Marc H. Wilson
MARC WILUDZANSKI-WILSON is a retired rabbi who writes from Greenville, South Carolina.

Touching the hot stove

After four months of near paralysis, I foolishly tried to walk to the bathroom at 3 a.m. and tripped on the way back to bed. No pain whatsoever, a “soft tumble,” not a crash. Shamefully, though, we had to call 911 to get me up again into my bed.

I was sobered, trembling. Moreover, Linda, my caregiver, and my PT stood over me tag-team and chewed me out interminably for “How could you be so stupid?” and “Do you know what you could have done to yourself?”

Of course, I knew I had put myself into mortal jeopardy. But male ego and narcissism gave way to the cocky certainty that I could — to whom? — show my capacity for beating the odds.

Now, I am severely chastised, still quivering from being awoken to real peril from a broken hip or brain trauma. I promise, Mommy, that I will not put my hand on a hot stove again to see if it would burn me. Mature, worldly-wise old man, or still a tot with so many of life’s chastisements yet waiting for me?

Do I know what I could have done to myself??

About the Author
Marc Wilson is a rabbi and activist, serving congregations for four decades. He lives in Greenville, SC, and is blessed with a compassionate wife and the 14 smartest grandchildren ever. He especially loves being with family, teaching Torah, and cooking a competitive kosher gumbo. Marc is especially passionate about inclusive Yiddishkeit and the long, strange trip his life has been. He considers his greatest achievement the seven years he cared for his homebound parents. Contact Wiludi (Rabbi Marc) at
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