Colors: Green Color

A few weeks ago, Dr. David Hurwitz, well-respected local pediatrician, returned from a trip to Israel and handed me an article that appeared in the April 25 edition of The Jerusalem Post. The article, written by Joshua M. Davidson, senior rabbi of New York’s renowned Reform Congregation Emanu-El, was titled “Separating Biblical Mythology from Biblical History.”

A week ago, I had the sad opportunity to be driven to the burial of one of the most amazing people that I had known, Mrs. Isabelle Cohen-Adler. As I said at her l’vayah, there probably will be no ArtScroll book written about her life, but her life was one of inspiration that would take volumes to capture. The greatest rabbis and spiritual leaders could not be as inspiring as her life was. She taught us how to take the most difficult situations and move on in life, with a smile.

Last week on Yom HaAtzmaut, our good friend and former KGH resident Moshe Markovitz spoke at Congregation Etz Chaim. Moshe gave a personal account of his very young days growing up as a child in the newly declared State of Israel in 1948. Although just a few years old at the time, his recollections remain vivid of the very day David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence, on Erev Shabbos as it were. The jubilation, the dancing in the streets, accompanied by the preparation for Shabbos, still swirl in the inner recesses of his mind.

This article is long overdue. The Orthodox community has been the focus of local and national news due to the high rate of measles unique to that community. See the front page of The Wall Street Journal (April 9 issue, this week) for a horrifying account of the extent of the disease and the deaths it can cause, G-d forbid. The reason for this elevation of the disease in Orthodox circles is simple. Many within the community refuse to vaccinate their kids against the disease, and some refuse to even vaccinate against dreaded diseases such as polio. Their stated reason is that it may cause autism or other life-altering illnesses. In addition, there are those who claim that our religion demands of us that we be extra cautious in preventing health-related calamities. Avoiding vaccines is one way of avoiding these calamities.

I love dogs. I always did. They are loyal, lovable, and make great companions. But what shall I tell you, I never owned one. The Torah tells us to reward dogs for their obedience during the Exodus from Egypt (Sh’mos 11:7 and 22:30). So I’m not sure why society has heaped scorn and derision on a dog. “He has a dog’s life; tired like a dog; looks like a dog, etc.” Yes, I know, there’s the “lucky dog,” but that’s because the dog is lucky.