In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 18, 2012/ 2 Mar-Cheshvan, 5773

The other side of the emergency room curtain

By John Kass

John Kass

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) When you're in the ER alone, do you ever listen to what happens on the other side of the curtain? And afterward, what do you tell yourself about what you've heard?

"Just wait," said the nurse.

The doctor will be with me shortly, I joked.

She gave me one of those hard, tight and polite smiles. Her face was thin, there was a tiny tattoo on her neck and she looked exhausted, like a mom with too many kids.

Is it busy?

"Oh, yes," she said. "We're extremely busy."

She pulled the curtain closed and was gone.

It was just past noon, and outside there was a high blue sky. The sun was warm. It was one of the last great afternoons of the year, too fine a day to be inside behind that curtain.

It was a day to sit in a park and watch the leaves, like those in the red maples, and other trees still in green, still holding on. A day to walk the dog in a field and kick up some birds, a day for children chasing a ball on grass, a day to watch the light change on the skyscrapers on the river. It was not a day for ER curtains.

What brought me there wasn't serious. It was a stupid, really, a stupid thumb, infected just behind the nail. I tried dousing it with iodine - the way we'd medicate our cuts when we worked in the butcher shop. But it kept swelling and finally it was like a ridiculous baby eggplant on my hand.

When you're behind the curtain with someone you care for, your spouse or a child, family or friend, you care nothing for what's outside those curtains. The universe is right in there with you. Your child is ill. There is only time for prayer and bargaining with G0D.

Yet when you're alone, and there's nothing really wrong except for a ridiculous thumb, you can listen to the monitors, and staff chatting quietly, a cough, a laugh. But you can't see anyone.

Then I heard the woman. She wasn't old and she wasn't young, but that's all I could tell of her.

"Oh, no. Oh, oh, no!" she screamed. "G0D, O G0D, no!"

And it went on, across the room, on the other side of those brown curtains.

"G0D! G0D! G0D! G0D!" she yelled. "O G0D."

I didn't want to listen, but I couldn't help it, and she went on for some time, long minutes and minutes more. I could hear staff members talking to her softly. Then more sobbing.

She tried to catch her breath. It was violent. It was the worst sound of all, that poor woman trying to gulp down some air, and anyone who heard it surely must have prayed for her. O Lord, help her, I said out loud, alone, as she sobbed.

If you're old enough - or if you've been hurt by sudden loss when you were young - you can remember that gulping in your own mouth, when breath is denied you, when someone you loved crossed over. At first I thought of my mom in an ER with my dad at the end, but then I began thinking of all the wives and husbands in a place like that, all the parents and children and friends and siblings and comrades, all those who've lost someone, and who tried to find air to scream.

If you live long enough, then you know the sound of it.

"O G0D," she said on her side of the curtain. O Lord, I answered, softly, on mine.

After a time, her sobs faded. They must have taken her to that little room off to the side. If you've been in that little room - and all hospitals have one - I'm sorry for you too.

We're told the little room is for privacy, but at that moment privacy doesn't concern us, for we are oblivious. The little room is where they herd us off to be contained and administered to. It is the room where the priest comes, the room where they give us the bad news.

After her voice disappeared, life in the ER returned. I could hear two staffers continue their discussion of presidential politics. A nurse laughed. Someone pushed a cart with a bad wheel.

After a time, the ER doc came in. He was quick and sure with his scalpel, and then he cleaned the thumb, slapped on antibiotic and wrapped it in gauze. When he finished, I asked:

How do you take it?

"Take what?" he said, examining the dressing.

That woman who was sobbing. Things like that.

"Another doctor handled it," he said.

But what does it do to you?

"You have to keep emotional distance," he said. "But not too much. Enough to do your job. And, yes, you do feel it."

On the way out, there was an ambulance driver in a chair, a short, heavy man, and pale, with dark circles under his eyes. I asked him too.

"Sometimes, new people come on the job. After a week or so, they just can't take it," he said. "But some get through it, and they can do the work."

But how do you deal with it?

"You don't," he said. "You just do the job. Then you go home."

I stood there for a second.

"Go home," he said.

Outside, the sun was still high in that blue sky. And the wind shook its fists in the trees.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.


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