|From the desk of Rabbi Leonard (Yehuda) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
June 18, 2020
It is only 20 days since the ptira of my Ashis Chayil Keila Lutza bas Shalom HaKohain ah with shloshim just days away. However, I will wait until after that day to share additional thoughts about her and the magnificent person she was for me, all the children, grandchildren, mishpacha and Klal Yisrael. Through the many decades, the many generations our nation has beseeched the Aibershta to send Moshiach. There have been so many trials and tribulations, so many challenges, so many difficult times, our nation truly believed Moshiach was on his way. But we never gave up and we still don’t give up our beliefs that someday Eliyahu HaNavi will announce the revelation that Moshiach is truly on his way. Presently, the world is going through trying times not only due to the Coronavirus, but racial discord and ill feelings amongst different communities that have caused so much negativity. It is not the purpose of this article to describe, nor discuss any of those issues which have torn apart the trust of so many and in many different ways. I have been in lock down since the beginning of COVID – 19 and for other reasons my activities even before then were changed caring for my wife ah. For me, not having been exposed to anyone that might have had any symptoms and because I am a little older continue to be cautious. Is it wrong to still be cautious? Isn’t it my right of self-determination to heed the advice and the opinion from medical specialists who still feel the Coronavirus is not over as of yet, even though in locations such as New York there are fewer cases being reported .But, there are still cases in parts of our city and definitely in other parts of our Country and other countries as well. I am not the only one who is being cautious. I have been asked how long I will be cautious. Maybe there will be reasons that will sway me otherwise. Boruch H there are many from different age populations who do not have the same concerns. Playground, day camps, learning programs and other venues are opening. Many sleep away camps following strict guidelines are opening in different parts of the USA. What is important is not to have negative opinions about those who still want to wear masks, who still want to be cautious and those who have decided not to wear masks etc. We need to have achdus and to do so we need to be understanding of each other’s opinion and most of all not too speak lashon hara. To be understanding, a person must be willing to open his or her heart to feel for the other persons concerns. One must be caring and not so adamant that his or her opinion must be the right way of thinking. One should take the time to listen to the concerns, the issues, the reasons, the feelings of the other person. I have spoken to a number of men and women over the age of 70 and they truly are concerned about coming in contact with a person who might be a carrier or have the Coronavirus and Heaven Forbid will become ill and have to be hospitalized. Just today, there was another serious news report of those over 70 with underlying medical conditions and there might be some type of conditions not included as part of those medical conditions who can become very ill due to the COVID-19. These are real fears and after all of us being witness to the ramifications of the virus with so many who died and being reported in the news practically every day, how can anyone tell a person don’t worry, nothing will happen the virus is almost all gone. Again, we have to be understanding of the fears or concerns another person may have. That is true chesed. We should all be zoche maysim tovim and no more illness. Until then, let us be mispallel for all cholim, be caring and understanding of others especially during these trying, difficult and challenging times. Please be mispallel for HaGaon HaRav Dovid Feinstein shlita to have a refuah shelaim. (Dovid ben Shima). Thank you. Sincerely, Yehuda Blank
Included in this week’s RAA newsletter is information and an article shared by Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz of Chayim Aruchim
“Attached is a very important article from the Journal of American Medical Association dated June 2, 2020, on the topic of “Understanding Brain-dead”.
This is an extremely important article and it has information in it that supports the position that our Rabbinical leaders have been saying for a long time. I underlined some of the key sentences.
One of the very significant points made in this article is, “The behavioral bedside tests used to diagnose unconsciousness in the vegetative state may be wrong as much as 40% of the time. In addition, the safety of the Apnea test has been questioned”. “Until the UDDA or individual state laws are revised, lawsuits are likely to continue because current tests do not fulfill the language of the law.”
Please read this article.
Also please read the attached flyers.