All The More Reason

Grâce à qui?
June 28, 2006, 2:48 am
Filed under: Religion

I watched an interview the other day with a French Jewish rabbi. His name is Joseph Haïm Sitruk. During this interview, he discussed how he had suffered a stroke in 2001. It inspired him to write a book about his life, entitled Rien ne vaut la vie. The following quote from him is quite similar to what he said inspired him to write his biography during the interview, and certainly speaks to the same sentiment.

“Je suis un survivant de la prière”, explique le rabbin Sitruk, aujourd’hui âgé de 61 ans, à quelques journalistes, “j’ai voulu faire connaître au plus grand nombre l’extraordinaire expérience que j’ai vécue, en reconnaissance à Dieu qui m’a sauvé la vie et à tous ceux qui ont prié pour moi”.

So, he is a survivor thanks to prayer, and he wanted to let know as many people as he could his experience, in gratitude to God who saved his life and to those that prayed for him. Well, when Sitruk made mention of his sentiment that prayer had saved him, I waited for a few moments to see how much gratitude and respect he had for the hospital that took care of him. It turns out that he didn’t think to mention who were the doctors and nurses that treated him.

In this instance, Western medicine is treated as casually as oxygen. It is an absolute necessity, but due to its extreme necessity its withdrawal would be considered cruel and inhumane. The MRIs, auto-respiratory machines, painkillers, x-rays, the sheer knowledge: all of it counts for nothing compared to those that prayed for him. To be fair, I don’t doubt that when he finally woke from his coma Sitruk took great pains to thank his medical team. But it was not their efforts that he sung the praises of when on centre stage. One way he could have shown his respect would have been to learn and explain some aspect of modern medicine that kept him alive during his twenty-six days in a coma. At the very least, it would make the interviews he gives more interesting.

I bet though, that somewhere within Sitruk lies the hope that his doctors do not listen too closely to his message. After all, if they took him at his word, then the next time his health chose to quit on him, prayer would really be the only thing that could save him.

Jonathan Smith


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En parlant du rav sitruk, voici un lien pour télécharder ses cours vidéos et audio gratuitemennt :,2.php

Comment by Rav Sitruk

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