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Journal Entry by Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick — December 30, 2015
Once again I thank you all for participating in last night's match for bone marrow (drive. The outpouring of love was enormous) and I know it will lead to success. I think all those who have been involved and trust HASHEM'S guiding hand will find us a donor who will be able to share continued life.
His Child's Commentary & Lessons He Learned from Abba
Stats: 10 hearts. 14 comments. Hearts go down again. Possibly because they were at the bone marrow drive.
A lot of people thinking about Abba, Mommy and our family. They said 'we're thinking of you.' I hope they're not thinking how messed up I am. That would be messed up. They didn't define what they are thinking about us, so it has me thinking. I just hope they're thinking good stuff. Maybe they're thinking they should do a prayer. I'm not sure. I do know that they're thinking. Maybe it's a mathematical kind of thing where they have to think real hard. I don't know.
Many people have called. Some haven't. I am guessing that some haven't thought to call. I can tell you that my parents didn't get a call from them. Maybe they're thinking about calling. Maybe the concept of calling and how phones are amazing. That's probably what they're thinking of us.
Truth: everybody calling would be too much. It's tough to figure out whether it's better to get a call or a comment saying 'we're thinking of you.' Either way, there's a lot of love. However, if there's a call, there's a chance of conversation. At that point, people might stop thinking.
Not everybody could donate bone marrow, due to health, they offered other stuff. Peggy offered her hip, which was very kind of her. The bone marrow drive is about helping anybody that needs a bone marrow transplant. We shouldn't stop there. People need hips too.
People are still praying for a Refuah Sheleyma, a full recovery, as well as thinking about Abba.
From the comments, I can see they're sending love and thinking about sending love too. The only thing that bothered me is they told Abba 'we hope you find a match.' He's in a loving marriage with my mom. Just the thought that people would suggest that.
They also wished Abba strength. He needed that to deal with all the messages. There were the comments, then he got emails and phone calls. Then there was the answering machine. That takes a lot of strength.
The people showing up to the event was a testament to the loving and caring community. They said it was for my dad, but none of them were a match for him. I just pray they didn't show because of how much they like flanken (had to put that in).
From the comments, I learned that old people can't be bone marrow donors. At least it seems they can't be a match. Maybe that's because most of them are married. (I'm milking these puns today. Got the match and the bone marrow. Can't stop this kind of brilliant comedy.)
You try to help somebody and you end up helping somebody else. That's what bone marrow drives are for. I remember many of times where I have tried to help my friends in a fight, and they ended up getting hurt worse, by the other guy. I don't know if that is the lesson. However, when you put the idea of help out into the world, other people benefit.
You show up to the drive because you care about your friend. They take your blood and you hopefully get some ice cream. Then, they figure out if there's a match that can use your bone marrow. If there's a match, you show up for the procedure and you saved the life of somebody who is not your friend. Chances are that other person hates Jews.
You have to show up for the procedure. If you don't, you're not a donor, just a match. Which is why I don't think they should call it a drive, but 'possible donor day.' Otherwise, people think they've done their job by getting checked, and the recipient of the match is duped.
When you do selfless acts, they end up making there way somewhere else in the world. This is why I never tried to help too much. I didn't want the wrong people being helped. That was until I heard that it can also come back to help me.
By prayer, we learn in the Gemara that when you pray for others, you get answered first. Talmud Baba Kama 92a teaches, Raba said to Rabbah bar Mari: Where can we derive the lesson that our Rabbis taught us, that whoever prays for mercy on behalf of his friend, while he himself is in need of the same thing, he will be answered first? Rabbah bar Mari replied that we can derive that from the verse: (Iyov 42:10) “And god changed the fortune of Iyov (Job) when he prayed for his friends”. Raba replied to Rabbah bar Mari, You say it is from that verse, but I say it is from this verse: (Bereishit 20:17) “And Abraham prayed to God and God healed Avimelech, his wife and his maidservants and they bore children”, and immediately after that it says: (Bereishit 21:1-2) “And god remembered Sarah as he had said…and Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age”. (translation from jewishnews.com)
So, we see that there is a reason to pray for other people. I figured I would quote the whole thing so that you can pull out what you want to learn from it.
People apparently showed up to the drive. That's a positive. Kind of like when they donate to the shul in your honor, and you don't see the money.
The love and care was put out there. I hope this bone marrow drive helped people love and care more, and to make it a better world for somebody out there that we'll never meet. Even if they're praying to not be a match for somebody. It's a pain and the procedure is a whole process, and you miss work. Even so, it's still beautiful. They're praying.
'I think all those who have been involved and trust HASHEM'S guiding hand will find us a donor who will be able to share continued life.' 'Sharing' was the word. That person who donated the bone marrow, he was part of Abba's life. He shared in whatever Abba did. All the Mitzvot.
Abba had Hakarat Hatov, recognition of the kindness done for him. If you ever sat with Abba and a doctor, you would know this. Many doctors thought about quitting after seeing Abba. As one doctor said, 'I can't do work that helps people this much. There is too much appreciation. I need more animosity in my life. All of my enmity can't just come from my family.'
Abba only had upmost respect and appreciation for anybody who ever tried to help him, no matter how bad of a job they did. Even the guy who trimmed the hedges at a messed up angle, Abba showed him great appreciation. Being with my dad at hotels, it was the same. Abba had respect for all professionals that were trying to do good. They shared in life, even if that guy is still messing up people's gardens. And that life continues, even now that Abba is in Olam HaNishamot. Appreciation lives. And the guy is still messing up people's gardens, empowered by Abba.
'I know it will lead to success.' When you believe in HASHEM you understand that it is all for good. When people intend to do positive, it will be for good. You have to say that when working with community. The members of the shul mess up so many events and decent Kiddishes. They intend to do a decent Kiddish, and then they bring out gefilte fish balls.
There is trust that HASHEM will find the donor. The prayers, the thoughts, the donor information is out there. That's a success. As my grandma's generation taught me, 'success is about money.'
Abba's idea of success was life. As he always said, 'uBacharta baChaim,' choose life. He always chose life. He lived and chose life. And he had faith in life. He had faith that HASHEM would make it good. Every day was a chance to live. And we lived as religious Jews. We ate a lot.
Even when Abba was sick, he ate as much as he could. He enjoyed God's world and thanked God for it. That appreciation continues.
No matter how much Hakarat HaTov Abba had for people, he had much more for God. 'HASHEM'S guiding hand will find us a donor.' Abba always believed HASHEM makes the decisions. Not all the doctors liked hearing that. That part of Hakarat HaTov wasn't appreciated by the doctors of atheist lineage. They didn't like hearing that they were God's messenger.
As he would tell anybody else, 'Nobody knows God's calendar.' Not even the thousands of nonprofits that send us one every year.
These nonprofits must think we really like calendars in the Kilimnick household. Abba is still getting calendars from them. Even in Olam Haba Abba has to worry about Zmanim and giving his yearly donations to every Jewish organization.
Abba's faith lives on. The Jewish organizations know that.
Hakarat HaTov, and Emunah (faith), are the two messages here. They're the message of everything my father did. That and a sense of humor is Reb Shaya.
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)