Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Nice Kiddush HaShem

This video was telecast Friday night on NBC5 during its late night (10:00 PM CST) newscast. It is refreshing to see something like this broadcast in a major media market like Chicago. Unfortunately I could not watch it live since it was Shabbos. But it has been uploaded to YouTube. Two schools are featured, Arie Crown Hebrew Day School and JRC/Solomon Schechter Day School… although 13 schools are involved.

It is a sort of Chanukah ‘Toys for Tots’ organized by the Chai Lifeline branch here in Chicago. Chai Lifeline is a national Orthodox Jewish service agency dedicated to making the lives of seriously ill Jewish children better. They are currently involved in a project to collect and distribute toys for Chanukah to the children they serve. It is truly a Kiddush HaShem to watch. You may recognize the name of one of the Arie Crown children who volunteered for the project. He is interviewed near the end video. Elisha Kirshner is my grandson and Reuven’s older brother.

A bit of an update about Reuven:

I am pleased to report that Reuven’s tumors are shrinking. And there have been no new tumors detected.

If there is any doubt as to whether prayer combined with Hishtadlus is of any value, this should help dispel it. Reuven’s disease, Ewing’s Sarcoma, is a very aggressive cancer. It grows very quickly. And although it responds to chemotherapy – it has not been able thus far to eliminate the tumors permanently. We have been very disappointed that even after very aggressive chemotherapy his tumors have not been eradicated and have in the past even increased in size and in number. Thankfully Reuven was never in any immediate mortal danger from those tumors but if they had continued to grow, he easily could have been.

Reuven has been receiving a steady regimen of oral chemotherapy along with a restricted diet consuming only food specially prepared and designed to choke off cancer cells. Perhaps most importantly he has been receiving a steady diet of prayer from around the world from literally thousands upon thousands of people who are praying for his complete recovery.

The bottom line is that it all seems to be working. In two successive x-rays, his tumors he have been reduced slightly in size and no new tumors have been detected. And Reuven feels good to boot. Thank God. Ken Yirbu.

As the doctors at Children’s Memorial Hospital have told my daughter Tovi, Reuven’s mother, whatever it is you are doing - keep doing it! I agree and I ask that people continue to keep Reuven ben Tova Chaya in their prayers.