Sometimes email is better
Dear Rabbi Zahavy,
I read with interest your response to “Mobile Mitzvah Man” (“Dear Rabbi Zahavy,” June 2). He wrote that he had a friend in the hospital to whom he had texted a get-well message. His wife and you both seemed to indicate that such a response did not constitute adequate fulfillment of the mitzvah of bikkur cholim.
I beg to differ somewhat. Nowadays, when someone is hospitalized, it is because they are very ill and/or in great pain. As a friendly visitor with the Teaneck Bikkur Cholim at Holy Name Hospital and the relative of people who have been hospitalized over the past year, I can tell you that many people in the hospital don’t necessarily want in-person visitors. Being in bed in a hospital gown (not the most modest clothing), often attached to medical paraphernalia, and legitimately often not in the most sociable mood, many patients would prefer quiet time. Often a text or email that can be read by the patient or to the patient can convey the sender’s wishes just as well. Phone calls/video calls/Skype can also be less intrusive but just as effective in letting the patient know that he/she is being thought of. In-person visits might be more welcome once the patient is home recovering.
I would recommend always checking with the patient or a close family member first to find out if an in-person visitor would be welcome.
Also, check to find out if there is a particular time that would be best for a visit.
The most important thing is to let the patient and his/her family know that you are thinking of them and that you wish him/her a refuah shelayma. How it is done should depend on the patient’s comfort level, not the well-wisher.
[EDITOR’S NOTE — Rabbi Zahavy responds: I do concur with you that the patient’s needs should always come first. Thanks for your good advice.]
More on Nathan Rapoport
I found it interesting that there was a yahrzeit service in memory of the sculptor Nathan Rapoport (“Yahrzeit service will honor sculptor of Liberty Park ‘Liberation’ monument,” June 2.) It is unfortunate that it was on the same day as the Salute to Israel Parade. The State of Israel issued a State Medal in 1995, called “Liberation” using the statue in Liberty State Park as the subject matter.
I first saw his work while on Kibbutz Yad Mordechai in 1961. By the water tower of the kibbutz is the larger than life statue commemorating Modechai Anielewicz, one of the commanders of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, who the kibbutz was named after. Many years later I saw the two monuments at Yad Vashem that are almost identical to those erected in Warsaw, commemorating the “Warsaw Ghetto Uprising” and the “The Last March.” There are other large works by him in other parts of Israel.
Mr. Rapoport sculpted many monumental works on exhibit in Israel as well as Poland and the United States.
Howard J. Cohn
Thank you, B.H.O.
Anyone can see at the Jewish Standard needs an enormous amount of help selecting worthy articles for publication.
I’ve read “ The Five Odd Moments From Trump’s Israel Trip “ by Joseph Dolstein/JTA wire service in your May 26, 2017 issue. Left wing prejudicial, and asinine are just the beginning of a list of adjectives that many of us apply to the material published on page 3. The focus is on trivia, and the bias against our President, Mr. Trump, is obvious. If Mr. Dolsten wants to inform your readers of real political events, he should write about how Mrs. Clinton stole the election from Bernie Sanders. How about writing that our former President, Barack Hussein Obama thinks that climate change is more evil that ISI, and that ISIS is a JV team. Why not write about how B.H.O. started the Affordable Care Act which is financially killing Americans. How about writing about how B.H.O. took millions away from Medicare for his A.C.A. How about B.H.O. freeing the murderous scum and FALN leader,Lopez Rivera .How about writing about the time that Obama whispered to Russian Prime Minister Medvedev, “I’ll be more flexible after the election.” Talk about collusion and anti-Americanism !!!
Many loyal Americans believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Saving this country from the left-wing radicals, Communists, Marxists, and the majority of Democrats is the number one reason the body of America voted for Mr. Trump to be our 45 President of these United States.
Barbara Ina Rosen