This website with e-magazine is now 11 years old! Eleven years of sharing life, love and sorrow, our struggles and our victories. Expressed in the articles that women, some through their tears, have written. And given to us all to read. The Eternal has our lives in His Hand. I recently read an article by Rabbi Blech. He wrote about the bad news, that is a good friend of his. This friend had a long time with cancer.
His physician told him that he had no more than two weeks to live. The friend was scared because of this report. and Rabbi Blech experienced this as a personal tragedy and wanted to search this situation from a Jewish perspective. He says that doctors should not allow themselves to speak as prophets, and prophesy a person’s death and lifetime, and when and how we will die. A physician may say that a situation is serious and there is a chance of healing, but a doctor has to leave it there.
Talmudic studies indicate that a person may not enter the area of the Eternal in connection with predicting the life span of a person. The Torah has told us about healing, “He must see to it that the person is healed” (Exodus 21:19). According to Rabbi Blech, the Eternal has a partnership with the Eternal as partner and life harmed. Doctors could make a diagnosis but they should not cause despair.
In the eighties I have had left-sided paralysis symptoms and the diagnosis was a TIA and I would die within five years with a stroke. For a year I had a foot that did not work well and I was afraid because of the internist’s statement: within five years you will have a stroke. I thought that was a terrible thought and together with the Eternal I fought against it for a number of years. Nothing happened fortunately! This is an example of my own life and I see Rabbijn Blech’s explanation in this way. My internist went too far and he could have given me good advice for his moves, but he did not give me that!
Rabbi Blech shows that predicting a rapidly approaching death can fall outside the realm of a true prophet. He quotes texts, II Kings 20:1-5 and Isaiah 38:1-5, Isaiah tells King Chizkiahu (Hezekiah) that he is going to die from the spiritual illness he suffers. Hezekiah prays the Eternal in great distress and weeps bitter tears. Isaiah is sent back by the Eternal to tell Hezekiah: “I have seen your love and your tears, I will heal you.” The Eternal One has our lives in His Hand; He has the last word and He sees our tears!
Let us choose for life and for the G-d who gives life!
Elze Erwteman, editor-in-chief