I often receive prayer requests from our dear readers of Israel365, and am touched by the close-knit virtual community we have created together through our shared love for God, the Bible and the Land of Israel. I am reaching out to you today, dear friends, with a personal prayer request.
Over the past five days, I have been with my father day and night in the intensive care unit at Ohio State University. He has been battling cancer for several years with complications brewing over the past few weeks and is having an important procedure today.
While the Bible often refers to individuals with their father’s name (David the son of Jesse), the Jewish practice is to pray for a sick person by not only using their Hebrew name, but by mentioning their mother’s name, and so I ask you to pray for healing for Meir Yitzchak ben (son of) Pessel.
On a personal note, anyone who knows me or who is connected through Israel365, must know that I believe firmly that living in Israel is an incredible blessing. Nevertheless, it is especially difficult to leave family behind. God’s first words to Abraham to settle the Promised Land call upon him to, “go from your father’s house to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). That was part of the challenge to Abraham’s faith, to leave his father’s house, and his family behind. Similarly, when we moved to Israel 8 years ago, the hardest part has been living so far from our family. In my case, leaving my father’s house has been particularly challenging, especially since my dad’s diagnosis with pancreatic cancer shortly after we moved to Israel.
Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is a terrible disease with very low survival rates. Since the disease spreads silently and rapidly, most people only live for a few months after diagnosis, however, we have been truly blessed. When my dad was diagnosed seven years ago, he was among the slim minority to be a candidate for surgery.
On the day of the operation six and a half years ago, I called upon the readers of Israel365, both Jews and non-Jews, to pray for my dad. I remember sitting in the waiting room with my mother and reading aloud to her so many heartwarming emails that poured in from around the world and which brought our family such great comfort. And so when the surgeon emerged after the 13 hour operation and told us excitedly that the surgery was a success, I knew that it was thanks to the fervent prayers of so many close friends and complete strangers. We were truly blessed with a miracle, which I wrote about on the anniversary of his surgery, “God Can Even Remove Cancer.”
Therefore, once again, I am asking you, the readers of Israel365, who have become an extended family to me, to pray for my father.
As wonderful as the nurses are and as skilled as the physicians may be, there is no one who can provide all that we need, except God. I was discussing with father just yesterday, how Hashem is surrounding us with love at all times, even – especially – during the most difficult days, and He has given us the great gift of prayer to grow and come closer to Him. We are joyously placing ourselves in His healing hands today and we beg the Merciful One to grant a “Refuah Shelema”, a complete recovery, to Meir Yitzchak ben Pesel. My family will be reading Psalms today, especially Psalm 91, Psalm 121 and Psalm 130 and I invite you to invoke the eternal words of King David with us.
“From where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth.”
May our Israel365 family share good news with one another and may our Merciful God grant all of our loved ones who are ill a “Refuah Shelema,” a complete healing!