Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Rebbetzin That Could

First, the best ever Happy Birthday wishes to my friend Silky. Silky, you rock and I hope your year does too! :=)

I had yet another doctor appointment this afternoon, and when I first arrived at the appropriate address, I was a bit confused: the place looked just like a regular house, with two doors at the front. I walked up the walkway and noticed a tiny sign that informed me that the doctor's office was on the side. Fine.

I walked in, and it was a nice enough place, albeit packed for a Sunday morning. The place was totally frummied out: sheiteled receptionist, seminary-looking teenage girls, beracha on the walls. You get the picture. I was just thankful that the tiny Sunbeam air conditioner unit in the outside wall was keeping the place nicely cool, and then was even more grateful when I sank into a waiting room seat; I must remember to ask her where she bought those chairs, because they were sublimely comfortable.

Since I was waiting a long while, part of the sandwich on the couch that othewise consisted of the two sem girls who IMed each other while seated from 2 inches away, I wound up requiring the facilites. That's when the splendour of the doctor's setup began to unfold. The receptionist informed me "Downstairs is a shul", opened up a door in the thin wall, and motioned to a flight of stairs. I went two flights down to the washroom, noting the lack of soap that is the hallmark of most Brooklyn shuls. The receptionist was exceptionally nice when I returned upstairs and asked if they had any hand sanitizer (it was a doctor's office, after all, and B'H', they did).

But it wasn't until the doctor herself ushered me in when the full reality of the situation dawned on me. After silently opening the door and motioning for me to enter, she called through the wall down an unseen hallway to her children: What's burning? I smell something. And then we all plainly heard the response that they were burning the challah. I suppose Sunday is baking day.

The woman had such a kind, quiet, docile nature to her that I just had to ask during our medical pow-wow: is your husband the Rav of the shul? She smiled and nodded. All I can say is, she was such a pleasure to deal with, such a Rebbetzin, that I was thrilled she was my doctor. She evidently got into medecine because she genuinely cares about people. Even when she had to lift up my shirt, she did so gently, with such modesty in order to retain my own dignity and modesty. She was simply a marvel.

She listened attentively when I gave her the background and made many notes. She then asked whatever questions she needed to and made more notes. And then, she read back her summary to ensure that she had left nothing out. Finally, after a few moments of working things out in her mind, she smiled and quietly told me what course of action I should take. Upon finishing, she opened the door, and with a "Be Well", sent me on my way. After I paid my co-pay, of course. ;=)

She just warmed my heart, because she was exactly what I had expected of Brooklyn when I first arrived. That was the behaviour I expected to find in a frummie community! I guess you could say that meeting her buoyed up my faith about the type of behaviour we can all choose to cultivate. I know she certainly inspired me to improve my middos. So, not that I hope to ever require a repeat visit, but at least I know that if I do, she would treat me with the respect, kindness, and dignity that we all, as befitting us as Betzelem Elokim.

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