Monday, February 07, 2005

Somehow, I can't picture my local rabbi doing this

An unusual letter in Dear Abby on Friday:
DEAR ABBY: After reading the letters about hospital gowns, I thought I'd share my story. I am a rabbi. When I first trained as a chaplain, I was taught to make my hospital rounds in full dress -- wearing a suit and tie, with my jacket buttoned. However, one day a patient expressed that although she needed to talk to me, she felt terribly uncomfortable lying there ``in a hospital gown with her tuchas sticking out'' while I sat there in a three-piece suit.
I stood up, told her I'd be back in a moment, went to the nurse's station and got a hospital gown. I took off my suit, donned the gown over my briefs and T-shirt, and headed straight back to the patient's room. The minute she saw me in that gown, she brightened and relaxed enough to open up about all the concerns on her mind.
The visit took a little longer than usual, and when I finished our session with a prayer for healing, I rose from the chair. As I did, the sound as my thighs ripped themselves from the Naugahyde brought a huge smile to both our faces. I was laughing so hard I forgot to hold the back of the gown as I headed back down the hall -- so I was exposed.
Fortunately the nurses had a sense of humor. One said, ``Not a bad tush for a rabbi!''
I learned an important lesson on creativity that day. But I also learned that two hospital gowns are better than one -- if you remember to put one on backward.

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring,
Boca Raton, Fla.


DEAR RABBI EZRING: Your suit may have been off for her, but my hat is off to you for going the extra mile to make a difference in a sick woman's life. Your method may have been unorthodox, but your message of healing far surpassed any fashion statement. Thanks for your letter.
What this hospital needs is some Muslim patients to complain about the gowns. I guarantee the problem will be solved for everyone.

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