The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 2 April 2011 / 26 Adar II 5771

A Lifesaving Caution

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

An urgent telephone call interrupted a meeting which Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein, rav of the Ramat Elchanan community in Bnei Brak, was having with some of the residents of the neighborhood about how to increase public participation in the local Torah classes. The catalyst for this meeting was a tragic spate of untimely deaths in the community, and the tone of this call indicated that another might be on the way.

"An hour ago I prescribed a medicine for a woman in your community," said the doctor on the other end in an alarmed voice, "and I just realized that I made a grave mistake. If she takes that medicine it could do her irreparable harm. You must stop her immediately!"

After figuring out exactly where this woman lived, one of the men at the meeting rushed out to sound the alarm. No sooner had he reached the next street than he saw the woman’s husband pacing back and forth. "My wife bought a medicine the doctor prescribed for her," he explained, "but she refuses to take it until she is assured that it is kosher. I gave it to a local pharmacological expert to analyze and am out here waiting for his verdict."

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