Healing over the holidays
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April 18, 2011

Michael D. Fein Editor of the Gantseh Megillah

Shalom My Gantseh Megillah Family and Friends,

Passover has always been one of my favourite holidays because it is a time of joy and celebration. Our Jewish ancestors underwent massive changes during the original Peysakh period, not the least was freedom from slavery in Egypt.

The traditional Passover Seder is, for many, the highlight of the entire eight day festival. Many of the well known traditional delicacies represent events of the joyous holiday.  It is a pleasant bonus that the traditional treats are quite delicious to boot. I do, however, beg your indulgence by speaking of this Peysakh from a more personal perspective.

The biblical period for which the holiday is celebrated focuses on the lessons of the significance of Peysakh. Many important and urgent decisions were made hastily, and formed the traditions of the Jewish people. Most of these decisions were based entirely on our faith in G-d. It was during this period that the Ten Commandments were delivered to Moses by Hashem.

As many of you know, I have been dealing with a serious medical condition for over a year. On more than one occasion I questioned my ability to survive the ordeal. I am under the care of extremely well regarded specialists including a gastroenterologist, communicable disease doctor, and a specialist in both liver and kidney disease.

The nursing staff is second to none, and in my opinion, they are the true heroes of our Canadian National Health Care system. They work tirelessly with shortages of resources plaguing them every day. I was constantly put in the position of having to make serious choices concerning my care. Naturally, I had to rely on the information provided me by the medical staff; but the ultimate decision was always mine to make. I also relied heavily on Arnold who was by my side every moment. I fully realized however, that I was responsible for all the options open to me medically.

This brought to mind one particular miracle of Passover; the parting of the Red Sea thus permitting the Jews to cross out of Egypt with Pharaoh's army closely in tow. As we have been taught, once the Jewish people crossed the divided massive body of water, and Pharaoh's army began to cross over, miraculously the Red Sea closed and drowned the army of Pharaoh.

At times I felt as if I were facing the banks of the sea trying to decide what to do. This is where my inner faith, as with our ancestors, found the courage to make the difficult choices. I possessed an inner faith that told me all will be well if I rely on my belief in a higher power many of us refer to as G-d or Hashem. Although I am still going through a difficult and painful recovery, I am heading in a positive direction medically.

Yes, I am experiencing difficulties and pain, but due to my faith Arnold and I will be having a sweet Peysakh.

We wish you and your loved ones an equally sweet holiday; minus the medical aspect.

Much love to all of you,

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