Squeeze My Hand: An Inspiring Yom Kippur Message

A true story about a father who refused to give up on his child.

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“I’m calling from Lenox Hill hospital. You must come right away. Your son, Jonathan, was in a very serious accident.” It was the call every parent dreads getting in the middle of the night. For Jacob Bauer, the rest of the conversation was a total blur. He and his wife, Lisa, rushed to the hospital.

The 25-minute drive felt like hours. They were ushered into the room where their child, so vibrant and full of life just hours earlier, now lay listless. Dr. Michal Strauss, the neurological specialist, informed them of their son’s prognosis. The pressure on his brain as a result of the accident caused severed swelling and the CAT scan showed that there was bleeding as well.

Jacob held strong in his hope, but Lisa was falling apart. The days came and went and there was still no improvement. Their other children encouraged Jacob to go home to get some rest, but he refused. He insisted that his son would recover.

The days turned into weeks and then weeks into months, and it became more and more apparent that that Jacob’s hopes were nothing more than a desperate father’s dream.

Five months since the accident and there was still zero improvement. Jonathan’s siblings began to discuss with their parents the possibility of taking their brother off life support. Although their love for him was boundless, they knew there was no hope.

After speaking with the doctors, Jacob was convinced that it may be time to say goodbye to Jonathan. The following week, Lisa, Jacob and their children came to the hospital. One by one, they spent a few minutes saying their final farewells. After each of the children and their mother had their time alone with Jonathan, it was Jacob’s turn.

He walked into the room as he had every day for the past 5 months. He sat down next to his son’s bedside and said, “Jonathan, I am going to hold your hand and I need you to squeeze it if you can hear me. Okay?” No response.

“Jonathan, if you don’t squeeze my hand, they are going to pull the plug. I am going to ask you one last time and then I’m going to need to leave. If you can hear me, please squeeze my hand.”

Jacob waited for what felt like an eternity and still nothing. His heart sank in devastation as he slowly began to release his hand. And then suddenly, he felt it…

He wasn’t sure if it was real or was his mind playing tricks on him. “Jonathan was that you?!” he desperately pleaded with his son to squeeze again. Jacob felt it. Over and over again. It was a faint and slight squeeze, but it was real. He was responding!

Jacob frantically pressed the red button above his son’s bed with tears streaming down his cheeks. “Nurse! Doctor! He’s responding! He’s alive!!”

Three months later, a father who refused to give up hope wheeled his son out of Lenox Hill hospital.

All year long, the Almighty waits patiently by our side, waiting for us to connect with Him, come close to Him and to call out to Him in our time of need. He waits until the very last moment, as we arrive at Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year. The day where the gates of Heaven are open and we are able to connect with God on a deeper level than any other day of the year.

As we approach Yom Kippur, God refuses to give up on us and asks us one last time to squeeze His hand if we can hear Him. From the depths of our souls, we finally respond, “Yes! We hear you and we beg you to never leave our side!”

Comments (5)

(5) Kamal Mootilal, September 29, 2020 3:17 PM

Thanks You For Sharing this has given me Hope

Reading this story has given me the courage to go on hoping I would be reunited with my children again, whom I have lost through Parental Alienation from a divorce. Please pray for my children.

(4) Anonymous, September 27, 2020 1:22 PM

Truly inspiring

Gd bless the Bauer family

(3) Ayobola, September 27, 2020 11:57 AM

Thank You Hashem For Believing In Me

B”H ... A beautiful inspirational account awakening my soul to Hashem’s deep Fatherly love - Thank you.

(2) Bracha Goetz, September 25, 2020 9:46 PM


(1) Maria Dodoc, September 25, 2020 8:31 AM

Thank You!


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