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PREVIOUS JOURNAL ENTRY THAT WAS MISPLACED
Journal Entry by Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick — January 2, 2016
By Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick — last edited Dec 24, 2015
Dear Friends and Family,
So I just finished the first round of chemotherapy. For seven days in succession they inject you three time under the skin. Fortunately, I had no adverse reaction other than enormous surges of fatigue and difficulty falling asleep. Now I have three weeks until the next round of chemo and will, G-d willing not feel so weak. I do, however, need to go to the clinic every other day for blood work and platelet and blood transfusions.
The illness I have is MDS - Myelodysplastic Syndrome. It is a diverse bone marrow disorder in which the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy blood cells. Also referred to as bone marrow failure. You could probably google it to find out more. I however, hope that you use your precious time to pray on my behalf.
Once again, I don't know how to thank enough the many who have sent emails, cards, calls and food. I also thank those who are ardently working on a match for the Bone Marrow Transplant. May Hashem bless you all.
Above all, there aren't sufficient expressions of gratitude for my wife Nechie other than thanking G-d for listening to my Kvitel (written prayer) that I placed in the Kotel in August of 1968 on our first date at the Western Wall in Yerushalayim. Like then, I hope Hashem will continue to answer my prayers for good health and Arichat Yamim (long life)
His Child's Commentary & Lessons He Learned from Abba
Previous misplaced entry is the title. That is Abba. Honesty. And that is what made him a great humorist and funny person. That is what added to the genuineness that is the charisma that people to this day still visualize. An Emes. A truth.
Chemotherapy was a big thing for our family. We all showed up to it. Aunts, uncles. Our family doesn't waste an opportunity to be together for a Simcha. And here, we got free ginger ale and granola bars. That made my aunt happy.
'Surges of fatigue and difficulty falling asleep.' I get that every day. That's asides from the point. Regarding Abba and the lack of sleep, at least this time it wasn't my fault.
Abba is making chemotherapy and blood platelet transfusions sound easy. I was there. It was not easy. I had to get the drinks from the fridge. I had to get the Diet Coke and chips every evening. It really does make you tired. I had to fill up the ice cream bowl and bring it to Abba. The daily routine of chemotherapy is not that easy. I was very fatigued. I am extremely self-absorbed.
Instead of looking it up on Google, Abba wants people to pray. As a rabbi, you try to get people to pray. It doesn't happen. They're all on Google, trying to figure out why they didn't become a physician, and talking during services.
Abba wanted people to pray. What else do you want from them?! To pray and bring food. If they're not bringing food, then what else can they do?!
I hate when people ask me how somebody is doing, to find out they only want the information. Abba is telling people to do more than have a conversation about him. Though, you can't stop congregants from talking Lashon Hara about you.
I wish everybody took that lesson of prayer to heart. If you're asking genuinely, because you truly care and want to bring food, then ask and find out. If you're not bringing food, then pray.
I wish Abba would've mentioned food. At was at the house at this point, and people bringing Kugels and lox would've been appreciated. Very disappointing.
People asking about the illness for simple talking points truly bothers me, as a family member.
Let me get this off my chest: I got a call the other day from a guy asking for Tzedakah (charity). It was on Abba's phone. I kept Abba's phone number and I can tell you, once you're in Olam Haba (the world to come) they still ask you for money. The Shnurers and the organizations will still try to track you down. They're even sending my father calendars.
Abba ZT"L has been in Olam Haba for two and a half years. This past Rosh Hashana, he received twenty calendars. To note, I received not one. People already know they're not going to get any money out of me. And what happened to the books about rabbis and Megillahs? Have organizations decided that they should all send out calendars?
They send the calendars, just in case. H' can work miracles. Who's to say that they can't send money from Olam Haba. And would it not be a bad thing if Abba were to not know when Chanukah starts on the Jewish calendar in New York City?!
The Shnurer called because he thought Abba was in this physical world. I told him that he was in Olam Haba. He then went on to ask about my mother, in a rude way. He knew about Mom's aneurysm, which is why he probably gave my dad a break from Tzedakah. I could tell that the guy had received a lot from my dad. To end the call, after he got his information, he said, 'Interesting story.' It was the rudest interaction I had ever had. At least at the time I felt that way. I feel many interactions are the rudest. Yet, this was up there. A selfish person who only wanted money. He is not praying for anybody. He is just looking for money and a decent conversation piece. To him, it was just a story. The aneurysm and Abba's move to Olam Haba. Just a story.
At least he has a story now. When talking with his Shnurer friends at Kiddish, he might even have the Zechut (the honor) of having everybody's attention to tell them about the "RACHMANIS."
And for my Mom, the Shnurer didn't offer a Refuah Sheleyma. To him, it was just an interesting story and a let down, knowing that he might not get money from Abba. I am sure he will send Abba a calendar.
Now that I got that off my chest: People should be praying. That is what Abba is saying. Praying and/or helping. Abba appreciates the calls and the kindness expressed in emails, with a Refuah Sheleyma. I don't believe those calls, cards and emails ended with 'interesting story.'
And Abba thanks those who are doing something to find him a transplant. He isn't saying that he just appreciates prayer. I think Abba would rather the people trying to find him a transplant try to find him a transplant, and not pray that they go find him a transplant. Pray and find. Between us, if they were truly spiritual Gd fearing Jews they wouldn't look for a transplant; they would just pray.
He did not thank people who are using him, as they do anybody dealing with illness, as a conversation piece.
Abba is full of thanks. He was always thankful to people. He was always appreciative of people. Those two go together. When you appreciate other people you can truly be thankful. That's a lesson for you to share. Sometimes, I have profoundness to share.
The problem is that most people give me nothing to thank them for. Ever since they stopped bringing the food to the house, it's hard to find something to thank them for. The first month or so you get food. After that, you get a leftover rugulach every once in a while.
Abba always expressed appreciation, especially for the elderly and doctors. He was appreciative of people. That is probably why he was honest. Why he loved seeing them laugh. And where the charisma exuded from.
The Kotel story: Abba put a Kvitel (a note of prayer) in the Kotel to ask Gd that my mother should be his wife. As he told the story, he pushed the note in and my mother pushed it out from the women's side. Every time he pushed it in, my mom would push it on the other side and it would pop back out. If I delivered the story well, it would be funny. I am sure the Shnurer would botch it up. It's good I didn't tell him the Kotel story.
Abba wanted health and a good long life. I don't know if he got the longer life he was praying for at the time. Though, in this physical Olam, he lived every moment to the fullest. What he gave and continues to give this Olam is of a full long life.
I sleep a lot. That's how I pray for long life. I do very little and sleep. And before I go to sleep, I pray it will be a good long sleep. Abba was active and he gave to this Olam.
Abba lived this physical Olam to the fullest. A romantic, my Mom is the only one for him. He took everything as a blessing from Gd. And for all of that, his life continues. His long life continues.
You can't ask people to do something they can't. I will addendumize Abba's request, as I know you will look it up. Look it up on Google and pray.
***For an Aliyas Neshama for רב ישעיה בן יחזקאל זצ"ל and all the Tzadikim who made and continue to make this Olam a great life.
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Health and Healing
Humor, laughter and a positive outlook in the hard times. This includes Torah thoughts by Rabbi Kilimnick and humor from within.
With nursing facilities closed, this guy is trying to figure out why his kids are trying to break into the room, scoping it out. He's asking when his kids turned into a bunch of stalkers.
(Photo: The Guardian)