Thursday, January 23, 2014


The Sky is Grey, the Hospital Bright

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

zedekThe pain began lower down.  It was uncomfortable, mildly annoying, until it wasn’t mild anymore.

The doctor sent her to a specialist.  But specialists aren’t readily available, socialized medicine limits incentives to spend the 10 years to specialize.  It took several months.  The specialist examined, poking and prodding, and ordered invasive tests.  But invasive tests aren’t readily available, more months required.

I fretted and prayed, there was little more I could do.

As we left home she didn’t bring her purse – the journey already seemed surreal.  She handed me an ID and a few papers to hold for her… today I am the care giver.

The sky was grey as we drove the beautiful mountain road to Jerusalem.  The truck lumbering up the narrow road matched the feeling in my heart as we travelled.  I was frustrated at the pace, but did I really want to arrive sooner?

The parking was crazy.  Though paying for the privilege, the lots were full with people pushing their need by parking in medians and on ramps.  The result was a narrow serpentine maze with cars trying to go both directions.  I’m worried and have an appointment to meet, but I can’t indulge my frustration today – today I am the care giver.  In a far back area only 1 car width wide, a car zoomed in from the other direction pushing right up to the nose of my car.  We stared at each other, face to face, each with our urgent mission.  She was taking her mother or grandmother home, frantic to get away.  I was bringing my wife, frantic not to miss the test many months in coming. 

I took a deep breath, not even sure if I could successfully navigate the maze BACKWARDS.  She inched forward as if she could drive through my car, sadly not possible.  Just then someone walked to a car behind us, entered and pulled away!  Relief from our challenge at hand.

The hospital is bright, the department we are visiting recently refurbished.  The chairs are comfortable, the signs clear, a clean professional modern look.  It feels competent, a good feeling to have…in a hospital.

We waited at the reception, an elderly Russian Jewish woman struggling to understand, with the language struggles of many Jewish immigrants to Israel, that her appointment wasn’t today.  Nervousness returned as we wondered whether we’d miss the appointment due to not being able to announce our arrival.  Minutes passed, the elderly woman finally mollified registration proceeded.

A Breslev chossid wandered by, looking to give out a small prayer pamphlet.  “To relieve some worry, some pressure” he said modestly, his way of trying to help or be open for a conversation for those needing a good word or a good ear.  There are a variety of such free agents of goodness who wander the halls of the hospitals in Israel, one rarely hears about them but they are greatly appreciated.

Time was brief before she was called.  The nurse was pleasant and professional, another good thing to feel at a hospital, professional.  They too her away, she didn’t smile as she left – her nervousness coming through.  I smiled reassuringly as she went, I didn’t feel reassuring but it’s what was needed.

So now I wait.  Will the test go smooth and safe?  Will it be as painless as possible?  Will the results show a mild problem easily corrected, or G-d forbid otherwise?  “Think good and it will be good” the Rebbe said, but for the moment I dwell in a world of worry.

…time for some Psalms.  If King David, zt”l, could call them out in his time of distress, so can I.


  1. May esheth Rav Akiva have a refuah shleimah!!! Could we have her Hebrew name/mother's name so we can pray for her properly?

    CDG, Yerushalayim

  2. Refuah Shelima, please update us.

  3. I will try to pray Tehillim if you feel able to post a Hebrew name, thank you.

  4. Thanks for the kind thoughts. The tests completed safely, we await some biopsy results. G-d willing, all will be reported ok

  5. We are still praying for good results.


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