Ugly Room – Beautiful Time – Rabbi Barry Gelman

I had a very similar experience to the one described in this article. 

Almost a year ago my father suffered a massive heart attack and eventually underwent a triple bypass. Thank God he is doing well.

During his hospitalization and recovery from surgery, I, along with other family members, spent many days Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. 

Form the outset I was amazed at the work of the Satmar Bikkur Cholim who daily brought kosher food to a well stocked “Kosher Room” in the hospital. This included food for shabbat that was kept warm in a warming box in that special room. The room was not aesthetically pleasing, but it was beautiful in another way, in that it was a meeting place for Jews of all stripes, with one thing in common, a sick loved one. It offered comfort and the knowledge that we were not alone in our worry and concern. It was illness and that magical room that brought me, a Modern Orthodox Rabbi to share Seudah Shlishit with a Satmar Chassid and a Yeshivish women.

When there is common cause or concern, the differences based on details like what kind of kippah one wears or weather or not one is a zionist disappear. 

For me it served as a window into what could be if more Jews could be convinced to come together based on common cause rather than separate based on difference. 

I know it was just a moment in time, but it is moments like those that create big dreams.

 

 

 

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