Rabbi Leonard ( Yehuda ) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/ Igud HaRabbonim
April 23, 2020
I have postponed my dedication to the Orthodox Jewish Chaplains and in general to all chaplains for their unbelievable care they have been giving patients, family members and medical staff in all sorts of venues. I hope to have that article in next week’s RAA newsletter though, HaRav Mordechai Willig shlita in a recent teleconference sponsored by the Rabbinical Council of America, shared his concerns and halachic opinions about chaplains putting themselves in dangerous situations. Yet, even though chaplains have made every effort to “be safe” there have been times, when these dedicated chaplains have extended themselves in ways above and beyond “the call to duty”. I am also going to dedicate another article to the devoted Jewish Navigators and how they have extended themselves in all kinds of circumstance helping so many during these challenging times.
Yes, it is wonderful to read about the many patients who have survived the Coronavirus, but it is also heartbreaking to read how many of our precious family members, community residents and others- young and older, those who were well known and those who we might never have known who have died from this disease. R” l Misaskim has recently stated there were 1,000 availim over Pesach. Yet, we read and hear about many who do not take this disease seriously. Included in this newsletter is a recorded presentation by Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt who presented this past Motzei Shabbos all about the extreme importance of taking the Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 seriously. He shared the implications of COVID-19 if not taken seriously. He also shared about the various tests and treatments that are being tested and in many cases being used with some success. Perhaps, unlike the Mumps, Measles, Polio or other diseases where one can visibly see the effects of the various diseases and illnesses people are not taking it seriously. It is possible for someone to have this virus, not have any symptoms at least not initially, and spread the disease to others- causing not one, but many to become ill, on life support machines and chas vshalom worse. On the other hand, there are many who are seriously ill not from the Coronavirus, but from other illnesses, for these patients, their caregivers and family members, life goes on, but with many challenges as well.
We cannot and must not forget all those precious human beings- all who deserve our tefilos. Our cheeks are red from the tears that flow from our eyes, beseeching the Ribono Shel Olom. Who do we cry out to if not the Ribono Shel Olom to please send a refuah to our loved ones, to our relatives, to our neighbors to all who mean so much to us? There are so many tefilos, so many meaningful chapters and pasukim of Tehilim we recite from our hearts. Dovid HaMelech has always’ been and continues to be a source of inspiration and comfort. Together with our Holy Torah, they are the life preservers the Aibershata has given to us. Throughout the generations with the countless of trials and tribulations we have gone through we have never given up.
Boruch H there are so many wonderful organizations as well as private individuals, who are doing so many tremendous gemilus chasadim we must be thankful for. It is also wonderful to learn about people of all walks of life being so helpful and caring. Included in this newsletter is information about the amazing OHEL Partners Resilience THERA – ZOOM. Please see the attached informational flyer.
On a personal note, please include in your tefilos for Cholim of Klal Yisrael, Keila Lutza bas Tziporah. She is a close and dear relative of mine who I owe so much to for her tremendous encouragement and kindness to me, my entire mishpacha and to so many who know her for her sincerity, kindness, gemilus chasadim and tremendous Emunah and Btachen in the Aibershta.
There are also information flyers from TTI Testing and Training Institute, CAHE Center for Allied Health Education and YEIP. Please note that both TTI and CAHE offer special discounts to RAA members, spouses and children.
Thank you and sincerely, Yehuda Blank