Three Percent Fall, 1983 ?What do you mean, doctor?? I asked, aghast. ?I mean that your blood results are higher than normal, and it is necessary to take a certain drug in order to lower them before you can successfully bear another child.? The professor enunciated his words as a matter of fact. I gathered my inner strength. ?But Professor Ben David, I am already expecting my next child. I received the good news just yesterday.? The doctor rose up to his full height, and then he shook his head. I knew about his expertise on this particular problem. He had developed the ideas and formulated the testing. My next inquiry was a tough one. ?What are my chances, according to the statistics, of carrying through this pregnancy?? Running his fingers through his thick brown hair, he contemplated and let out a sigh, studying me almost pityingly. ?About three percent.? With a sinking feeling, I drew in a deep breath and whispered, ?Thank you for your help.? My husband?s eyes met mine and we quietly left the office. Was this a time to sulk? Would I allow the doctor?s words to get the better part of me? I firmly answered myself, No! My mind was put into full gear. I knew that it had not been a coincidence that twice, once before Yom Kippur and the other time before Pesach, the baby I had been carrying had not reached its destination here on this earth. Although both pregnancies had been in the early stages, their natural termination had filled me with devastation. I had cried to my dear faithful friend, Esther. She had strengthened me through her kind, gentle, and encouraging words. ?Don?t worry! Everything will be all right. You?re still young, and you have plenty of time to have many more children. Be thankful for the ones you do have, and, b?ezras Hashem, you?ll be blessed with many more.? I decided that this time I must do something special. It is written that tzedakah saves one from death. Distributing money, however, would mean that the beneficiary would have to buy what he needed himself. That wouldn?t do. I had to make some contribution that would really make a difference. If I would prepare food, supplying the recipient with immediate gratification, it would be considered a higher form of tzedakah. I felt that I had to do everything in my power to try to annul any decree that might have been declared against my unborn baby. Prayers and supplications would also be needed. I knew that I could count on the cooperation of my brother and his wife, as well as my sister-in-law and her husband, to daven for me. Both sets of parents would not be notified for the time being. Causing them unnecessary worry could aggravate the situation. Before approaching our house, my wonderful husband, Yeshaya, broke the silence. ?What are you thinking about? Do you want to share it with me?? ?You know, Shaya, I used to make meals to help new mothers. It?s a bit too time-consuming now, as I have teaching responsibilities in addition to the children to care of, but I?d like to start making soups. It?s a whole meal in one; the families would only have to add bread.? ?It?s a fine idea and a tremendous chesed,? he replied, easing the car into its parking place. I needed to buy beans, barley, and vegetables of all shapes, sorts, and colors as soon as possible to start my ?soup-making project.? I would check the announcements in the local news bulletin, distributed weekly, for anyone who had just given birth. My spouse and children would be on call for regular deliveries. My project succeeded in teaching my own children the value of the middah of chesed. Youngsters learn from acts that their parents perform. Speech is not enough to make an impression on young minds; actually demonstrating chesed is. Practicing what you preach is the best way to impart a message. Putting my efforts into this mitzvah and doing it with joy could prove to be the best way to annul the decree against my unborn child.
|Author||Rivkah L. Jacobs|