Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Another Reason Not to Help the Goyim

א' חנוכה תשע"ד

Israel Hayom: Health Ministry: Wounded Syrians may carry dangerous pathogens
Some 350 Syrians have been treated in Israeli hospitals, and the Health Ministry has found high levels of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria among them • Official: The danger is that the germs could spread and cause serious infections in Israel.

Ran Reznik, November 26, 2013

A third of the Syrian patients wounded in the country's civil war and being treated in Israeli hospitals have been found to be carrying large amounts of dangerous pathogens that are rare in Israel and resistant to antibiotics, Israel Hayom has learned from senior medical officials and internal reports on the subject.

The bacteria, called carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, can pass from patient to patient and be carried by hospital staff, and result in serious infections that are especially dangerous to older patients and those with weakened immune systems. One-third of patients infected by these bacteria fall seriously ill and some die. (cont.)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Remember the polio scare this past summer? Israel's Ministry of Health went around vaccinating children with live polio virus. Well, traces of polio are still being detected in the Negev. And, just where

Well, I'm not usually one to point the finger, but...

From The World Health Organization
November, 2008
Sure, this is from 2008. But, unfortunately, the only change which needs to be made is that Israel must now be added to the list of countries reporting the presence of the polio virus, imported from,...gee, let me guess.

Israel has sent a massive aid mission to The Philippines, at great expense, and in this writer's opinion, great potential harm to its military.

And, now, we are importing a strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria into Israel, so that we can continue our desperate, and fruitless, attempts to convince the "international community" that we are "OK" and that they should like us, if not love us?

Aren't the rockets and missiles pointed at us from Hamas in the south, Hezbollah and Syria in the north, and Iran in the east, enough? Do we really have to add to the threats on our lives and survival?

How very frustrating this is.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Where Should my Payos (Side Locks) Go? In Front or in Back?

ט"ז לחודש התשעי תשע"ד

Life In Israel: Rav Chaim Kanievsky says wearing peyos in front of ears will give good health
November 17, 2013

I need some help here...

A yeshiva bochur who has bad health conditions went to Rav Chaim Kanievsky asking for a bracha.

Rav Kanievsky told him that if he would take his peyos out from behind his ears and keep them in front, he would be healed.

This yeshiva bochur later went to Rav Shteinman and asked the same - a bracha for his health, and mentioned that Rav Kanievsky had told him to wear his peyos out front, though he said he is embarrassed to do so.

Rav Shteinman said he should not be embarrassed but should wear his peyos out front, as instructed by Rav Chaim Kanievsky, the "Minister of Torah", and he will have good health because of it.

Rav Chaim's opinion seems to be known that peyos should be worn in front of the ears, and people should not be embarrassed by their Jewish appearance. (cont.)

(source: Kikar and Bechadrei - though Bechadrei  relates the story slightly differently)

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
I have heard that their are Qabbalistic reasons for putting payos behind the ears, not allowing the hair of the head to touch the spiritual hair of the beard. This has never made sense to me, since most hassidim keep their payos upfront, apparently without such fear, and they most certainly take Qabbalah under serious consideration with regards to custom.

I have also heard some say that they put behind their payos behind their ears, simply because they can get in the way.

As you know, I am not the biggest fan of segulos. So, when these highly respected rabbis suggest that arranging ones payos* (or simanim*to the Yemenites) will have a positive influence on ones physical health, I am skeptical.

Payos in front of the ear, or in back of the ear,
that is the question.

Mental health is another story. And as such, I believe that there is definitely something in what these gedolim say.

"Rav Shteinman said he should not be embarrassed but should wear his peyos out front, as instructed by Rav Chaim Kanievsky...."

We are Jews, living in Eretz Yisra'el, the [only true] Jewish Homeland. In which other lands are the people embarrassed to wear traditional clothing and hairstyles? I cannot think of any.

Only in Israel, where the influence of about 2,000 years of galuth (exile) still prevails, do we seem to have this problem,...or rather, problems.

1. Collective low self-esteem, reflected in "embarrassment" over appearance, and preferring the "castrated"/hidden, payos look, over "prominent" payos(Note: Non-analytically oriented psychotherapists, please humor me here. Fake therapists, it's time to stop that anxiety-provoked giggling, and go back for more training.)
a. I wonder how this is reflected in the differences in marital relationships between those communities which are predominantly "in front of" and those which are "in back of." Feminism has clearly snuck in through the backdoor of many Litvish and Modern Orthodox communities, particular the English-speaking ones. It is nor longer pashut as to who "wears the pants" in the family, some cases, literally so.
b. Perhaps this is also reflected in miqwah/mikveh behavior. However, I cannot be sure. Most, but not all, of the "in front of"'s follow the custom of not covering oneself in the miqwah, showing that we are not embarrassed by our brith milah of Avraham Avinu. Do the "in back of"'s tend to be those uptight ones in the miqwah? Like I said, I cannot be sure.
2. Collective co-dependence, reflected in how we view ourselves through the eyes of the goyim, and seek their validation, rather than producing it internally.

How we dress and style or cover our hair, are only two of the symptoms of these psychological conditions.

There are more.

I will conclude this somewhat serious piece with a not so serious conclusion.

I once witnessed a hassidishe friend of mine from Me'ah She'arim criticizing his grandson for arranging his payos behind his ear...

If you keep them that way, they will end up looking like question marks.

Sure, I know that his reaction was the response of American parents to their children making unattractive faces at others: "If you do that enough, your face will stay that way."

Nevertheless, we can learn something from this. Hassidim are often accused of living galuth (exile) mode. Yet, wearing their payos in front of their ears, clearly runs against the grains of fear of the goyim and desires to assimilate amongst them.

As Jews, if we have questions, we should ask them, rather than keep them buried inside to fester, only manifesting themselves through a permanent imprint in our hairstyles.

Food for thought.


*payos: Yid. (Heb. payot) "corners"
**simanim: Heb. -"signs"

Friday, March 08, 2013

What To Do With Your Old Sheitls (Wigs)

ערב שבת קודש פר' ויקהל-פקודי/החודש תשע"ג

לעילוי נשמת
רבקה בת ישעיה הלוי
In memory off RivkA bat Yishaya HaLevi
It is no secret my feelings about sheitels (wigs) used as an halachicly acceptable head covering.

But this post is not about trying to prove a halachic (Jewish legal) point, one way or another.

This is simply about providing an additional option to those women who want to pass on their sheitels (pe'oth in Hebrew), when they are finished with them.

Photograph: Sidney Eisner
Copyright Yochi Eisner The Kallah Whisperer

Why not donate them to a wig gema"h (gemiluth hassadim - provider/lender)?

But, I am not recommending just any gema"h, which lends wigs out to women to meet their temporary needs. I am recommending that you donate your wigs to a gema"h, which lends them out specifically to women with medically-related hair loss, such as those women undergoing chemotherapy.

I must admit the idea came to me out of my anti-sheitel beliefs. When I was asked by a friend to bring some old wigs and styrofoam heads to Jerusalem, and to find a gema"h for them, I asked if it would be ok to find one catering to women with medically-related hair loss, instead of a general one. She agreed wholeheartedly.

I emailed RivkA, may her memory be for a blessing, whose blog Coffee And Chemo, describes her life in Israel, including her battles with cancer. I figured that if anyone knew of such a gema"h, then she would. Sure enough she had a friend who was in the process of starting one up.

Certainly, this is not a new idea. I remember years ago when a friend of mine underwent treatment for cancer in the U. S. My friend's treatment included surgery and chemotherapy, with an expected loss of her hair.

Even though she said did not care about losing her hair, she felt it would be better for her to wear a wig at work. The cancer patient support group she joined referred her to a wig exchange which lent her two wigs. All she had to do was to bring them back when she was finished with them. I remember that her spirits were raised, knowing that she had the wigs to wear if she decided to. There were so many wigs, she even succeeded in finding two which matched her hair color and style.

Not all women decide to wear wigs, during treatment, but many do.  Many feel it helps to lift their mood.  Most professionals now acknowledge that a raised mood, and lowered anxiety, are better for the immune system than the opposite.

Regardless of what medical treatment a woman chooses, she should know that wigs can be an option.  They certainly do not look out of place in Israel, either.

So, if you were thinking about passing on any sheitels, please consider a gema"h, catering to women with medically related hair loss.  There are several out there.  Please feel free to post such gema"him in your area below in the comments section.

Hadadi - The Center for the Breast Cancer Survivor has the gema"h in Jerusalem, started by the friend of RivkA's mentioned above.  It also have a selection of hats available.  Hadadi's contact information can be found by clicking here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Esser Agaroth Invites You To A Healthy Purim!

ט' לחודש השנים עשר תשע"ג

Healthy Purim!

Saturday Night, 6:15 PM through Monday Night, 6:15 PM

10 ag' in Purim costume
We are committed to (doing the best we can to) putting at least one healthy item into the mishlo'ah manoth (edible gifts) to our friends this year.

Some suggestions...

Cooked items like meat and vegetables
Fresh fruit and vegetables
Homemade salads
Baked goods with organic ingredients, grains besides wheat, or other than white flours
Raw/enzyme-filled foods
Fruit juice
Anything that could be used at their se'udah (Purim Day meal)

Please spread the word, and invite your friends to this Facebook Event in order to show your support for a healthier Purim this year!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Going To The Physical Therapist In Israel

24 of the Fifth Month 5770

Two weeks ago, I started to develop a pain in my right quadricep. Over the next few days, it spread down to my shin, and up into my hip and lower back. It hurt so much that I only got a few hours of sleep two nights in a row.

I went to my doctor, and begged the receptionist to squeeze me in. She did. When the doctor examined me, he narrowed it down to “pre-disc problems” or “pre-diabetic problems.”

Well, that narrows it down, now doesn't it?! (sigh)

He gave me hafnayot (referrals/permission) for some blood tests and to see a physical therapist for an examination and treatment.

In the meantime, I found some relief with Paramol (Acetaminophen) and Advil Liquigels (ibuprofen).

When I went to make an appointment at my qupath holim (analogous to HMO), I found that it would only cost me a NIS 27 ($7.00) co-payment, which would cover me for up to four visits. (So is socialized medicine really that bad?)

The male physical therapist who recommended to me was not available until August. I asked the clerk to give me the soonest appointment possible with whoever was available. I did not care who it was with. They are all professionals. Just make the pain go away!!

The clerk gave me an appointment for two days later. It would have to do.

The physical therapist with whom I met interviewed me thoroughly. She asked if I wanted to speak in English. Usually, I would have said no. But, since I was so tired, both physical and emotionally (I'm a big baby, when it comes to pain!), I welcomed the opporunity to speak to her in English. As the meeting progressed, we ended up speaking in “half-n-half,” anyway.

As it turns out, she did not even have to touch me during the examination, not that I would have cared. She only had to look at my bare back while bending forwards, backwards, and sideways. She then said that, yep, it was a “wake up call.” And that now, I had the opportunity to do some work to prevent or at least limit any future problems.

Since I was feeling better, and that it was not the result of serious pain killers, she felt that my body was doing what it needing to do to heal itself. Thus, she did not feel that it was necessary to work on me. “If it's not broke, then don't fix it” were her exact words.

She taught me two exercises to perform everyday, and told me to return for an examination in two weeks. She was very patient with me and with my questions.

With the information she gave me, I walked away with some hope, and feeling a lot less anxious, even though I was still in pain.

Well, I hope this helps the next oleh (immigrant) who needs to tackle walk into his or her qupath holim to request an appointment. It is pretty much the same procedure to visit the eye doctor, dermatologist, dietician, or other specialist, as it is to see a physical therapist.

Now, I have to go do my exercises before I go to work!
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