Donating a kidney taught me the importance of appreciating your good health.

Comments (25)

(25) Aliza Miriam, February 11, 2015 12:07 AM

Ever eloquent, positive, and gracious--Lori Palatnik says it all without wasting a word!

Ever eloquent, positive, and gracious--Lori Palatnik says it all without wasting a word!

(24) Anonymous, April 12, 2008 9:19 PM

Todah Rabah

Thank you very much for your teaching. My best friend recently died of ovarian cancer, and during the progress of her disease her blood vessels and intestinal track became increasingly blocked. It made me appreciate the Asher Yatzar blessing in a way that I had never had before. I feel that your teaching captured the importance of this blessing beautifully. Thank you for the work you do, and your generosity.

(23) Sharon, March 22, 2008 10:24 PM

Saying Atzer Yotzar and being a Nurse

I am a R.N. in a nursing home. One time, I came out of the bathroom, started to say Atzer Yotzar. My non-Jewish supervisor started to speak to me, calling me. I ignored her once, twice, and finally she imploring called my name. I turned towards her so that she could see my lips moving, but not hear me. When I was done, I explained to her that when we come out of the bathroom, we thank G-d that our bodies work the way they are supposed to. "You're a nurse" I said. "you've seen people with holes and tubes where they don't belong. Aren't you grateful that your body works the way it's supposed to?"
I'm not sure if she "got it" but she heard me.

(22) Sarah Israel, March 17, 2008 6:40 AM

You are amazing.

You really amaze me. It makes me cry just to think how much love God has put in you!
I love you! Sarah

(21) B. Zalman, March 14, 2008 4:38 PM

You too can be a holy hero!

It's a wonderful gift to be thrown into this mundane material world for a few short years in order to make improvements to the world and to our own souls. Saying brachas is a basic component of the traditional expression of Jewish thankfulness for all of the various manifestations of this gift. "Asher Yatzar" is one great bracha! (one might make a case for it being the "bracha of brachas")

You know, for those who are not as up front giving and heroic as Mrs. Palatnik, and who may not be willing to part with a vital organ, there still is a great way to contribute. Sign up for the national bone marrow registry, and have your blood tested for compatibility [HLA typing]. You then may be called to donate bone marrow to someone who needs a bone marrow transplant. Whereas one cannot replace a donated kidney, whatever bone marrow they donate is rejuvenated and there is no long term loss, only the gain of helping to save someone else's life. It's a total win-win situation - you give something that you don't really lose and get to possibly save someone's life. Since the bone marrow donor gives that which is directly responsible for saving the life of the recipient, I suspect that the donor gets a major part of the credit for the "save".

Saying brachas and saving lives………………the same tradition that gave us the bracha of "asher yatzar" also gave us the Talmudic dictum...."one who saves a life it is as if he has saved an entire world".

Say brachas! Save lives!

(20) ariel lehrer, March 14, 2008 8:24 AM

blessings are not thanks

While we definitely have a lot to be grateful for and owe many thanks to Hashem for everything we receive from Him, including our health, blessings are not a "thank you"

The literal translation of "Baruch atah Hashem" is Hashem may you be increased. We are asking that Hashem's presence be increased in this world. We are asking that the pipeline that allows us to receive remain open and continuing to flow. We are partnering with G-d in maintaining the continued constant creation that happens every instant that allows us to continue to exist. But we are not saying thank you.

Gratitude is extremely important, but the two ideas should not be mixed up.

(19) Anonymous, March 14, 2008 6:53 AM

almost live

i love your adorable outlook on life..thank you for all you do to keep us on our toes and keep reminding us to keep doing and keep going and not to ever stop thanking HASHEM for all HE has given us!
i just dont like the LORI.."ALMOST LIVE" are so alive and so bright anytime of day..think about a new expression!!please!

(18) Rose, March 14, 2008 1:13 AM

To IBS sufferer #12

I have also experienced similar symptoms. Assuming there are no physical blockages casuing your IBS, you may have an intolerance to milk. You may not know it, however. A milk intolerance can show up as either constipation or the opposite. Other symptoms can be nasal congestion, headaches and even heart palpitations. If you are willing to try giving up all milk products for at least two weeks you will notice a big difference. Milk is sometimes hard to find on labels, as it is often labeled as whey or a lactase derivitive. In addition to prune juice, increase your 100% whole wheat fiber products, (assuming you can east wheat)fruits with skins and drink lots of water.

Did you know that you can even get 100% whole wheat matzah for Pesach? Also try to get at least 20-30 minutes of excercise at least every other day, like brisk walking. If this change in diet helps, it is a pretty good bet that milk is the culprit. If it is, you will need to get your calcium from other sources.

Good luck!

(17) A, March 13, 2008 10:15 PM

yes, they laughed at me too 'talking to myself' after the bathroom!

I just learned the Yasher Atzar in the last year, around March of 2007... my family rolled their eyes & giggled away, until July 1st, when my 61 year old healthy brother-in-law suffered a sudden & massive internal rupture and died within hours! Not even 4 months later my own 85 year old mother, a 'tough old girl' suffered the same but slow rupture and died 5 days later. NO ONE LAUGHS at our beautiful Jewish blessings anymore. They back off when they see me saying brachas and actually wait for me to finish.
Last sunday I flicked the t.v. on for a few minutes, there was the famous Dr Wayne Dwyer promoting positive affirmations to heal your life, and he emphasized 'the minute I put my feet on the floor when I wake up I say Thank you G-d for today' (sound familiar?), the interviewer was promoting 'eastern thought patterns' and asserting 'we don't have that in the west'; OH YES we do, we have it all right here, in Judaism. Let's just take a look at it. Check out our morning blessings, check out the Zohar for self healing (check with your Rabbi first!)
Dr Dwyer's tape was the 1st one ever to be given to me 17 years ago, I began my journey forward to self improvement & growth, but thought 'before I go shopping for a faith' what does Judaism have to say? who is this Dwyer guy anyway? what do I really know about judaism? before investing so much time in shopping around, I used that time to find out how Judaism can help me.
No shopping required.

(16) Anonymous, March 12, 2008 3:57 PM

To Anon sufferer of chronic constipation

I went through a temporary period with symptoms similar to what you describe, and I feel your agony.

I remember spending hours (literally) trying to take care of needs, to no avail. I remember the pain, which often ended with me crying helplessly in the bathroom. I cried for someone to bring me hot tea, prune juice, anything, but little helped. The pain, the frustration, and the exhaustion of the efforts left me weak.

To hear that you are going through this on a long term basis makes me ache in pain for you. I give you a brachah that your medical issues resolve and allows you to be pain-free, symptom free, healthy in all ways and happy.

(15) Elissa Grunwald, March 12, 2008 3:39 PM

Dear Lori and Shoshana

As I was listening to your amazing story, I was thinking about a roomate, Shoshana who had told me all about her donating a kidney while I was 15 at Bar Ilan University summer program. Her bravery and verbal experience and kindness has stayed with me till today. Shoshana is that really you?....You were in the Israeli Philharmonic and I had tried for years to find you..and have though of you often. I still have the 3 dimensional origami paper art you made for me with the notes of music.
Thank You Lori for your always uplifting and totally inspiring words and may you be blessed with good health to continue touching the world with your heart, words and bitachon.
Thank You Hashem for the wonders of the body and best wishes to you and your families. Elissa

(14) shoshanna fachima, March 12, 2008 8:31 AM

kidney donor

back in the summer of 1982 i donated my kidney(right one) to a friend,and the experience was the most uplifting,inspiring,and wondrous of my kidney saved a precious jewish life and i gained a new brother,my kidney case was a world "first,and was widely publicized in the papers,t.v.,and radio. my kidney brother was my shadchan and found the best husband in the world Baruch HaShem.every one can donate a kidney and save a life.this is one of the great wonders of HaShem.all the best from shoshanna fachima(nee rosner)

(13) sharona, March 11, 2008 10:29 PM

great message

(12) Anonymous, March 11, 2008 7:07 PM

Being Thankful

2 1/2 years ago, shortly before Rosh Hashana, I had my first colonoscopy. I was nearly 49 years old and my doctor had reason to suspect a problem. The test revealed polyps, but Thank G-d, they were removed and I have had no further problems of that kind. After I received that clean bill of health, I decided that the new mitzvah I would take on in that coming year was to say Asher Yatzar after using the bathroom. The colonoscopy experience opened my eyes to the important daily functions of our bodies that I had taken for granted. I continue to say the brachah regularly. Especially when I hear of others in ill health, I say it with even greater intention. What a miracle it is that our intricate body can function in so many complex ways. Thank you Hashem!

(11) Anonymous, March 11, 2008 5:58 PM

Blessings to you...

and thank you for giving the gift of life.

(10) Paul, March 11, 2008 5:49 PM


Dear Lori,

Wow, donating a kidney, that is something.
Best of health to you.


(9) Jay, March 11, 2008 5:00 PM


thank you so much Lori for giving us this reminder 2 remember 2 say thank you after we come out of the bathroom. many of us (and sometimes even myself) just mumble the blessing but don't even acknowledge what we are saying. Now b/c of ur reminder and insight i will try 2 take your insight 2 heart and think when I'm saying the blessing. Thank you again!

(8) Anonymous, March 11, 2008 9:47 AM

As usual, you're plain and simple but to the point. You aptly remind us of all we have to be grateful for. Thanks

(7) Anonymous, March 10, 2008 10:07 PM

your insights are great

I enjoy your insights and wisdom that you share. Although,this is not related to your blessing topic,I would love to hear your consoling words of wisdom about the terrible terror attack on the young boys and men from yeshivat Merkaz Harav. I personally do not know any of the victims,but I feel a overwhelming amount of sorrow as I'm sure all of us do. As a observant Jew, unfortunately I'm finding it's shaking my emunah,I'm struggling to see how this all fits in to the Ultimate plan.

(6) G.M. Grena, March 10, 2008 8:20 PM

Her Royal Highness

One of the things Queen Esther is famous for is her response to the rhetorical line, "Who knows whether you've come to the kingdom for this time?" Thank you, Lori, for coming to our kingdom each week! If I believed in reincarnation, you'd definitely pass for Queen Esther!

(5) Anonymous, March 10, 2008 2:56 PM

How true this observation is.

As a sufferer of most of my life with chronic constipation, due to IBS, I agree with you whole heartedly. I have a hard time to go the bathroom, even sometimes being in so much pain, that I almost faint, or pass out. If you never take the time of really studying this wonderful Bracha Asher Yatzar, you will and can't really understand the wonder and beauty of our religion and Hashem's wisdom. Be grateful every time you are able to void, get rid of your body's waste without difficulty, having to take medications, or wasting valuable in the bathroom, sometimes without result. May all of us have a speedy Refuah Shleima, and appreciate Hashem's gift to us of a healthy body. Anonymous

(4) Anonymous, March 9, 2008 5:35 PM

B'H I've always been healthy, but my father is a urologist, and as a child I used to tag along with him when he went to see patients. I've seen countless people on dialysis, catheters, ureter stents, and all of them struggle so painfully simply to relieve themselves. My father always made sure we said asher yatzar with the utmost concentration, for although going to the bathroom seems mundane, trivial, and even comes with its own jokes, it is a privilege from God that most of us can do so without a second thought, unlike all those people who need to go through the pain of dialysis just so that their blood doesn't become poisoned from waste. It really is an amazing bracha, and everyone- even if you don't know a urologist-should appreciate it.

(3) Chaim, March 9, 2008 4:00 PM

Mental health

I suffer from bipolar mood disorder and one thing that it has made me aware of is the importance of gratitude to Hashem for the gift of being who you are-your personality,your awareness,your enthusiasm,your emotions and insight are a wondrous gift of Hashem.

(2) Mitchell Goldberg, March 9, 2008 12:31 PM

Wow, what a gift !

I've always loved your wise words and now I love you even more.
I Thank Hashem many times a day for the gifts and blessings I continually receive.
What a gift you have given of yourself. I am blown away.

(1) Hena, March 9, 2008 8:55 AM

The basics

Having a friend with a colestomy problem I was made aware of how wonderous our bodies are. Yes, I thought I always appreciated life, but becoming aware of how thankful I should be to HaShem for the basics provided me with the realization that every healthy moment of our corporal lives is a blessing. I know of no other faith that makes a prayer of thanks at such a time when life's basics can be taken for granted. How blessed we are.


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