The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 16 February 2008 / 10 Adar I 5768

No Extra Child

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
"Efrat" is an Israeli organization dedicated to helping expectant mothers avoid the temptation of abortion and providing them with moral and financial assistance in giving birth and caring for the infant.

The organization's founder and director, Dr. Elie Shussheim, tells the story of a mother of 13 children who entered the hospital to give birth to yet another child. The attending doctor, who recognized her from previous births, cynically remarked to her, "Oh, it's you again!"

After recovering from the rudeness of the doctor, she phoned her husband and asked him to come to her hospital room the next morning, during the doctors' rounds, with all 13 children — ranging from teens to tots — dressed in their finest holiday clothes. When the doctors entered her room and angrily ordered everyone out, the mother turned to the doctor who had expressed disappointment over her bringing another child into the world. Pointing to her handsomely dressed, beautiful children she challenged him: "Which of these would you have wanted me not to have?"

The stammered apology of the offending doctor made its impression on all of his colleagues.

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