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There's a legendary story about a kingdom, which was hit by tragedy one year. The entire harvest was poisoned and everyone who ate of it went crazy. The good citizens were at a loss, not knowing what to do. If they were to eat, they would become mad. On the other hand, if they refrained from eating, they would starve to death. What to do?
There is so much tragedy, so much sham in the world, that people no longer know how to make a distinction between emes - truth, and blatant falsehood - and we Jews suffer from this plague more than others. Israel is constantly under attack, constantly demonized by a world that has become increasingly anti-Semitic, by a world that would secretly be happy to G-d forbid, see yet another Holocaust unfold.
With a title such as this, Rabbi Winston's new book belongs in every Jewish home and institution. Page 180 holds a delicious, psychologically satisfying insight and answer to your confusion about the purpose and function of personal suffering.
JERUSALEM - With nations around the world condemning Israel for the deaths of nine activists aboard a Gaza-bound ship, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a planned visit to the White House.
"My mother will be buried at the Yarkon Cemetary, Geula Hall, on Wednesday, March 17, at 11:30." The terse message from Eli Lato delivered a stunning, unexpected blow. Does "will be buried," mean that Theresa Lato is no more? Is Theresa Lato, the frail, soft-spoken lady who was like a one-woman armada fighting simultaneously on multiple fronts -silenced forever?
Beloved nutritional counselor a.k.a. naturopath Shoshanna Harrari lives in Israel and hops around the globe helping clients to live healthier lives. With an impressive record for reversing disease, the author is an in-demand speaker and consultant. Her recipe book is a tool for resting her voice and a great addition to many kitchens. Photos by Shoshanna's husband Micah Harrari show the bounty of blessings upon our plates, if only we'll put them there.
There is an old joke that describes a passerby who sees a man repeatedly hitting his head against a wall. Each time his head hits the wall, the man yelps in pain. Concerned, the first man runs up to him and asks why he keeps banging his head when it obviously hurts when he does so. The man answers, "Because it feels so good when I stop."
Our forefather Yaakov is considered to have been the patriarch who endured the most suffering. Although our rabbis look to the binding of Yitzchak and the trial of Avraham as the epitome of suffering in the form of self-sacrifice, Yaakov is our greatest teacher in the difficult subject of dealing with life's hardships.
Many well spouses have written to say that their partners' behaviors has changed drastically, making life very difficult for the entire family. "What in my spouse's behavior is choice and what is a result of the illness and beyond my partner's control?" It is a question that tortures many spouses of the chronically ill.
As we saw last week, the response to the articles entitled The Loss of Femininity (July 3, July 10, 2009) showed an overwhelming number of women identifying with the loss of femininity as they care for their ill spouses. Along with this loss came letters expressing the loneliness they feel, because their spouse's illness prevents many caregivers from attending s'machos of friends and family.
When you lose your spouse, whether s/he was sick or healthy, whether it's through divorce or death, the transition period into the next part of your life is a difficult one. Many new singles find that they no longer fit into their old friendships. They are no longer part of a couple, so associating with couples can be uncomfortable.
Last week I wrote about how female caregivers are affected by the role reversals that take place as they care for husbands with chronic illness. As the husband's illness progresses, and he is able to do less and less for himself, his wife ends up doing more. And, as she continues to take on the traditional male roles, her loss of femininity may escalate. When this happens, it is reflected in how she cares or perhaps in how she stops caring and taking care of herself.
For most women, care-giving means taking on many of the roles that were routinely filled by their husbands, in addition to those things they were already responsible for. For many of these women, this has been hard to deal with. Not just because of the difficult physical nature of these new, additional roles, or even the tremendous emotional burden that has been added to the women's daily routine.