A Healing Attitude

Friday, 10 February, 2023 - 12:30 pm

We are in the midst of a three week stretch where the weekly Torah portion references healing. Last week’s Parsha had the verse, “I am the L-rd, your healer.” This week’s Parsha contains the idea that all were healed at Sinai in anticipation of the great Revelation. Next week’s Parsha gives us the Torah’s endorsement of the doctor’s role in healing people.

So it would be an appropriate time to express prayerful wishes for those among us, family, friends, and anyone out there, who are in need of G-d’s blessings for healing. Amen!

My son-in-law, Ari Rosenblum, who is dealing with a significant health challenge, penned some thoughts which he posted a few weeks ago, about a take-away from his experience that he wishes to share with others. I hope you find his words as meaningful as I did.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

Five weeks ago, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.

The big C. Not what I ever expected as a healthy 24-year-old. My emotions ran the gamut from shock to denial to nervous and overwhelmed. I suddenly had to think, and probably won't stop thinking for a while. Am I my body? Does this diagnosis define me? I'm going to look different; I'm going to feel different. Will I be different? That depends.

I started my first round of chemo with a fierce determination to beat this disease. I'm not just going to get better. I'm going to get better than ever. I’m going to grow, spiritually and emotionally. I’m going to deepen my relationships with my wife and my family. I’m going to build “meme therappy” and take it to the next level. I’m going to develop my relationship with G-D. And I’m going to pause before judging others.

Walking down the street this past week, I said hello to acquaintances as usual, and it hit me. Nobody has any clue what I'm going through right now. Just as I am unaware of what is going on in their lives. Who else is going through this? How many are dealing with something similar? How many have challenges, struggles, doubts, and worries? It's easy to make judgments or assumptions about people based on their appearance or known circumstances, but the truth is that everyone has their own battles to fight. Let's strive to be more compassionate towards each other and support each other through whatever challenges we may be facing.

So, as I continue on my journey towards recovery, I am filled with gratitude for the love and support of my family, friends, and healthcare team. I am determined to stay positive and make the most of each day, and I encourage others to do the same.

The Lymphoma is here temporarily, and the physical growth that it caused will subside. But I hope that the growth that takes place in my mind and heart will stay with me and create long term meaningful impact.

So, will I be different? I sure hope so.

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