May Message from Rabbi Louis Zivic D.D.

Chronic pain is a terrible affliction. Many of you who are reading this, suffer from it as I do. No one can measure the depths of another’s pain. Arthritis wasn’t called the “miseries” for no reason. Medicine has made strides forward to help with chronic pain; there are medications, physical therapy, exercise, joint replacement and other treatments that help even though it may only be for a short time.

Distraction, getting involved in something to take one’s mind away from the pain can also be an excellent anodyne. I use Torah study as a way of taking my mind from my arthritic woes of my back to the glory of God and the generations of rabbis that have come before me. I remember seeing the inside of a Torah scroll as a young boy. Remember the instant attraction that I felt for those deep black letters in shapes that I had not yet learned to decipher. Those letters called to me and I have spent most of my lifetime deciphering them. Despite the Torah’s sometimes frustrating impenetrable nature, it is a task that I enjoy. Figuring out what the message of the Torah is from one week to the next provides me with both distraction and satisfaction. Clearly, currently, a no pain no gain, situation.

Not every Jew feels the same attraction to Torah, but thank God there are thousands of books on Jewish subjects and millions of books in general. Read, study, learn. Get your mind of pain and into the other worlds that the doorways of reading provide. The holiday of Shavuot will be celebrated on Wednesday May 31. I encourage your participation in commemoration of the only masss revelation in religious history. Check it out on Google.

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