, in order to take their child to the hospital and medical offices. Furthermore, if these visits are far from one’s home, out-of-pocket transportation costs can also quickly add up, between gas, tolls, and parking.

In addition, they may require many specialists in many fields. If the child has an abundance of medical issues, it is hard to find the right fit with these specialists and often parents have to go “out of network” with their insurance companies in order to use these doctors. The costs of out of network co-pays can become significant.

Parents of wheelchair-bound children will also incur significant added costs. The wheelchairs cost several thousand dollars apiece, and there is often the need to install custom-built ramps in and around the home to make it wheelchair-accessible. A specialized van with a powered wheelchair ramp or lift installed costs about twice as much as a standard one.

Even mobile special-needs children can generate significant additional expenses. If, for instance, the doctor recommends specialized exercise equipment, the parents find that the cost can add up quickly.

Goldie S. points out that food can be a major expense when a child is placed on a special diet. One who is lactose intolerant will need to drink other types of milk, which is more expensive than cow’s milk. For children on gluten-free diets, the cost for many food staples, including bread, cake and pasta and products, run typically at about double the price of the common wheat-based varieties.

It’s Not About Survival; It’s About Becoming the Spiritual Superpower

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

The Director of the international department of the Temple Institute, Rabbi Chaim Richman, joins Yishai. Together, they discuss the Iranian nuclear threat and how the Jewish People need to remain strong in the face of danger. Rabbi Richman speaks about the video that his organization recently produced and they end the segment by talking about reaching the tipping point within Israeli society and how it will shape the future.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Civilized Rage

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

In the midst of a sea of volatile rage—much of it well orchestrated—that’s sweeping the Muslim world over all the little slights that make Muslims angry – here’s something unusual: a group of Muslim Thai demonstrators outside the U.S. embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, last Tuesday.

They’re probably just as upset as any Muslim over the movie clip that depicts their prophet as a skirt chasing pedophile (which brings to mind a guy running after children in skirts – it should be, really, a skirt chaser and a pedophile) – but they don’t burn stuff, they don’t scale the embassy walls, they promote love for Muhammad instead, standing in the rain with “We Heart Muhammad” signs.

I’m certain that even the prophet himself would have been proud to see his disciples behaving with such maturity in the face of adversity. I’m sure he would have interrupted whatever skirt chasing or pedophiling he was engaged in at the time to wave to them enthusiastically.

Yesterday I asked one of our cartoonists for a cute Muhammad toon, just to keep up with events, and she declined politely. Not for fear for her own safety, she said, she lives in a civilized country where it’s OK to make fun of historic figures. But she was worried that somewhere a Jew could be hurt because of something she will have drawn.

She was right, of course, and how very sad a state of affairs is that?

Heroism on a Crowded Planet

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Two weeks ago, Nadav Ben Yehuda received from President Shimon Peres the distinguished service award, for rescuing a Turkish climber in the Himalayas.

Now Ben-Yehuda has climbed 5000 meters (16404.2 ft.) to the summit of Mount Kazbek in the former Sovier Republic of Georgia, and flew there a flag he had received from the President. When he reached the top, to his surprise, Turkish soldiers serving in a multinational force up there called him by name, greeted and hugged him.

I was touched by the story of the Turkish soldiers’ gratitude, as I had been touched by the story of the heroic rescue, back in May.

Then I started wondering, Wait a minute, the guy climbed up 5000 meters to singularly make it to a mountaintop full of soldiers?

But maybe they had been brought up there by air. Or maybe there’s a perfectly usable road going up to the top, but Ben Yehuda chose the really difficult face of the mountain.

This must be the nightmare of heroic travelers everywhere: that they’ll risk their lives going down some unimaginably dangerous path, through jungles or up mountains or under the face of the Earth, only to reach a destination populated by thousands of utterly civilized dwellers, complete with Starbucks and Gap outlets.

Which can be good, in case their iPhone 5 malfunctions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/heroism-on-a-crowded-planet/2012/09/19/

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