Thursday, May 1, 2014

I would like to tell you about a conversation I had with G-d


Background
On Shabbat Yom Kippur, September 14, 2013, considered to be the holiest day of the Jewish year, at about 4 PM in the afternoon, I suffered the worst imaginable, extremely severe and incredibly painful stomach ache; one I would not wish on my worst enemy. We, my wife Barbara and I were in our apartment at 34 W. 74th St., on a short break from synagogue services. Although doubled over in pain I managed to go down to the street and Barbara in turn managed to hail a taxi.  She and I think I too instructed the driver  "New York Presbyterian emergency room, at 68th St. and York Avenue please". The driver took off like he was driving a police car chasing robbers in a movie. We didn't ask him to drive like a madmen but he could see in his rearview mirror that I was doubled over in extreme pain. The ride took about 10 minutes. For me it was literally hell on wheels.


I spoke to G-d

En route to the emergency room, despite the awful pain I was experiencing, I thought to myself, actually spoke directly to G-d, saying "G-d why are you allowing this to happen to me today, of all days, Yom Kippur? I have been fasting since five o'clock last night, I was in the synagogue at 8:30 in the morning, praying and concentrating on this important Day of Atonement. I have been doing the right thing, and doing everything expected of a Jew on this holy day.” G-d did not answer me.


Hospital ER

We arrived curb side at the New York Presbyterian Hospital emergency room; I was doubled over in unbearable pain. Almost immediately I was administered morphine which did not eliminate the pain but miraculously and thankfully took the edge off it and eased it somewhat. The emergency room doctors suspected and a CAT scan confirmed I was suffering from pancreatitis.


Hospital room and Doctor
Hours later after I was taken to a hospital room and hooked up with a J tube and various intravenous wires and hoses I met Dr. Michele Kahaleh, the Chief of Endoscopy at Weill Cornell Medical College who was to be my doctor, perform a surgery to remove a gall stone blocking the pancreatic duct and insert a stent in my pancreas, and under whose care I was to be under, little did I then know, for the next month that I would be in the hospital and over six months to date, and now I know for some years to come. Indeed probably for the rest of my life.


Dr.Kahaleh is a world renowned gastroenterologist.(1) As a matter of fact he told me that after performing my surgery he would be gone for four days as he was off to China to lecture. Furthermore, weeks later on October 11, when I was discharged from the hospital, he told me that evening he was off to Berlin to give a lecture. Speaking practically of the good doctor, it is told, that just like a hammer sees the world as a nail when Dr. Kahaleh sees a person all he sees is a pancreas.


I soon got to know Dr.Kahaleh pretty well and indeed in the last six or seven months have gotten to know him very well.


G-d Speaks to me
One day, while I was still in the hospital and beginning my convalescence, just like that, out of the blue, G-d spoke to me. He said to me "a few weeks ago, on Shabbat Yom Kippur, when you were suffering excruciating stomach pain, which turned out to be pancreatitis, you asked why I was allowing this to happen to you on that day, of all days. I will now explain exactly why. As you will recall when you met Dr. Michele Kahaleh insightfully, you thought, you asked him if he was a Sunni or Shiite. He told you that he was neither and in fact that he was a Christian. He told you his father was Syrian his mother Belgian and that he was brought up in Belgium. Unless you are not as wise as I give you credit for being, I would actually be surprised if you did not figure it out by now.”  Astonished as I was to hear from G-d I was capable of a cogent response. I said “no I do not know why you allowed me to be struck by pancreatitis on Yom Kippur afternoon."  "You are really such a yutz Larry”, G-d said to me,  "I arranged it so that you would be attended to by the physician, who as you now know, is the world's leading and authority on pancreatitis. Moreover, as you know Dr. Kahaleh happens to be a Christian. If I had allowed you to come down with pancreatitis on any other day than Yom Kippur you might have had one of those Jewish doctors attending to you."

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