From the desk of Rabbi Leonard (Yehuda)Blank, MS, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
There is an old cliché’ behind every husband is his wife. My mantra is my wife is my
co-pilot. To me my wife has always been my co-pilot and I attribute anything of value
that I have done and continues to do to my Ashis Chayil. I am therefore dedicating
this article to her. May Keila Lutza bas Tziporah have a refuah shelaima. She has been
my guiding light, my inspiration in so many ways. Just this week she gave me the following and with her permission I am sharing this with you. “When things look blue it helps to remember that tomorrow is another day and will be a brighter day”.
We all have our challengers and have mentioned many times about emunah and btachen. But, one of the real challenges is the internal fight of “I know whatever the Aibershta does is for the best”. Yet, emotionally, how can a person face the unknown or the “what will be”and still have that emunah and btachen. Yes, we daven and can cry out to the Aibershta our Hailika Tatte. But as I mentioned in previous articles it is wise to seek the advice and brachos from our mentors, our Gedolim and if need be a counselor whether it be a social worker or a psychologist and of course the support of those who are our loved ones. Through the years, I have been zoche to know Gedolim. worked and collaborated professionally with those in the health and mental health field. In addition to my chaplaincy and other positions, I spearheaded the Manhattan Coalition on Mental Health Issues of the Elderly and was the Executive Director of the Lower Manhattan Health Care Coalition. Perhaps one day, I will share with you why she encouraged me to pursue the reasons I spearheaded and co-chaired the Manhattan Coalition on Mental Health Issues of the Elderly. Recently, I gained much insight from Dr. Norman Blumenthal who is OHEL’s Director of Trauma and Crises Response. I attribute my achievements to the Aibershta, to my co-pilot who continuously inspires me with all her own btachen, emunah and maysim tovim, family, mentors, and many colleagues in the various fields through the years. My wife discourages me from tooting my
own horn, so I surely am not going to share any of my other achievements, but to say she
gave me as my co-pilot a meaningful flight plan which always includes Torah, Avodah,Gemilus ,Chasadim, kindness and caring for others. Do not look at what was not accomplished, be proud, look at what was accomplished and take it from there. She continues to imbue hope even when hope might seem dismal at times for we trust in the Ribono Shel Olam. “I trust in Your loving kindness, my heart will exult in Your deliverance, I will sing to the Holy One for He has dealt kindly with me”. Psalm 13. 6
It is not uncommon for a person who is experiencing pain or discomfort -physical or otherwise to cry out to the Aibershta “why, what is happening to me, what do you want from me”. It should not be looked at as a lack of faith. We should try to have feelings and understanding what he or she is going through. Are miracles possible, can things change for the better. We hope as chaplains and as rabbis to utilize appropriate words of hope, of meaning, with proper wisdom, compassion, respect, care, and knowledge together with the holy words of our prayers to bring comfort and hope to that person.
May all cholim have a refuah shelaima and everyday be filled with much kindness, goodness and comfort. Sincerely, Yehuda Blank
Please take the time to read the following important informational flyers from;
OHEL Children Home and Family Services
TTI= Testing and Training International
CAHE= Center for Allied Health Education
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