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Hope in the Hospital!

Thursday, 15 November, 2018 - 3:50 pm

Taking Zeesy for her periodic visits to Denver’s Children Hospital is normally Chavie’s expertise, but due to a scheduling conflict, I had the honors this time. Spending three days in an environment of sick children is tough; It tugged at my core, rocked my emotions and gave me lots to ponder upon. Yet, while I was surrounded by so much suffering, so many families struggling and so much debilitating illness, I was also surrounded by the best medical practitioners in the world. They are not only experts in their field, but they, and the entire hospital staff, are full of love, care and unparalleled devotion. I was blown away, full of gratitude, as I experienced once again the genuinity of humanity. You wouldn’t know this when watching the news, but most people are really good and it’s reassuring.

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayeitzei, we read about our patriarch Jacob’s life in the home of wicked uncle Laban. While one can focus on the thievery, thuggery and sadism of Laban, it wouldn’t do justice to the whole story. Yes, Laban was trouble, but so many other Charan residents who were part of Jacob’s life were kind and generous. Rachel epitomized kindness by helping her older sister Leah marry Jacob first, against her own self-interest, just so she wouldn’t be shamed. Leah expressed kindness by praying to G-d that her seventh child be a girl so that Rachel should merit having at least two of the twelve tribes, and not less than Bilhah and Zilpah, Jacob’s concubines. Reuven would only collect flowers and herbs that were on public lands, refusing to follow grandpa Laban’s larcenous lifestyle. Yes, there was wickedness, but Jacob was surrounded by goodwill.

Focusing on the kindness that surrounds us is so important. This week as Shoshana was sharing with me all the “WhatsApp” news she received about the horrific situation in Israel and other negative incidents experienced by Jews around the world, I implored her to share good news and she did. We need to train ourselves to see good and focus on it. It’s not easy but is doable. Jacob saw the good and it changed the way he saw the world and even how he saw his brother Esau later on.  He wasn’t fooled by Esau’s theatrics, but he learned a vital trait: don’t see the worst in everyone. Not everyone walking behind you on the subway is a mugger and not every plumber overcharges their customers. Like Jacob, see good and your life will only get better and better.

Learn to see the light all over the tunnel!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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