Thursday, September 21, 2006

My Dad made the List Everyone is Dieing to be on!

Sorry about the cheesy pun, but with such heavy topics, sometimes even very bad humor is called for.

So, this New Year brings with it good news and a new nikkuda (point) of hope. My father (thank G-d) has been approved for a Heart Transplant and has been added to the coveted transplant list. He's not near the top, but he's on it.

The issue is that he has a rare blood type and he's in better shape than a lot of other people who simply need it more (for that I'm thankful). His expected wait time is 18-20 months, but you never know with transplants.

In the mean time though he waits. It's clear though that his heart can't make that wait on it's own. His doctors have told him that he will require a surgical procedure within the next month or two. The lead option right now is for him to get a LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device), which will assist his heart in performing its daily functions until the transplant finally takes place.

So... Thanks again to everyone who continues to pray on my fathers behalf. (His name again is Baruch Matan HaLevi ben Miriam.)

May we all be blessed with a new year of health, happiness, simcha, and brachot. Shana Tovah! (Good 'New' Year!)

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Little Less Controversy

We all need a little less controversy in our lives. And, I've just recieved it. After much discussion with my yeshiva we've decided not to out source me to UTJ/ITJ for Gemara. [See older post Here] No politics. Just reality. Let the learning begin!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pondering the "What If's"

Half a year ago, if I'd been asked what I'd be doing right now, I would probably have said unpacking. And while, sure enough, I'm still in the midst of unpacking and settling into my new apartment, it is very far from where I thought I'd be.

See, yesterday (Sept. 5th, 2006) was supposed to be the day I was going to be making Aliyah with Nefesh B'Nefesh. Today would have been my first real day in Israel after a long, 2+ year, hiatus. And this time, it would have been permanent.

While an in depth reading of my blog would provide any reader out there with a cursory over view of the why and how I ended up in NYC instead of in my heart's home land (in so much detail as I'm willing to share in a public forum), what it cannot do is provide an adequate picture of the various emotions, thoughts, and inexpressible non-tangibles that I'm currently experiencing.

So too, while I truly believe that it is Yad Hashem (the hand of G-d) that moved me from my previous path onto the one I walk now, and while I'm thoroughly convinced that although my heart is still clearly etched in Israel, I acknowledge the overbearing reality that my Avodah (work and mission in this world) is here, non of these thoughts are enough to overcome the tinge of sadness that creeps up within me as I long to be Home (in Israel).

There are many things that I know I should count as brachas (blessings) that I'm still in the States, and possibly even in the city. Even today, I had the opportunity to join up with my father who is undergoing another round of tests at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, to provide him with the support, encouragement, presence, and physical hug, that I can tell he needs so much right now. G-d is constantly providing me little insights into why it is so important that I must be where I am right now. Yet, all of this too is not enough to keep me from thinking about what could have been.

In the end, I suppose this is just human nature. I'm under the impression that these feelings will quiet, and all but disappear with time. But with the passage of the moment that I'd viewed and longed for as a moment of redemption for so long, I'm also afraid of the implication that forgetting these feelings would imply. In a way, the sadness I feel keeps me connected, and severing that connection would be a fate much worse then sadness. Im Eshkachaich Et Yerushaliem - If I forget the Oh Jerusalem, while I certainly pray that day should never come.

**An update as to my father's (Baruch Matan HaLevi Ben Miriam) status:

Today was the middle of a 3 day marathon of tests that my father is currently undergoing. The initial surgery idea is almost entirely out. There were some new complications (medical stuff I didn't really understand or catch) that changed the odds of success for his surgery to some pretty intolerable levels. Once again, Thanks to G-d (and to all those who've continued to pray to him on my father's behalf) must go out, as, if he'd had the surgery when originally scheduled, the absence of this new information could have been fatal. Hashem YeRacheim (G-d Show's his mercy).

The barrage of tests he's currently undergoing stretch the gambit, even including substance screening and mental stability evaluations, as the board in charge of Transplants will be evaluating his status of eligibility and if eligible, where he will fall on the transplant list. They're also starting to explore temporary solutions like pacemakers that he can use in the interim while waiting for a transplant, should he be placed lower on the list and need to wait for a long time. The hope is that any surgery procedure will take place within the next month and a half so that his condition will cease its slow, but ever constant deterioration.

In theory, after the test results and board decision come back, he could be placed high on the list, and then if a compatible donor organ can be found he could already have a transplant completed by the end of the month. In reality though, it will probably be a much longer process, and I need to prepare myself for that mentally. Either way, I suppose it is good in the end that I can be here for him in his time of need. Maybe we can finally build the relationship we were never able to have while I was growing up absent of his presence. For now, we're going to take things one step at a time, and hope and pray for the best.

**In a interesting twist of fate, the google adsense ads at the top of my blog actually proved useful. Here is a link for the Heart Transplant Page at Colombia Presbyterian. It's actually full of helpful information, and explains a lot of things better then I ever could hope to do.