Chaplaincy Newsletter Update

From the desk of Rabbi Leonard (Yehuda)Blank, MS, BCC Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim 917-446-2126 May 21,2020 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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Chaplaincy Commission Update

Rabbi Leonard (Yehuda) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
April 30 ,2020

I am dedicating this week’s article to Rabbi Mordechai Katz zt”l and Rabbi Shlomo Elozor Wulliger zt”l, both well-known chaplains. Rabbi Motty Katz as most knew him by, was a chaplain at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, NYC. where he was always helping and being mashpiah upon people as was mentioned in a Yated Ne’eman (pg 77 30 Nisan 5780/April 24, 2020) article written by Rabbi Chaim Serebrowski. “He was known to be a walking, talking Kiddush H serving as an example to everyone in the hospital as to what a Yid Is. Doctors and nurses in the hospital are heartbroken over his petira. One of the hospital staff members even drew a heart around his picture in the hospital, to them, he represented G and he always had a kind word for all of them”. Rabbi Serebrowski went on to mention the encouragement and support Rabbi Katz gave to the patients and how he would be mispallel for them. I met Rabbi Katz on several occasions and whatever my request was on behalf of patients he always found time to fulfill those requests. He did so with a full and caring heart. He died at NYUMC after a long bout with the COVID 19 [...Click headline above for more...] 

Chaplaincy Commission Update

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. [...Click headline above for more...]