Rivka Herzfeld

Skin in the game

Do you want a piece of me?

That’s what all the tough guys say in the movies.

It’s really different when it actually comes down to it though

Today was a normal day – – got up, davened, started work, schmoozed with my boss a little bit, and then off to the doctor I went.

It was a 10 minute drive.

We parked the car, masked up, went into the building.

I filled out the paperwork.

Then it was time to wait. It only took about 15 minutes until my name is called…

But then again, I was early.

I’m always early.

The surgeon was there… a super nice guy.

We were bageling each other a little bit.

We don’t know anyone in common.

The local anesthetic was applied.

I held my mom’s hand.

I clenched a little, closed my eyes.

* the sound of snipping skin*

* the feel of a needle pulling*

And then it was done.

The Skin Punch Biopsy Explant Culture for Derivation of Primary Human Fibroblasts completed.

A really fancy way of saying that’s a skin biopsy that was taken is going to be turned into a culture.

Once the culture has been established, a sample in a frozen state will be thawed & re-established into a culture.

Then, scientists will test drugs that they are developing on the fibroblast cultures for biochemical efficacy and toxicity.

And all I can think is that it is unbelievable bracha that I am persistent.

What an unbelievable bracha that I am dogged.

What an unbelievable bracha that I am literate enough in science to be able to speak, and give ideas, and understand the doctors who are themselves, persistent, dogged, and unwilling to give up.

What an unbelievable bracha that I believe fully — b’emunah shleima that there is a higher plan for me.

Then I will not be defined, or confined by my chair, due to lack of muscular ability.

HaShem makes those decisions.

I just have to be patient and wait.

So today I was the patient.

Unbelievable things can happen in an instant.

HaShem is fitting all of the pieces together.

This piece of me, will, hopefully be the first piece of that peace I want.

About the Author
Rivka Herzfeld earned an M.A. in Tanach from Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School of Judaic Studies. She enjoys teaching Tanach to all ages and backgrounds. Rivka is also a respected disability awareness educator. She is personable, easygoing, has a terrific sense of humor, and loves sharing puns. She is passionate about politics, human rights, and “liberty and justice for all.” Rivka is determined to make her voice count.
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