Against All Odds

My friend Judah was born 66 years ago. For his medical team, it wasn’t an easy delivery. Judah’s mom struggled heavily. But through some amazing miracle and a hell of a job by the doctors, she pulled through and Judah was born. I’m glad he was. I love Judah.

Of course, life hasn’t always been easy for Judah. Just after he was born he contracted a terrible disease. He was being attacked from all sides of his body, some side effects didn’t even seem related to the disease! But he came through it. Judah fended off the disease and grew stronger.

During Judah’s childhood different diseases, some more serious than others, came and went. At some points, even when Judah seemed healthy and out of harms way, some unexpected outside forces threatened Judah. Judah worked through it. He became a leader of leaders. A real success.

Before Judah’s 20th birthday a serious disease afflicted his lungs, brain and heart. And if that wasn’t enough, his legs and arms were being threatened from a distance as well. Judah’s medical team consulted leading experts and wise friends from far away.

They appreciated the encouragement and support from religious leaders even though they didn’t consider themselves religious. The miracle happened again, Judah recovered and came back much stronger than before. He morphed into a force of positive influence and moral standard.

This continued throughout Judah’s life. The entire medical cast has continued to go through many phases. Sometimes they took on the disease directly, fending it off before it had a chance to attack. Other times, the medical corps bickered, argued and fought between each other. The decisions were not always the best, and Judah didn’t always receive the best care.

Yet, setting politics in the operation room and disease aside, Judah became a powerhouse. He changed the lives of thousands and contributed so much to the world. At times, his team even managed to stave off some of the diseases for longer periods of time.

In fact, today, Judah is 66 years old and one of those diseases, located near his lower right thigh, has been pretty much a non-issue for 35 years! Another, located along the left side of Judah’s body, has been under control for 20. I hope and pray they continue to let Judah live in peace.

Today, Judah’s doctors seem to have lost direction. Judah’s children want to make the decisions but the doctors insist “we’ve got this, we’ll make the best arrangements for everyone.”

In recent years, Judah came down with a new disease. Forces shoot through his body from his right knee area causing him much pain. It frightens Judah’s kids and his grandchildren are tormented by seeing him in such pain. The doctors found a temporary pain-killer, injected it and let Judah be.

Through the pain and the relief, Judah continued to grow. His family became strong. He’s been very much the opposite you’d expect of a man that has gone through so much. He celebrates. He smiles. He plays with his grandchildren. They love him so much.

While Judah’s family is happy and committed, living life while Judah is threatened, the pains still come back, most recently in the last two weeks. It’s hard for those who love him to see Judah in this situation. I hate when he cries out when the pains run through his body. I literally run for cover. The doctors text me when Judah feels a pain. There’s been over 1000 in just a few days.

At this point, The lead doctors seem to have given up finding a cure. They appear numb to the pain Judah is feeling. They are deaf to the cries of Judah’s children and grandchildren. They ignore the doctor’s text messages every time Judah is in pain. They also have no remaining friends.

They’re not leading their medical team to a solution. They are stalling for time while the clock continues to tick. They’ve located the problem, but ignore the core of the issue. They’re preparing a prescription for another dose of painkillers. It breaks my heart, but at some point, the medical team will need to realize, they are not making the best choices for Judah.

I pray that sometime in the very near future they heed the warnings of other medical experts and hear the cries of Judah’s children and grandchildren and make the right decisions for Judah. Not a temporary fix, that will only guarantee these pains and diseases return.

They need a long lasting decision to conquer the problem, defeat it at the surface, and ensure Judah’s health and sanity for years to come. G-d bless you great and devoted doctors throughout the years. You’ve done so much until now.

Don’t screw it up.

About the Author
Levi Margolin was born and bred in Norfolk, VA and is now living it up in Jerusalem! Director of Marketing and Social Media at Taglit-Birthright Israel: MAYANOT, he loves Israel, Judaism, people, politics, sports, world travel and hanging out. Standing at five-feet, Levi has been described by those who know him as the definition of “Short and Sweet.” He is the middle child of seven. He can be reached at