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September 22, 2011 - Image 82

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-09-22

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Remember from page 81

compressions.
"There was no time to get nervous
or shaken up," Krohner recalled. "I
jumped into action, attaching the
ECG stickers to the woman's chest,
preparing the ambu pump and con-
necting the oxygen tank, all the while
taking orders from Aron. It was so
fast and yet I haven't forgotten a sec-
ond of it:'
After one shock from the defibril-
lator, the woman's pulse rebounded.
Aron's crew rolled her onto a stretcher
and took her to Shaare Zedek
Hospital. Krohner assisted the woman
in her breathing. Inside the ambu-
lance, the woman's daughter told the
crew about her mother's depressed
state following a 2010 car accident
that severely injured her son.
"I looked down at the woman':
Krohner recounted as a hush over-
took the Adat Shalom social hall. "I
sat on the floor of the ambulance, my
arm was holding her chin in place,
my fingers on the intubation tube
and my other hand pumping oxygen
every six seconds into her lungs.
Her vacant eyes stared at me for that
20-minute drive, an image that has
imprinted itself on my mind."

Tension Builds
The woman's family met Aron,
Krohner and the rest of the crew at
the hospital. "The driver and Aron
told them how amazing the circum-
stances were for their mother and
how rare of a CPR this had been; and
Aron did his best to be as honest and
reassuring as possible Krohner said.
Krohner didn't sleep that night.
"I could not stop picturing this
woman's eyes, and the way her body
had been so lifeless on the floor:'
Krohner said. "The pain the family
was going through was immense, but
I also recalled the grateful thanks of
the family even as they were dealing
with a traumatic situation:'
Krohner was immersed in a wave
of emotions, including optimism.
"The strength I saw of the family
holding each other together, the hard
work of the team paying off and
bringing this woman back, literally
from death, makes me believe so
much that if we only prepare our-
selves, there is much we can do to
help."
The woman's initial prognosis was
not good; she was unconscious with
low brain activity. About a month ago,
Krohner, by then back in Michigan,
got great news: Aron had gotten a call
from the woman's family and was
told she had woken up.
"She is neurologically healthy and
normal except for some amnesia:'
Krohner said. "The only thing that

82

September 22 w 2011

AN

she had forgotten was the accident
and the condition of her son. Her
family had called to tell Aron that
when she found out, she had dealt
with it in a new way; her depression
had not reappeared and she was cop-
ing with the tragedy in a healthier
way. The family thinks that this whole
event was clearly the hand of God."

Inspired Cause
As I listened to Shoshana Krohner
talk about her incredible, lifesaving
summer, I glanced over to Eva Mames,
president of AFMDAs Southfield-
based Michigan Region. She and her
late husband, John, provided the spark
for this chapter; she remains the chap-
ter's guiding light. John was a devoted
Zionist who founded the chapter in the
wake of Israel's Six-Day War in 1967.
He died in 1989, but his spirit and
strength still echo. Eva, whose fam-
ily was incinerated at Auschwitz, has
a gentle soul and boundless energy.
Even younger American Jews, such
as Shoshana, look to Eva for Zionist
inspiration.
Magen David Adorn, founded in
1940, reminds us that Jews cherish
life above all else while too many
Palestinians, who are Arabs, embrace
death as jihad fighters and shields to
please Allah. It further reminds us
about the courage and resilience of
Israel — peppered by bombs, rock-
ets and bullets from neighbors who
despise Zionism.
If not for MDA and its round-the-
clock diligence, no one could live in
Sderot, the Israeli town in the line
of fire of Hamas-launched Kassam
rockets. Recent MDA efforts have
ranged from aiding Haiti after its
earthquake and Taiwan in the wake
of flooding to helping the injured
during Israel's Operation Cast Lead
in Gaza, to providing extended care
amid suicide bombings. It was MDA
that responded when Katyushas
slammed into the north in Israel's
2006 war with Hezbollah. Illustrating
the organization's commitment to
pikuach nefesh, the saving of human
life, there was the MDA crew that
entered Hebron in the West Bank,
met up with an armored ambulance
and then transported a patient to a
Jerusalem hospital.
Shoshana Krohner witnessed a
sliver of that amazing outreach and
eloquently explained why it matters.
What's her dream job? Maybe med-
icine or biomedical engineering. But
as she told me with the panache that's
her hallmark, "the sky's the limit." F 1

To donate to American Friends of Magen

Dovid Adorn, the U.S. fundraising arm of

MDA, call Eva Mames: (248) 353-0434.

Commentary

Ways To Be More Present
At High Holiday Services

Los Angeles

H

ave you ever been sitting at a
Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur
service and asked yourself, "Why
am I feeling somewhat distant from the
wording of these prayers?" Or "Why do
I feel so distracted here and
the service is so lengthy?"
Please know that you are
not alone in having these
feelings. As a psychothera-
pist and a Jewish author,
I've heard from thousands of
diverse Jews (including many
who are very religious, not-
very-religious and extremely
not-religious) who told me pri-
vately that they felt bored or
fidgety at times during High
Holiday services in previous
years.
Fortunately, there are some highly
effective ways to connect more deeply
with the profound themes and life-chang-
ing insights that can be found in the Rosh
Hashanah and Yom Kippur services of
nearly every congregation. Here are a few
easy-to-use steps on how to make these
carefully choreographed Days of Awe
more meaningful to you (or for a mem-
ber of your family who has been feeling
somewhat bored or disconnected from
recent High Holiday gatherings):
• Let the music move you. The servic-
es will come alive for you if you allow the
beautiful melodies, the talented voices
and the intense sounds of the shofar to
take you to a place of profound waking
up. Let yourself be lifted to new heights
by the soulful melodies that connect
each of us with hundreds of years of pas-
sionate and vulnerable Jews pouring out
their feelings of longing, sadness, joy and
gratitude at similar services during pleas-
ant years and tragic years. As you listen
closely to the music and the call of the
shofar, imagine yourself surrounded by
many generations of ancestors asking you
lovingly, "Nu, how are you? How is your
beautiful soul navigating this complicated
world that is so challenging?"
• Do some personal preparation. During
the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah,
pick a phrase or a theme from the High
Holiday prayer book that makes you curi-
ous about the mysteries of life or how
to help your soul find its true purpose of
doing some good in large or small ways.
Rather than getting bent out of shape by
some harsh phrase from the prayer book
that you don't like, choose instead to

focus this year on a few phrases and
themes that you select consciously to
inspire and motivate you in the days and
weeks surrounding the High Holidays.
• Take charge of your breathing and
your focus. I've found in my own life
and in counseling many different types
of Jewish women and men that
one of the best ways to enjoy
the High Holiday services and get
more insights from them is if you
notice your breathing whenever
possible during the lengthy ser-
vices and to say silently, "Hineini
(he-neh-nee), here I am," which is
a powerful focusing phrase that
you can use whenever you feel dis-
tracted, tense or frustrated. If you
remember to breathe smoothly
and fully as you open up your cre-
ative mind with the words "Hineini,
here I am," you may be surprised
at how you will start to be less stressed
and more centered not only at High Holiday
services, but also throughout the rest of
the year.
• Let your heart speak your deepest
truth. At various points during the Rosh
Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, you
will be given the opportunity to say out
loud or to speak silently the truths, the
concerns and the aspirations that you
carry in your heart. You will probably find
that having the chance to slow down and
connect with the still, small voice within
as you express these profound truths is
time well spent.
• Look for opportunities for progress,
not perfection. One of the beautiful
things about Jewish holidays such as
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is that
in Judaism we always have the chance
to wake up anew, to ask for guidance and
to improve how we are dealing with our
toughest personal, family and work-relat-
ed challenges. But we are not being asked
to be perfect nor are we condemned for
being human and having lots of struggles.
May it be a good and healthy year for
you and the people whose lives you touch
with your caring and your creativity.

Leonard Felder, Ph.D., grew up in Detroit where

he attended religious school at Temple Israel and

Beth Abraham. Dr. Felder now lives in Los Angeles

and is the author of 12 books, including his new-

est "Here I Am: Using Jewish Spiritual Wisdom

to Become More Present, Centered, and Available

for Life" (Trumpeter/Random House, 2011). For

more information on Jewish methods for staying

healthy and centered when dealing with stressful

moments, log onto www.hereiamremedies.com .

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