CLERGY CORNER: We have been there

Posted on 20 August 2015 by LeslieM

Everybody needs a change once in a while. It might be something as simple as a change in hair color. It might be a change of attitude or lifestyle. And even if you don’t want to change, we all know there are times we have to adjust to change whether we want to or not.

Try and imagine the changes the Children of Israel had to go through after being freed from slavery, wandering around in a strange new land.

Not only were they in an unknown place, but they had no idea how long they were going to be there.

When someone is admitted to a health center, they are coming to a strange place and they have no idea how long they will be there.

In the wilderness, the Children of Israel had to learn to sleep under very different conditions. And those of us who have had to go through a medical ordeal face a similar issue as we find ourselves having to sleep in a strange bed, with pillows that are not as fluffy as we are used to. We may have an injury or a surgical area that makes it impossible for us to sleep in the position that we are most comfortable in.

In the wilderness, The Children of Israel had to adjust to different sights and different sounds.

Those of us who have spent time in the hospital can relate.

There are the constant beeps of medical equipment, the lights on all night long, the noise coming from the staff and from those who cannot help but moan in pain. And there is the waiting.

The Children of Israel did not know how long they would be stuck in the desert and, as patients, we have no idea how long we will have to wait for the aide, the nurse, the doctor or our pain pills.

And then there was the Manna, the food that fell from the heavens.

They had to get used to the Manna, as it was simply not the food they were used to. And, one thing I can tell you for sure, no matter how good the food in a health center or hospital might be, it sure as shootin’ is not the food we are accustomed too.

And, depending on your illness or injury, you might have to get used to using a special utensil to eat with or you might need to be fed. The Israelites were told to gather a double portion on Fridays as they were not permitted to gather food on the Sabbath and, if they tried to do so, the food would be rotten.

Who among us hasn’t faced a test or procedure where we are told that we better eat or drink a little more on this day because, as of midnight, we will not be able to have anything to eat or drink.

G-d gave the Children of Israel a list of rules to live by. The medical care providers (though they are certainly not gods) tell us what we should and shouldn’t eat, what kind of exercise we should do and for how long, and when to take our meds. They tell us what rules we should follow to live what will hopefully be a longer and healthier life.

The question is, Will we make those changes? Will we comply?

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach (201 S. Military Tr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442). Regular Shabbat services are open to everyone on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

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