A Dying Father's Last Message about Love

Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski's secret to a successful marriage.

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Comments (5)

(3) Charlie Asher, July 6, 2017 3:56 PM

A respectful disagreement.

No doubt everyone should judge others with a sympathetic heart, doubly so at the end of their lives. But are we really to celebrate someone's decision to accept futile, painful, and expensive medical care to satisfy loved ones' vain wishes? Treating appreciatively both G-d's gift of life and G-d's decision to withdraw life seems offended by this, so an allusion to the economic realities of medicine may seem out of place. But, patient care is not unlimited, estimates are that we spend one-third of our medical resources on end-of-life "care" that is often medically pointless, and these decisions contribute directly to the unavailability of necessary medical care for many indigent children and adults. Wouldn't even this family itself have been better served by a genuinely spiritual, rather than medically fantastical, response to its circumstances? With all respect, I find this a badly misguided patient decision--and even a worse message on what the rest of us should copy or celebrate.

Joanne S. Asher, July 9, 2017 8:58 AM

another perspective

Rov Twersky z"tl made his decision very many years ago. This is a very old story, though the essential message about the meaning of love rings true for all time. The medical costs then were extremely different from what they are today. Today, if such a situation were to arise again, a competent Rov would have to be consulted; for our lives are not ours to begin or to end. I heard President Obama say that the elderly have lived long enough and "now it is our turn." That is not, I am sure, a Torah perspective. Check out the organization Chayim Aruchim to see what horrific decisions are being made in the name of saving money for the medical establishment.One has to be constantly vigilant and consult da'as Torah always.

Charlie Asher, July 10, 2017 2:24 AM

Many thanks, Joanne.

You have my sincere thanks for your reply, Joanne. I can't say it has changed my vantage, but I will certainly give more thought to what you've written and recommended.

(2) Bracha Goetz, July 4, 2017 4:07 PM


(1) Anonymous, July 4, 2017 2:34 PM

Rav Yaakov Weinberg, זצ''ל, Rosh HaYeshiva of Ner Yisroel, only underwent treatment so that other people would. He knew it would not help him but he never wanted anyone to say, "Rav Weinberg did not take treatment, so I will not." This is what is called being a Rav and a Rosh Yeshiva is about.- it is not about myself but k'lal Yisroel.


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