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{Originally posted to the author’s eponymous blogsite}

Last night, I saw a post on Facebook that should cause any G-d fearing individual to shudder upon reading it. Recently, a young boy had sustained a head injury (according to some, by being hit in the head with a baseball) and a Rav in their local community made the following suggestion:


Yes, according to this post, the way to ensure this young boys has a refuah shlema is that women should wear a snood or a scarf instead of a sheitel/wig for the next 30 days.

I fully understand the GENERAL idea of people taking an act upon themselves that corresponds to the part of the body wherein someone was injuredת in order to act as a zechut (merit) for the injured. HOWEVER….Why, oh whyת is it always, always, always women who need to make an adjustment to help bring about a refuah for an injured or sick individual??

You might ask yourself: What in the world would a man be able to do that would have a similar efficacious result? As the post says, since the injury was in the head, then zechuyot from various actions by others, in the area of the head, may be able to affect refuah.

So, let’s look at some of the ways a MAN can do something in this situation:

  1. Check your Tefillin shel Rosh (the tefillin that go on the HEAD). Perhaps there is something that is not in order with the parshiot inside?
  2. Make sure the Tefillin shel Rosh is always straight when on your HEAD.
  3. Make sure that your payot are not cut too short on the side of your HEAD.
  4. Your mind, residing in your HEAD, is one of the most powerful tools to combat evil and with which to do good….exercise that mind/brain for GOOD.
  5. Your eyes, that are in your HEAD, should be used for proper things and not for improper areas.
  6. Your mouth that is in your HEAD–lashon hara, speaking ill of anyone; eating without a proper bracha; davening as if you were reading the NY Times; lying, etc etc…all are actions that can be worked on as well.

Yes, indeed the permanent, knee-jerk reaction is to tell WOMEN to make a change that may help bring about a refuah for someone sick or for some other ill that plagues a community.

BUT…it is time that the rabbanim look inward and tell their MALE constituency that there is plenty that can be done by them, too!

We can not ever pretend we know how G-d thinks, for His thoughts are not like humans. Yet, we can do our best to bring about different zechuyot (merits) for those in need and in pain. Yes, we can indeed take upon ourselves certain actions that MAY make a difference to another person or group of people. Again, we do not know how G-d works, but as humans and His servants can only do our best.

But there are men and women out there, and BOTH can and should participate in these actions.

May Hashem send a refuah shlema to Dov Ber ben Shoshana Raiza!


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After living in Chicago for 50 years, the last 10 of which Zev Shandalov served as a shul Rav and teacher in local Orthodox schools, his family made Aliya to Maale Adumim in July 2009. Shandalov currently works as a teacher, mostly teaching private students and at AMIT Boys in Maale Adumim