Posts Tagged ‘Mi Sheberach’

A Stitch In Time…


Photo Credit: Microsoft

As part of my continual effort to rid my life of clutter, I decided it was high time to get rid of any vestigial organs I might have lying around. At least that’s how I would like to think of it!

Last Saturday I had surgery to remove my appendix. I found myself on the other end of congregational Mi Sheberachs, as I let someone else take my place on the bima at the Bar Mitzvah of a student when no pleading with the surgeon allowed me to be there.

The pain started on Wednesday, and when it had not improved by Friday, my father urged me to see my doctor. The doctor didn’t like what he saw and he sent me to get a CAT scan. Barium. Yuck. The CAT scan technician didn’t like what he saw and he sent me to the emergency room for a surgical consult. By now, it definitely looked like I would not make it to services on Friday night. My symptoms were somewhat atypical, but the CAT scan did show some swelling in my appendix. The surgeon decided that he wanted to observe me overnight.

Surgeons have a reputation for being uncaring and cold. Some say they have to be that way, they cut people up for a living. This reputation is unfair however, at least based on my experience with my surgeon, Dr. Gordon at White Plains Hospital. He was kind and gentle. He held my hand when he saw I was upset. And… weirdest of all, he made a deal with me. Unheard of! He knew that I wanted to be at the Bar Mitzvah in the morning. He said that he would order my labs for 5am, and would be in to see me by 7, so that if there was any chance of avoiding or postponing surgery, allowing me to attend the Bar Mitzvah, he would make it happen.

True to his word, he did all of those things, but unfortunately, there was no improvement by morning. He felt that it was in my best interest to get the appendix out, because there was always the possibility of it rupturing, the consequences of which would be dire. The surgery was scheduled for that day, and the Rabbi’s wife, Naomi Adler, stepped in for the Bar Mitzvah, filling in for me, beautifully.

I’ve never been under the knife before and I was terrified. But, with a caring surgeon, a wonderful husband, and my amazing parents at my bedside I had to believe that I would be okay. I have been home and recovering since Monday afternoon. I still have some pain and am overwhelmingly tired all the time, but it is amazing how much better I am each day than the one before. The body is a miracle in its ability to heal.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Gordon for his incredible kindness and skill, my husband for his never ending patience and support, my parents for their love, advice, and all of the driving to and from the hospital, my community for their patience and their continual Mi Sheberachs and, last but certainly not least:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ רופֵא כָל בָּשר וּמַפְלִיא לַעֲשות


Songs of the Spirit

Friedman, Debbie

Upon hearing the news of the severe illness of singer-songwriter, Debbie Friedman, I tried to remember the first Debbie song I had ever heard.  I couldn’t.  Debbie’s music has always been a part of my Jewish life and her style changed the face of Jewish music, especially in the Reform movement.  There are those that love it, and those that could do without out it, but nobody would deny its impact.  Debbie is widely credited with bringing the folk musical style and the guitar into reform worship.  Her music is simple, yet lovely, and unlike a lot of other “folk” or “rock” style Jewish music, hers lends itself to piano accompaniment just as well as to guitar.

I will be singing a lot of Debbie Friedman music in services tonight.  I will be putting the power of her song into the universe and hoping for the best for her recovery.  The words and melody of Debbie’s Mi Sheberach have guided countless thousands through the throws of illness and pain into recovery.  May we do the same for her as we join throughout the country.

Mi sheberach avoteinu
M’kor habracha l’imoteinu
May the Source of strength who blessed the ones before us
Help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing,
And let us say, Amen.

Mi sheberach imoteinu
M’kor habrachah l’avoteinu
Bless those in need of healing with R’fuah Sh’leimah
The renewal of body, the renewal of spirit
And let us say, Amen.