7th Candle: Miracles of Medicine

This seventh installment of my Chanukah musings won’t contain a comparison of a Rabbinic and philosophic text, though, for me, it has a very strong symbolic meaning.

My home if full of medical equipment. I have mentioned this before (like when writing about why I think that poskim who discourage ultrasound are being irresponsible; I guess that theme has some overtones apropos of Chanukah), but my oldest child, about 5 years old, was born with some very severe medical issues. Last week, she underwent a minor surgery to close a gastrostomy that was necessary until relatively recently, when she began taking enough food orally. Most of the equipment that we’ve accumulated over the years is related to the g-tube, its maintenance, cleanliness, and how to move food through it. The ADDeRebbetzin and I should be able to skip a year or two of med school should we ever choose to become ADDoctors. One item in particular that we have many of and really made extensive use of is syringes. Any size or shape, we’ve got ‘em.

Well, this evening, I ran out of the little pre-filled glasses of oil (I save from year to year, so there’s no telling what I’ve got when). I had a bunch of empty ones, but couldn’t figure out how to get the oil into the little hole in the metal glass-covers. The ADDeRebbetzin suggested using one of the now-superfluous syringes, which worked like a charm. I know that there’s a custom to recycle items that were used for one mitzvah for another (I roast my hadassim after Sukkot and use them for besamim year-round), but this application of the principle was a very meaningful one.

and I will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks…”

Baruch she-hecheyanu ve-kiyemanu ve-higi’anu la-zeman ha-zeh
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