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Friday, September 23, 2005

Photo Friday (Vol. XLI) [gift edition]

Yesterday seemed to be a day for gifts. 

First and foremost we received the gift of our faithful dog Jordan's life.  What could have ended with a jagged empty hole in the middle of our family instead ended with a reassuring call from a gifted vet telling us that we would have Jordan home with us for shabbat.

Another gift that came my way yesterday was from an unlikely source; my employer.  I still can't get my head around the fact that one of the world's most well respected aerospace and defense companies hands out Rosh Hashannah gift boxes to all its employees the week before the holiday.

For most of my working life I've had to deal with resentment and suspicion when asking for the Jewish holidays off in the fall.  I always wound up having to use most of my vacation days and still was looked upon as something of an oddity.  I now have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming when my employer passes out thoughtful gifts as a way of wishing everyone a Shana Tova (good year).

Then when I got home from work I noticed that the bourbon fairy had visited the house.  A good friend from the neighborhood returned from a business trip to the US and left a couple of bottles of Knob Creek bourbon sitting outside our door.  Talk about thoughtful (and timely)!

And lastly, while opening the mail I noticed a familiar return address.  I opened the envelope to find something for which I'd registered a while back.

An old friend of mine, J.J. Greenberg, was killed while riding his bike here in Israel several years ago.  While I still haven't entirely come to terms with his death, I was quite moved to read on his memorial site about how his parents had donated many of his organs to people who desperately needed them. 

Many observant Jews are not well-informed about the issues surrounding organ donation, and consequently opt out by not finding out what is and isn't permissible under Jewish law.  After reading about J.J. parent's decision, I visited the web site of HODS, an organization whose stated purpose is to disseminates information regarding Halachic issues and Rabbinic opinions on organ donation. *

I can't help thinking that the potential to save / improve countless lives is squandered at the hour of many terrible tragedies simply because many of us find the topic either too daunting... or too depressing to address while we are alive. 

What finally made up my mind was thinking how horrible it would be to (G-d forbid) have a loved one waiting for a life-saving organ donation that never materialized. 

So this last gift isn't something I received, but rather it was a small reminder of a gift I might one day be called upon to give.


*  While this organization is primarily intended to address Jewish issues surrounding organ donation, I strongly urge any of the non-Jewish readers to consult with their clergy, their families and their conscience about the whole 'what if...?' question.

Shabbat Shalom.


Posted by David Bogner on September 23, 2005 | Permalink


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Thank God that Jordan is all right! That is a truly a gift. The Rosh ha-Shana package and other gifts are lovely, too. I hope that today marks the end of the recent turbulence on Flight Treppenwitz.

If someone's already a member of Adi (Israel's organ-donor association), should they join Hod, too? Just to have all the bases covered?

Please give Jordan a bunch of tummyrubs and skritches for me.

Posted by: Rahel | Sep 23, 2005 9:18:46 AM

It sounds like you have the beginning of a fabulous Shabbos. Glad to hear about Jordan. And on a side note may I suggest you daven for the Sox because the Yankees seem to be hitting their stride as the Sox falter.

FWIW, I am really more of a NL fan but since the Angels coaching staff is composed of former Dodgers I can make an exception.

Good Shabbos to all the Bogners.

Posted by: Jack | Sep 23, 2005 10:16:15 AM

Welcome to the HODS club! They do very important work. I keep meaning to blog about them myself. It's especially important that people in Israel join, since it is exceptionally difficult to get organs here - due to the misinformation about what the various halachic opinions.

Posted by: Sarah | Sep 23, 2005 12:25:01 PM

Glad to hear about Jordan.... and those gifts are nice, too.

... davening won't help your cause, by the way! The Yankees have finally woken up! ;)

Shabbat Shalom

Posted by: val | Sep 23, 2005 1:44:02 PM

Here's how you can sign up to ADI:


or in English:


(I have one in my wallet).

Posted by: Dave | Sep 23, 2005 1:57:46 PM

Oh, good for you, well done, really, WELL DONE! I'm so excited you're doing this! I will also donate anything that can be salvaged (I dare say not much since psoriasis is systemic but there's hope at least for the corneas), to make up for not being allowed to give blood. Can you believe it? I actually WOULD and am not allowed. Blah.

Anyway, may my loss and family and friends' grief be someone else's salvation and joy. There is balance in most things.

Posted by: Lioness | Sep 23, 2005 1:59:12 PM

OH OH stupid me, I don't even know what was wrong w Jordan, will read on and try and find out but yes, live, healthy pets, EXCELLENT news always! Hope he feels better from whatever ailed him.

Posted by: Lioness | Sep 23, 2005 2:00:57 PM

Oh the poor thing, strychnine is so painful and so quickly lethal, she was lucky indeed (sorry Jordan, for mistaking you for a male). I am leaving this comment here hoping it will be read because that Golden retriever you mention, w a bloated, infected uterus? She probably had pyometra, which can also kill very fast and painfully, and occurs in unspayed bitches. Owners should know that spaying may lengthen their dogs' lives (pyometra/breast cancer). And it is a bit criminal to allow animals to roam who will become impregnated/impregnate others, especially in countries where there already is a scarily extensive and miserable population of feral cats/dogs and no one to take care of them.

[Sorry, David, but you know I will one day be paid for this and the problem is such a big one in Israel and I've seen bitches die horribly just bcs spaying isn't "natural, the poor things..." and animals starve, it drives me insane.]

Posted by: Lioness | Sep 23, 2005 2:09:27 PM

Rahel... No, there is no connection ADI. In fact, the HODS card is not a legally binding 'living will'. It is just a reminder to the bearer to make sure one's family is aware of your wishes. I encourage registering with ADI (Dave has thoughtfully given us the link in his comment).

Jack... Between you and my sister I may not check my email until after the Sox are back in first place. Meaning after the weekend.

Sarah... HODS does wonderful work in making observant folks aware of the various opinions. But a living will or registration with ADI is still a must.

Val... Oy, the Yankees take the lead for two days after trailing almost the whole season and 'surprise surprise'... here you are! Good morning! :-)

Dave... Thanks for posting the URLs! Shabbat Shalom.

Lioness... While your eyes are quite beautiful... and I'm sure they would be very much appreciated by someone in need... I hope you get to use them for the full 120 years. And thank you for your good wishes for Jordan. I agree with every word you wrote about doing the kind/responsible things for our pets. Unfortunately in this way Israelis are not yet very sophisticated.

Posted by: David | Sep 23, 2005 3:00:10 PM

On a shallow note, since I'm nursing our new baby Jacob I can't have a Knob Creek manhattanm which I'm now craving since seeing the picture, so I'd like to request that you drink one in my honor. Make it kind of large, in a pretty glass, and not too sweet.

Posted by: Alice | Sep 23, 2005 3:14:25 PM

[Er, sorry for hogging, I seem to be doing the Oh-It's-Shabbat-Who-Knew thingy again, actually thought this was older post, so: SHABBAT SHALOM!]

Posted by: Lioness | Sep 23, 2005 3:35:25 PM

Go glad Jordan is back home! I'm sure you will have a nice celebratory Shabbat. Thanks for the info on organ donation in halacha. Will definitely look into it. That gift box from your employer is so nice! I've been at my company for 6 years, and although they are amazingly accomodating for all the holidays, I still get a Christmas card & gift from my manager, with apologies for it not being given on Chanukah. (The company issued calendars have Chanukah on them! Can't he read?)

Posted by: Essie | Sep 23, 2005 3:54:23 PM

Mmmm.... Instant coffee! I guess the other stuff is nice too.

Our rabbi gave a talk a few years ago on the importance of organ donation. In the states, more important than carrying any card is having your loved ones know that you want to be a donor, since they are the ones who will have to give permision, card or no card.

Shabbat shalom.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Sep 23, 2005 4:30:56 PM

I'm glad your dog is ok.
Anyway, how does Olive oil, coffee, and wine make it into one gift package?

Good shabbos.

Posted by: Shevy | Sep 23, 2005 5:26:21 PM

A representative of HODS made a heartfelt appeal/drash at our shul, and that's why I have my card. Your blog reaches many people, but you may want to consider an invitation to HODS to have someone speak after services some Shabbos.

Posted by: Drew | Sep 23, 2005 5:27:26 PM

That's a pretty good pic they got of you on that Hods card. I should be so fortunate to have MY employer get me something like that. Although I once had an employer that gave out turkeys to eveyone on thanksgiving and went out of their way to get me a kosher one from empire. If we see you in any new pics and your nose is red we'll know the knob creek was to blame..good shabbos..

Posted by: Jewish Blogmiester | Sep 23, 2005 5:47:03 PM

yay for jordan.
we had a similar experience with our cat..unfortunately it was us who poisoned him accidently with an incorrect dosage of medicine. I am glad all is well.
Let the shedding continue.

Posted by: lisa | Sep 23, 2005 7:04:49 PM

Glad to hear that Jordan is ok. Between that and the car, you have had your hands full lately.
Good to see you are doing well.

Shabbat Shalom

Posted by: Mgreen | Sep 23, 2005 7:18:59 PM

"Anyway, how does Olive oil, coffee, and wine make it into one gift package?"
How DOES THAT happen - - now 2 people want to know!

... I'll just let the Yanks speak for themselves!

Posted by: val | Sep 23, 2005 8:53:53 PM

Thank you.

My mother is alive and well thanks to an organ donor who signed his card (and to his family, who knew his wishes).

Posted by: Talmida | Sep 23, 2005 9:33:42 PM

I wish the Bourbon Fairy would stagger into my life before Rosh Hashana. I am staggered by Rosh Hashana gift from your employer. No matter how well planned I am, the fall holidays are a magnet for important meetings and uncomfortable situations.

Posted by: Alan Tennenberg | Sep 25, 2005 3:37:22 AM

Alice... Your Doctor says you can't drink while nursing? Far be it from me to dispense medical advice, but Zahava was always told that the occasional drink actually helped the 'let down' reflex' ... and beer actually helped increase lactation.

Lioness... No need to explain. I lose track of the time pretty easily as well. Thanks.

Essie... The whole feeling of being the odd man out around holiday time is one of the many things that let us to consider aliyah.

Doctor Bean... This jar of instant coffee will be waiting for you whenever you and Ball and Chain decide to bring the family to Israel for a visit. I say with complete confidence that no matter how long it takes you to finally take the trip... this jar will be the one you see the first morning you come down for breakfast. :-)

Shevy... Last year they also included honey, but I think the general idea was to include items that suggest comfort and abundance.

Drew... Good idea. I have sent an email to the guy who organizes speakers and asked him to help me make that happen.

Jewish Blogmiester... When you register online for the card they ask that you also email them a picture. If you end up with a bad photo on your card you have nobody to blame but yourself. :-)

Lisa... Yikes! That must have landed one or both of you on the couch for a little guilt therapy. No worries about the shedding. Jordan spent the weekend shedding enough hair to make a whole 'nother dog! :-)

Mgreen... Thanks. Yes it has been a bit more exciting lately that I would have liked... but all seems to have ended well (tfu tfu tfu!).

Val... Like I said to Shevy, I think it was just a random selection of comfort items that one is likely to see around the kitchen and dinner table. As for the Yanks and the Red Sox, let's keep the bragging for the end of the season. :-)

Talmida... I love hearing about stories like your mother's. It is what I try to visualize when speaking to my family about such a difficult subject.

Alan Tennenberg... But you're a doctor! If you guys push G-d around, who is left to push you around? :-)

Posted by: David | Sep 25, 2005 9:56:29 AM

Vice-Presidents and Wives (wife, really.Only have one)

Posted by: Alan T | Sep 25, 2005 1:06:09 PM

More good reasons to make Aliyah.

Posted by: psychotoddler | Sep 26, 2005 10:35:09 PM

To Alan Tennenberg or anyone who knows him:
Are you connected to Chedva (Grossman) Tennenberg? If so she was in High School with me in Israel, and I've been searching for her all over. Please write to [email protected], and tell Chedva Dina (Grinblat) Shulem is looking for her!

Posted by: Dina | Dec 24, 2007 11:26:10 AM

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